A little more than five years ago, Hartville native Nathan Helsley was approximately 24 months away from earning a six figure salary working on a tugboat.
Then in late 2015, his life changed forever when he was invited to attend a “Men’s Encounter” ministry event.
“I was radically transformed; I was saved inside and out,” Helsley recalled.
When he returned to his job feeling like a new person, Helsley said he had an indescribable peace when the Lord was talking to him about quitting his job.
Though the Lord was giving him clarity to make such a decision, it wasn’t one to be made lightly as the veteran, who served one tour in Afghanistan, had recently bought two separate farms. Helsley said he didn’t want to lose them.
“I had to ask myself what matters 1,000 years from now?,” he noted.
When Helsley made the decision that he was going to indeed quit his job, his family and friends questioned him on what he was going to do. This is when Helsley said God started to give him further clarity on his future.
“I said what am I going to do,” Helsley commented as he was asking God for what was next. “I then saw a picture of a machine shop in my old living room. I saw it and I knew I’ve got my mission and what I was suppose to do. That was to work with large machines and hydraulic cylinders.”
Within a couple of days, he told his tugboat’s captain of his intentions in December 2015.
In the meantime, family and friends thought he was crazy for leaving such a great job.
And to leave one in order to fulfill a new found mission working with hydraulic cylinders, something he had no prior working experience.
With a vision in focus, Helsley soon met with his former Vo-Tech teacher to get some guidance in his endeavor. He learned of a contact in Lebanon just a couple blocks or so away from where they had met for a meal.
After nearly giving up when he couldn’t find the recommended business professional, he arrived at his destination. It was there that he asked the business owner if he might be selling any machines.
To his surprise, that owner said his main hydraulics cylinder employee was set to retire, so he was planning to sell all of the hydraulic cylinder equipment.
Helsley was able to get a great deal on the equipment and the mission took one major step forward. He now had an entire hydraulic cylinder inventory, old lathe and tools.
“I thought nothing is going to stop me now,” he noted.
Helsley then formed the business name Kingdom Builders Machining & Hydraulics, opening it officially near Highway Y in Hartville in January 2016.
Soon after the business opened, Helsley already had his first hydraulic cylinder order though he never worked on them previously.
“I just figured it out on the fly with little instruction whatsoever,” he said.
In five years, Helsley said his company has worked on 2,500 hydraulic cylinders.
Though his business had a couple of challenging early years, he said he never missed a payment and also never thought he would miss a payment due to the peace God gave him about his endeavor.
A friend of his that he hired soon guided him on getting his books in order and helped to develop an inventory.
In April 2019, Kingdom Builders moved to its current location, 328 Industrial Ave. in downtown Hartville.
At this time, the business began to take off as it began heavily working on tractors, dozers and heavy equipment.
In the last year alone, Helsley said his business is up 150%, almost doubling every year. They can now buy/sell equipment as well.
With the business services expanding, Helsley said he has businesses coming from other states to Hartville to have Kingdom Builders take care of their needs.
This brings with it money into the local economy as those other businesses fuel up and buy food while in town.
“We have customers from Kansas City, St. Louis, Oklahoma...,” he noted.
Helsley feels extremely blessed with his employees.
He’s grateful for Matt Record’s overall work, which includes hydraulics.
He’s also blessed to have the services professional mechanic Dana Reese, of Grovespring.
Reese has been a mechanic for 27 years and ran his own diesel equipment repair shop for 12 years when previously living in Colorado.
“I do it because I enjoy it,” Reese said.
“I’ve been very successful (with it).”
He added that he’s enjoyed getting back to working on farm equipment.
Helsley said he really enjoys telling the story of how Kingdom Builders came into existence.
“It’s just a fun story and it’s a God story,” he said.
Helsley is married to his wife Sasha and the couple has a young boy and girl. He was raised on a diary farm in Hartville by his parents, Alan and Mary Helsley.
Contact Kingdom Buildings Machining & Hydraulics by calling 417-741-2710.
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