During the Civil War, the Colgate family fled England and established in America. William’s father, Robert Colgate, was a farmer.
William had a passion for soap production and, at the age of 19, he launched his own business with the support of his aunt.
He made soap under his own name, but the enterprise failed.
Despite having to close his first firm, William was determined to make soap making a success. The Bible and a friend both provided encouragement.
He read in Genesis 28:20-21 about Jacob, who left his home and made a promise to God.
“Then Jacob made a pledge to the LORD: If you would accompany me on my journey and provide me with food and clothing, and if I return safely to my father’s house, then you will be my God… and I’ll take a tenth of whatever you offer me.”
William said the same thing. “Start straight and you will go well,” his Christian friend encouraged. Be a gentleman.
Give your heart to Christ and everything else to God. Make good soap, and God will bless you.” William made the decision to honor God by prioritizing him in all of his endeavors.
He also resolved to donate one tenth of his salary to God.
William began his new business on Dutch Street and donated God ten percent of his first profit.
As he had promised, God was given first position in his life and profession. That was the start of William Colgate and Company, a company whose goods have dominated the global cosmetics market.
Its operations quickly expanded beyond laundry soap production to include a variety of other items.
William was honest with God and maintained his word. He began to contribute more to God as he prospered.
His donations increased from ten percent to twenty percent, thirty percent, and so on. He got more the more he donated.