JACKSON, Tenn. – Nov. 3, 2005 – Any job can be a “high calling” through which Christians can bring glory to God, Chick-fil-A founder and chairman Truett Cathy said Nov. 1.
Cathy spoke to a group of students at Union University about setting goals and succeeding in life. Later that night, he addressed a group of university donors as part of Union’s annual “Red Carpet Banquet.”
Chick-fil-A is the second largest fast-food chicken restaurant in the United States, with 1,220 stores in 37 states. Cathy opened the first store in Atlanta in 1967.
“We have to give the Lord the credit,” he told students. “I feel like we honor God in our success.”
During his 45-minute address, the 84-year-old Cathy talked about growing up during the Great Depression and how he got started in business by opening an Atlanta diner with his brother in 1946.
He encouraged students to work hard, set their goals high and be willing to take chances.
“If you wait around until everything gets perfect, you’ll never get started,” Cathy said.
Young people have always been special to Cathy, who has taught a Sunday school class for 13-year-olds for 50 years. Many of his charitable efforts help fund scholarships and other youth-support programs.
He and his wife have been married for 57 years, and Cathy was also quick to advise Union students about marriage.
“It’s not so important finding the right mate,” he said. “It’s preparing yourself to be the right mate.”
Cathy also stressed the wisdom of Proverbs 22:1, which says a good reputation is more important than great riches, and says he goes about fulfilling his calling in the restaurant business by making sure Chick-fil-A customers are always treated with courtesy and respect.
“You don’t have to be in the pulpit to have a calling from the Lord,” Cathy said.