One of the first business ventures Henry pursued came about after one of his Sunday school lessons. Henry was teaching a Sunday school class, and one of his students was a handy man. The student shared with Henry how he was interested in buying a cabinet shop, but he didn’t have the money to purchase it. Henry thought it sounded like an interesting opportunity so he contacted the cabinet shop owner. The business was set up very well and required very little work on Henry’s part. Henry purchased the business and hired his Sunday school student to do the cabinet work. Henry ran the business for about two years, until a buyer made him an offer, which he accepted.
Henry’s next business deal transpired out of trip to Minneapolis as he was heading to the National Sunday School Association conference. While at dinner with two strangers he had met on the plane, the owner of the restaurant recognized Henry and asked him why he was there. Henry responded, “I’m looking for a business!” The owner of the restaurant recommended his business and Henry signed in, purchasing the Michigan franchise for the “Svenden House Restaurant”, a smorgasbord dining experience. His franchise included 12 restaurants and 200 employees. Henry ran this business for about five years, at which time he sold his portion of the franchise to his business partners.
During the Sveden House period, Henry also initiated another business venture by opening Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlors. He acquired the Michigan franchise and then built and opened eight Farrell’s Ice Cream parlors.
Henry then began to dabble in property development. He began with an apartment complex in Lansing, Michigan, building 147 apartments. However, after they were constructed, a storm flattened one of the buildings. Once the apartments were occupied, Henry discovered, only by reading the newspaper, that he owned two houses of ill repute, and a murder had also occurred on his newly constructed property.
Henry then entered into an endeavor in Spokane, Washington, where he bought 10,000 acres of property. The plan was to develop the land for houses and businesses. The project didn’t do well, and Henry lost $150,000 on his investment. Henry’s involvement in business sidelines ended in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s when he was in Cairo Egypt speaking at a conference. He realized that he was thinking of business in Michigan, but his body was in Egypt. He began to have more and more trouble concentrating on his ministry. Since ministry was his calling, and his love was in serving the Lord, he gave up the business sidelines, and focused his energies on serving God.