May 14, 2009
H. and Jo Wilson and Friends of LeTourneau
G. LeTourneau Industries:
Building an Industry and God's Kingdom
1942. R. G. LeTourneau, the man largely responsible for the invention
and development of earth-moving machines in wide use today, built his
fourth manufacturing plant in Vicksburg. He brought with him a
small group of talented men including Clyde Wilson and Eddie Florell.
factories supplied bomb casings and 70 percent of all heavy earth-moving
equipment used by Allied forces during World War II.
1955, he built his first mobile off-shore jack-up drilling rig at the
Vicksburg plant for Zapata Drilling. During the 1970s, as
many as 7 rigs were under construction by a workforce exceeding 2000.
house the increasing population of employees in Vicksburg, he built a
village complete with grocery store, post office, beauty shop, credit
union, swimming pool, tennis courts, ball fields, airstrip, and
concrete houses with heated floors, which were fabricated with a
machine of his design.
devout Christian, "Mr. R. G." termed himself "in
partnership with God." He tithed 90%, employed full-time
chaplains, and offered weekly chapel services in his plants. He
traveled the country in a converted A-26 glass-nosed bomber plan,
giving his personal testimony as a Christian. His philanthropy
extended around the world with missionary projects in Liberia and
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