The Maclellan Family Foundations
Thomas Maclellan settled in the booming industrial town of Chattanooga in 1892 after immigrating to Nova Scotia from Scotland thirty years prior to that time. Although he was a man of modest means, his entrepreneurial spirit was strong and his discipline was steady. He believed that God's providence would lead him not only into a fruitful professional venture, but to rebuild his life after professional misfortune in Canada.
Mr. Maclellan demonstrated that faith and vision when he bought half of Provident Life and Accident Insurance Companies, Inc. The company was in its fifth year of operation and lacked leadership and organization, but Thomas applied his administrative skill and calm perseverance to manage business affairs in Chattanooga, while his partner, John McMasters, used his vibrant, friendly personality on the road selling policies.
The team’s synergy was beneficial, but it was Provident’s consistent pledge to integrity and honesty that ultimately brought the business success. In the late 1800’s, an insurance company like Provident who promised to "pay all just claims promptly" was extraordinary, especially because Provident followed through on that promise. The Provident pledge was often called into actuality since the company specialized in providing insurance for the "uninsurables" working in coal mines, saw mills, and blast furnaces. Accidents were common in these hazardous fields, sometimes taking men’s lives or leaving them permanently disabled. Provident was one of the first companies to offer insurance to these workers, securing wellbeing and financial provision for themselves and their families for the future. As a result, Provident flourished, as did the Maclellan family.
As their prosperity grew, the family maintained the humble attitude of their patriarch Thomas, and preserved his commitment to glorifying God with the fruits of their work. They recognized that everything under Heaven was God’s and saw themselves as stewards of His riches. They lived modest lifestyles that exemplified this belief, and gave their time, talent, and resources to the cause of Christ. In their faithfulness as stewards, the Maclellan Family established five foundations and trusts, each seeking to further the gospel and bring glory to God.
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