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Ep. 40: Bryan Owens and the Theology of Work

On today’s MinistryWatch Extra episode we have Bryan Owens. Mr. Owens has turned a highly specific, niche business into a multi-million dollar operation that has also become a significant tourist attraction. In the process, he has developed what he calls a “theology of work,” which we’ll discuss later in the program.

That business is Unclaimed Baggage. In 1970, Bryan’s father Doyle Owens bought some unclaimed bags from a bus company and sold the contents on folding tables in a rented house in Scottsboro, Alabama. The idea was an instant success, and Doyle and his family quickly grew Unclaimed Baggage to one of the largest retailers in Alabama as a result of long-term exclusive contracts with the country’s major airlines. Bryan bought the business from his father in 1995, and today Unclaimed Baggage Center takes up a city block and attracts more than a million visitors a year to northeast Alabama.

And, as you will hear, Bryan is a committed Christian with carefully thought out ideas about charity, philanthropy, and how to run a business according to Christian principles. I sat down with Bryan Owens at his corporate headquarters, in Atlanta.

We’ll have more interviews on the importance of entrepreneurship and work to create human flourishing in the weeks ahead. I would like to remind you that there’s a quick and easy and free way to support the program, and that’s to rate us on your podcast app. The more ratings we have, the better the podcast performs with search engines. You can also leave a comment when you give us a rating.

The producers for today’s program are Rich Roszel and Steve Gandy. We get database and other technical support from Cathy Goddard, Stephen DuBarry, and Casey Sudduth.

May God bless you.