The world defines “success” in a lot of ways: fame, fortune, influence, power, to name a few. By every worldly standard imaginable, Maurice “Al” Enderle would be considered a success.
A legend in the Orange County business community, Enderle has spent his long, full life founding and managing companies, acquiring real estate and gaining local and national recognition. He’s owned beach homes, yachts, planes and sports cars, and he spent several years in the late ’60s and early ’70s as a globetrotting professional adventurer. He’s met five presidents and a king.
For Enderle, though, none of his many conquests, accolades or experiences gave him satisfaction that came close to the joy of knowing Jesus, whom he accepted in 1977 at a local church Christmas pageant. Worldly success does not compare, he says, to “the lasting happiness and peace I experience daily as a Christian — regardless of the ups and downs of wealth and health.”
Enderle knows something of the ups and downs of health and wealth. He’s seen his business empire and fortunes rise and fall over the years, and he has lost three wives to various tragic diseases. The temporality of earthly possessions and relationships has given him a profound perspective on stewardship, recognizing that nothing he has is really his.
Enderle cares most about things that have eternal implications. He’s come to love the Bible and spends much of his time these days sharing Jesus with as many people as possible. Since becoming acquainted with Biola through a mentor who supported the school, Enderle has faithfully supported the university, which he calls “the best Christian college in the nation.”
Enderle owns a large boutique shopping mall, the Enderle Center, in Tustin, Calif., and has made provisions in his trust to give his ownership in the mall to Biola, an institution that he sees as an important bastion of biblically centered education.
“It’s important to have Christians growing up in this world who know what their faith is,” said Enderle, who added that Biola is valuable because it produces students “who know why they believe in the Bible and know enough about it to share its truths with confidence.”