Founder and CEO of Cohen Architectural Woodworking, Philip Cohen, inspired attendees of the recent Center for Christianity in Business Networking Luncheon. The CCB is an initiative of the HBU Archie W. Dunham College of Business, dedicated to challenging and equipping Christian business leaders to integrate biblical principles.
Cohen shared his journey from homeless drug addict to effective CEO. As a young man, he began making wooden trucks, baby cradles and porch swings in a home shop in the 1970s. By the 1980s, he established his company and sold cabinets to stores such as Walmart. “I was thankful that Jesus had been a carpenter,” he said. “God showed me somehow how to do it.”
The entrepreneur has seen his Missouri-based business grow beyond his imaginings through applying the teachings of the Bible to his business practices. After 36 years in business, Cohen operates a $12 million-production with nearly 100 employees out of a 54,250 square-feet facility. Clients throughout the United States include top companies. “God has blown our minds by what He’s done,” he said.
Cohen views his business as a mission; more than half of his employees are former prisoners. Days at work begin with a devotional and prayer. The Christian faith defines the business operations, from diligent work to biblical conflict resolution. “Our mission is to transform every life we touch,” he said.
Cohen left his listeners to consider Psalm 127:1: “Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.” He said, “If God isn’t building it, you’re wasting your time. What is the Holy Spirit telling you to do? Will you have the courage to do it?”
The CCB offers training, networking and support. Learn more at the HBU Center for Christianity in Business.