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The $10 million donation to Evangel University is the second from the Green family in as many years.
provided by Evangel University
The $10 million donation to Evangel University is the second from the Green family in as many years.

Hobby Lobby, Mardel owners pledge $10M gift to Evangel

Posted online

Evangel University has been selected for a large-scale matching donation from the Green family that owns the Hobby Lobby and Mardel Christian & Education retail chains.

The Greens’ pledge will match up to $10 million in donations to Evangel over the next 12 months, meaning a potential doubling of the gift, according to a news release.

The $10 million donation ties the largest gift to Evangel, also from the Green family, which was announced in summer 2022.

“We are grateful to the Green family for their continued support of EU,” said Mike Rakes, Evangel president, in the release. “This second gift from the Greens is more than a spark; it’s an affirmation of Evangel’s impact on this generation.”

The Green family behind Hobby Lobby and Mardel – both enterprises were founded in Oklahoma City – has a history of aiding Christian universities, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting. The Green family previously donated $5 million to help fund a 2013 merger of Evangel, Central Bible College and Assemblies of God Theological Seminary.

The latest donation will be used to support Rakes’ presidential initiatives such as the Valor Center, according to the release. Part of Evangel's $24 million Here.Now capital campaign, the Valor Center is designed as a 70,000-square-foot arena and training facility that’s scheduled for completion in 2024, according to past reporting.

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