Business as Missions

 In Business, Community, Culture, Family, Fred's Blog, Leadership, Social Entrepreneurs

Carol and I recently had dinner with David and Mary Ann Bishop. We met them when they were a young couple. David was managing his family business and Mary Ann was teaching Bible Study Fellowship in Myrtle Beach. When David sold the various businesses ten years ago he and Mary Ann had the freedom to explore an idea that had been in their minds for years.  They never had a call to be traditional missionaries but because of their business travel in the Far East they had developed a heart for missions. While they have always been supportive of traditional missions they wanted to find something that would use David’s business skills and knowledge.

Ten years ago they opened White Harvest Trading Company  as a platform for importing products for sale in their retail outlet here in Pawley’s Island as well as online. The operators of the businesses are traditional missionaries who need legitimate reasons to be in closed countries other than teaching English. Their work with White Harvest creates jobs and positions them in a community as productive members. It sounds easy but it is very difficult and is subject to all the risk of a regular business start-up. David and Mary Ann have been pioneers in the growing movement of Business as Missions. Instead of going into a country with business as a cover that never makes a profit as a business, BAM believes legitimate and profit making businesses have great merit on their own. Ken Eldred has been a champion of this for many years. If you are interested in finding out more or meeting others involved go to

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    Josh Kwan

    I love that the Bishops believe in a BAM philosophy that’s defined by excellence (profits!) as a business and service as a ministry. Those twin goals should complement each other. Seems like an obvious win-win propositionyet successful BAM companies are rare? Thanks for sharing this example!

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