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Rags-to-Riches Story and Biblical Advice for Young Entrepreneurs by This Missions-Loving Pastor Who Turned Successful CEO

Leah Marieann Klett : Dec 25, 2017 : The Gospel Herald

"It doesn't have to be paid by a church or working for a Christian thing for it to be a ministry. Wherever God puts you, whatever that may be, is your ministry." – Dave Munson

(Fort Worth, TX) — [Gospelherald.com] For Dave Munson, founder and owner of Saddleback Leather, furthering the Kingdom of Heaven isn't just a pleasant catchphrase — it's a belief he applies to all areas of life. (Photo Credit: YouTube/ Dave Munson)

"I believe in doing ministry wherever God puts you," he told The Gospel Herald in an exclusive interview. "Study the Bible, and get to know God, seek after Him. And then, whichever ministry He puts you in, whether it's in a church or bank or accounting office, just be obedient, and He will bless that."

A former youth pastor and Young Life leader-turned-CEO of one of the top leather goods company in the country, Munson's story is anything but ordinary — in fact, it all began in the back of a beat-up pickup truck.

After attending a Bible college in 1999, the Texas native decided to move to Juarez, Mexico to work as a volunteer English teacher at a Christian school.

"You could say it was pretty rough living," he chuckled. "My dog Blue and I lived in a $100-a-month apartment with no hot water for three years."

It was there that he discovered a need for the perfect bag: A durable, weather-resistant one that could withstand even the toughest Mexico summer. As Munson put it, "something like Indiana Jones would carry, something that would last forever."

After sketching his ideal bag, Munson hired a local leather craftsman to bring his vision to life. Once he received it, he knew he'd created something special.

"I took my bag to the U.S. and everyone wanted one. Every day, someone asked me where I got my bag," he recalled. "So, I went back down to Mexico and had 8 more bags made and just sold them in the back of my Land Cruiser. I just kept getting more and more requests. People were crazy for them."

For Munson, the goal in selling bags was simple: "I figured, 'if these bags are popular enough, they could support my ministry.' That was the mentality behind all of it," he said. "I really didn't think it would be so successful. The purpose for designing bags was so that I could do ministry, because I didn't want to waste my life."

Munson's bags began to sell at a rapid rate — and the rest is history. Today, Saddleback Leather — a company with the tongue-in-cheek motto, "They'll fight over it when you're dead" — is a wildly successful company. Their bags, wallets, and other leather products have …

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