High Point Market prayer breakfast canceled after controversy

HIGH POINT — The 28th Annual Furniture Fellowship breakfast has been canceled by its organizers after opposition arose over its selection for the keynote speaker.

The Furniture Fellowship board announced last month that Steve Green, president of arts and crafts and home décor chain Hobby Lobby Stores would keynote the event April 1, just before the opening of the spring High Point Market. In addition to his role at the 956-store chain, Green is chairman of the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC.

Hobby Lobby’s Steve Green

Following the announcement, Home News Now learned from industry sources that the choice was objected to by several in the industry. Hobby Lobby, its founder David Green and the Green family have raised the ire of some for various actions over the years. In December 2020, after the Department of Justice seized an ancient tablet from the retailer that had been smuggled into the United States, business news site Business Insider reported on other controversies that have followed around the family and chain.

“Over the years, (David) Green and his evangelical leanings have served as the catalyst for a number of disputes, including claims of anti-Semitism, homophobia, and evangelizing in public schools,” the report said before elaborating on some of the biggest controversies attached to Hobby Lobby and the family, including Steve Green, a son of the founder.

A spokesperson for the Furniture Fellowship Breakfast board confirmed to HNN the board “decided not to hold the event this year. We will move forward with our mission to promote Christian fellowship in the furniture industry and honor God … We plan to hold the prayer breakfast again next April.”

The controversy was not addressed in the email, and the group declined to comment to HNN’s follow-up question.

On its website, the group notes the prayer breakfast has been held since 1993 at the opening of every spring High Point Market. “Modeled after the National Presidential Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., the mission of the Furniture Fellowship Inc. is to sponsor events which honor God and foster Christian fellowship across the home furnishings industry,” it said.

Clint Engel

Clint Engel is a veteran home furnishings industry journalist and executive editor of Home News Now. Please share your feedback with him at clint@homenewsnow.com

View all posts by Clint Engel →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our Newsletter for breaking news, special features and early access to all the industry stories that matter!

Sponsored By: