The Green Collection
When philanthropist Steve Green, President of national retailer Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., purchased his first biblical artifact in November 2009, he never expected to assemble in less than three years what is now one of the world's largest private collections of rare biblical texts and artifacts.
Known as The Green Collection, the compilation of more than 40,000 antiquities includes some of the rarest and most valuable biblical and classical pieces or items ever assembled under one roof. A portion of this collection is currently featured in the U.S. via the traveling exhibition Passages. It has also been featured internationally via the Verbum Domini exhibit in Rome.
The collection will ultimately find a home in Washington D.C. at a permanent, national, non-sectarian Bible museum to enable visitors to experience it year-round, with a goal of opening in 2016. The national museum will also house the Green Scholars Initiative, which brings together established and young scholars to pioneer groundbreaking research on items in the collection.
The driving force behind the initiative, Green now devotes close to half his time to providing the vision and financial resources for The Green Collection. By applying his business acumen and marketplace vision to biblical antiquities, Green's desire is for people of all interests to experience the creation of the book that has altered history, shaped cultures, inspired minds and changed lives.
The Codex Climaci RescriptusUsing a new technology developed by The Green Collection in collaboration with Oxford University, scholars have uncovered the earliest surviving New Testament written in Palestinian Aramaic—the language used in Jesus’ household—found on recycled parchment under a layer in this rare manuscript.
Highlights of The Green Collection
President, Hobby Lobby
Hobby Lobby began operation August 3, 1972, with three hundred square feet of retail space located in north Oklahoma City. This was a retail outgrowth of Greco Products, a miniature picture frame company founded in 1970 by David Green when he borrowed $600.00 to buy a molding chopper, set up shop in his garage at home, and started making miniature wooden picture frames. In January 1973, the operation was moved to a house near N.W. 23rd & Western, and the amount of retail space was increased to approximately 1,000 square feet.
Steve graduated from high school in 1981 and began working full time as the Store Operations Supervisor. He was promoted to Executive Vice President in 2000 and named President of Hobby Lobby Stores in December of 2004. Hobby Lobby is foremost an arts & crafts store, but includes many departments such as hobbies, picture framing, jewelry making, fashion fabrics, floral, cards & party, baskets, wearable art, home accents and holiday merchandise. Currently Hobby Lobby employs approximately 20,000 people, companywide and operates approximately 520 stores in 42 states. Hobby Lobby sales for 2012 total more than $3 billion.
Hobby Lobby is the largest privately owned arts and crafts retailer in the world. The headquarters are located in a 5.2 million square foot manufacturing, distribution and office complex in Oklahoma City. Affiliated companies include Hemispheres, EthnoGraphic Media, Crafts, Etc!, and Mardel, a popular Christian office and educational supply chain found in six states. Hobby Lobby also has offices in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China.
Steve’s father David is the Founder and C.E.O. of Hobby Lobby and his mother Barbara is a Buyer for Hobby Lobby and Hemispheres. His brother Mart Green is the C.E.O. of Mardel Stores, and his sister Darsee Lett is the Assistant Vice President of Hobby Lobby Art/Creative.
In 2009, the Green Family purchased its first biblical artifact. Today Steve devotes half his time to what has become known as The Green Collection, among the world’s newest and largest private collections of rare biblical texts and artifacts. The collection of more than 40,000 biblical antiquities will eventually become the core of an international, non-sectarian museum of the Bible and will be the subject of ongoing scholarly research through the Green Scholars Initiative. In the summer of 2011, 400 items from the collection were put on display in a traveling exhibit called Passages which began in Oklahoma City and then moved to Atlanta. It will be traveling to other cities nationwide. On March 1, 2012, over 100 items were put on display at the Vatican in Rome during Lent.
Steve and his wife, Jackie, have been married for 29 years and reside in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. They are the proud parents of one son and five daughters. Within the last few years they have added a daughter-in-law, son-in-law, and two grandchildren. They are very actively involved at their church, as well as many other national and international Christian charities.