By BETHANY DUARTE
Long before “marketplace ministry” was a buzzword in the evangelical sphere, Ted Robertson was walking it out as a local businessman. Tires were his medium of communication, and his pulpit was the Robertson Tire Company.
Born in 1931 into a lay pastor’s home, Robertson’s faith was a steady influence in his life from an early age. His brother is a pastor in the Assembly of God church, and Ted has been a long-time member of The Assembly at Broken Arrow. He has openly shared his testimony with a number of groups including the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International meeting. Each time he spoke and shared his story, another invitation would follow.
Robertson reportedly felt called to take the ministry outside the walls of the church, which led him to have a strong witness with his team, his coworkers, and his colleagues. Despite his familial roots in pastoral ministry, his passion was rooted in the marketplace. After graduating from Will Rogers High School, he began working in a tire store in the Tulsa area before launching out on his own.
Founded in February 1962, Robertson Tire first began offering tires and excellent customer service to Tulsa residents out of a downtown location with only a handful of employees. Robertson Tire has become one of the most trusted and well-respected tire retailers in the Tulsa metro with a staff of more than 100. The company has received several local and national accolades, including being voted as one of the “Top 100 Independent Tire Dealers” in the nation and as “Tulsa’s Best Tire Dealer” by the US Chamber of Commerce for the last 10 years. Now with 11 stores spread across 7 cities in the Tulsa Metro area, the business reportedly sells more than 100,000 tires a year.
This growth is no surprise, based on Robertson’s core commitment to his customers. “Our company was built on treating customers fairly and providing excellent service,” Robertson said. Founded on the core principles of professionalism, experience, and integrity that so reflect the founder, this thriving business maintains the same value system today with his sons at the helm. He has remained involved with both the company and its dealings, even after handing the reins of the leadership over to his sons in 1999.
As local natives, the company has a rich heritage of community involvement. They support local and national initiatives, ranging from sports sponsorships for local schools to Operation Smile, a national organization helping to provide life-changing surgeries worldwide to children born with cleft palates.
Robertson is individually associated with a number of business and faith organizations within the Tulsa metro including the Tulsa International Fellowship of Christian Businessmen, of which he was the Tulsa chapter president for many years and is responsible for forming a separate chapter for young businessmen. He still helps host the monthly men’s breakfast for the at the Wyndham Hotel. He is still involved with his church, now lining up the speakers for the Assembly’s men’s prayer breakfasts, a change that has produced a major increase in attendance and helping with the Southern Gospel Worship Gathering held on the first Saturday of every month.
Through his marketplace pulpit, Robertson has created a legacy based on excellence, integrity, superior level customer service, and a commitment to giving back. His charitable contributions through Robertson Tire are a staple in the community. His example of taking “faith into the world” is one that has had a positive impact on both the faith community and the marketplace. For that, Tulsa can be grateful for the many contributions of Robertson and his family’s commitment through Robertson Tire.