Caldwell Tanks

It all started with a prayer. A couple of years ago, Bernie Fineman, President of Caldwell Tanks, said a short prayer before a year-end meeting. God took control as management and associates started bringing Faith into their workplace and the change in culture at Caldwell has been incredible.

A Simple Prayer

Shane Morgan: Glorious Father, we just come before you today and we thank you, Lord, for opening our eyes yet to another day, you are the God of all time, Lord. And so we understand that our times are in your hands. Keep us safe Heavenly Father, help us to make wise decisions and bless the work of our hands for your honor. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

Michael Shaffer: It really started a few years ago, at the beginning of a meeting, we decided to open a meeting up with prayer, and Bernie felt comfortable opening up that with prayer, and it made it available or more comfortable for us to open up meetings with prayer.

Bernie Fineman: And I began the meeting two years ago with a very simple prayer that probably lasted less than 10 seconds.

Shane Morgan: As he tells the story. One day he got the nerve to say a prayer before a meeting, and that sort of started the ball rolling.

Bernie Fineman: I didn't notice any change. I wasn't really trying to affect any change. It was never a goal. It was just I wanted to share my story.

Michael Shaffer: That kind of branched out and it turned into before dinner with crews, with prayer, starting your workday with prayer. So that leadership definitely came from the top and has migrated down throughout the ranks.

Christ at Work Throughout the Business

Bernie Fineman: But I saw other people start to say a prayer before too long, our plant manager started saying prayers at his meetings with his supervisors, and then some of the supervisors felt good enough that they wanted to say a prayer at the start for their teams. And then one of our other folks, Pat Wimsatt, in our IT department, sent around an email to the entire company and our plant people as well saying, Hey, you know what? I want to start a Bible study here at Caldwell. I'm going to do it during lunch hour.

Patrick Wimsatt: I thought, I just wondered if anybody at work would have any interest in talking with me about it. So I just sent out an email, just a blanket email, and said, hey, here's what I'm thinking. Is there any interest? And I mean, the response was overwhelming. I was really touched.

Bernie Fineman: I had no idea he was going to write this email. I received it just like everybody else, and I felt really good about it. The fact that Pat felt comfortable enough that he could send an email like that out and not fear for any kind of repercussions, that he felt comfortable enough to be able to do that and that people might feel comfortable enough to go ahead and participate.

Patrick Wimsatt: It's been received really, really well. It is on Fridays during the lunch period. Yeah, some days there was two or three of us sitting there, and now I think the most we've had is 22 people. I mean, we were told were joking last week that Bernie's going to need to build us a chapel. So [laughing]

Mitchell Smothers: When I get here in the morning, and like I said, I get here about six o'clock quarter till and I get things fired up and then I go back to my truck and I have a Bible in the back of my truck and I'll read two or three pages every day, and that gets me started. And then I ask God, this is your job site. Give me the strength, the guidance, and the knowledge to run this. It's great. It's a great feeling. I mean, when you bring God into the workplace, it's a happiness. You're know you're doing the right best thing.

Wilson Frazier: I think it's been received really well. It's just an opportunity to connect in ways that we weren't able to do, at least not successfully 20 years ago.

Building Community in the Workplace

Michael Shaffer: I think it makes it feel more like a family. We've always been pretty tight knit, but since we've started praying together, living our lives with God in it, even at our workplace, not just at home, it brings that family network closer together and we are a family.

Travis Mattingly: I would hate to think that we had to get through the day without not praying. It wasn't hard. I would say it was like stepping on a frozen pond. You didn't know if the ice was going to give away, but it's been received so well. The ice is very thick.

Michael Shaffer: It's not going to happen on its own. It didn't happen at Calwell on its own. It happened because Bernie decided, hey, we're going to start praying and watching people welcome that, taking that in and then taking that on their own, even outside of Bernie or other leadership being president, they'll still pray, and then those other guys will take that message and they'll spread it. So it's contagious. It really is contagious. So once you get that prayer bug, you can't help but to spread it.

Bernie Fineman: Well, I believe prayer and faith in the workplace belongs in every business. I believe it belongs in government. I believe it belongs in the schools.

Wilson Frazier: If you have a business and your business is caring about people and you care about your people, I couldn't imagine a business that would not want to have prayer in the workplace, would not want to have God be a part of that business.

Michael Shaffer: I can't think of a business that wouldn't benefit from it in some way, but I think nothing but good things can come from having God at your workplace.

Travis Mattingly: We haven't seen the summit of all this yet. We haven't. We're at the base of the mountain. We're just scratching the surface. This is going to be so much bigger.

Bernie Fineman: I've been amazed at the response from our employees, how they've picked it up. I haven't done anything else other than to say a prayer, and I've just sat back and watched the rest of it develop. I'm just humbled, to be honest with you by it. I'm really humbled by it because it wasn't me that did it. It was God that gave me the strength to do it. And now I'm hoping that I can talk to other business leaders and say, you don't need to do anything more, then just enable it, to let folks know it's okay.

Travis Mattingly: You have nothing to lose, everything to gain. The Lord will never let you fail.

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