Daily Dispatches

The Benham brothers: Following Jesus should cost you something

"The Benham brothers: Following Jesus should cost you something" Continued...

So, a lot of money was spent. HGTV knew about you guys. In other words, you were this ugly when they married you, so to speak. They decided to get married anyway.  You blame GLAAD and some of their allied groups for all the controversy that has been generated. Ultimately it did prove too much and HGTV cut you off, and then your bank cut you off, as well. Can you say a little about what happened there?

JB: When we say our bank, we don’t bank with SunTrust, but we do sell foreclosed properties on behalf of banks all across the nation, SunTrust being one of them. When they fired us and any franchisee that had our name, we felt that was suspect. We reached out to them directly to get a response and to see if they would change their mind. We even offered to sell these properties for free with no commission. Our performance has always been stellar. … They responded, we have the right to hire and fire who we want, and that was it. So, when the conversation went public, the decision was [overturned], and we received actually a very nice email from their president saying that there was an internal communication error and they would get to the bottom of what happened. In the meantime, they would return all the properties, and we would have a long-lasting relationship.  

So, all’s well that ends well, at least with SunTrust. Is that right David?

DB:  Yeah, at least with Sun Trust. The problem is … men and women of faith can no longer speak their beliefs in the public sector without losing their livelihood. At some point, it is not going to be allowed in government, and then at some point it won’t be allowed in the Church. We are at a very dangerous position in our country right now.

How much money is this costing you? Has it hurt your business? Have the distraction and the time away from your business hurt it?  Have you actually seen potential franchisees go away, current franchisees go away, or business go away?

JB: What we tell most entrepreneurs is, if you can’t get your business to a point when it can run apart from you, then you haven’t systematized it or streamlined it properly. Fortunately for David and I, our business was running on its own. Of course, we are still involved in it, but we don’t have to be. It has cost us money of several hundred thousand dollars so far. I don’t know the extent of it yet, but I have had at least one or two franchisees reach out and say, hey, wait a second, staying with you guys. Is this going to hurt my business? We have had to keep them on board with us. You’ve got the SunTrust issue, which—word on the street—are there are other clients that are looking closely at David and me? It’s definitely going to cost us money, but following Jesus should cost you something.

David do you want to add?

DB: I was going to say, we had already verbally agreed to a pretty large book deal. We’ve got several books inside of us that we feel that the Lord wanted us to write. Several months ago, we had come to an agreement with a nice size publisher on a book deal that has now been nixed, but that’s OK. Hey, we are not victims, but it’s definitely costing us something to follow the Lord.

Listen to Warren Cole Smith’s full interview with the Benham brothers and entrepreneur Bill Walton on WORLD News Group’s Listening In:

Warren Cole Smith
Warren Cole Smith

Warren, who lives in Charlotte, N.C., is vice president of WORLD News Group and the host of the radio program Listening In. Follow Warren on Twitter @WarrenColeSmith.

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