A&O 20th Anniversary – The Encouraging Message of Jeremiah 29:11

By Ted Bartelt, PE


After opening the doors of Alpha & Omega Group in 1998, I found a meaningful Bible verse in a Christian book store, nicely framed so I could place it on my desk. The framed verse was Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I needed a reminder on my desk of God’s promise that He had my best interest in mind as I stepped out in faith to honor Him through this new company.

As I reflected on the verse, I also re-read the book of Jeremiah and reminded myself of the significance of what God was saying through the prophet Jeremiah. The nation of Judah had been overtaken by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar and exiled to Babylon. Their situation appeared hopeless as they were being taken to live and die in a foreign, unfamiliar land. God’s message was that no matter how dire their situation appeared, God still loved them and would even make them prosper in a land they knew nothing about, let alone how to do business there.

Throughout our 20 years, there have been significant times when I have needed that reminder on my desk. Initially, I needed it when I began to hire employees and had the responsibility of taking care of those employees (with families) by finding work and paying bills. Often, I wondered if I would have enough money to make payroll!

Another time the verse helped me was after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Many businesses struggled to keep their doors open, and some were not able to do so. A few years later came the 2008 stock market crash and Great Recession. I had lived through the recessions of 1973-1975, 1980-1983, 1990-1991, and 2001, but this was of a magnitude I had never seen. The engineering, architecture, and landscape architecture industries saw reductions of work of 50 percent or more and firms shrank to a third of their original size, if they were able to remain in business.

It can be a challenge to navigate a Christian company in a world that is fraught with economic, social, and political conflict, as ours is today. Isaiah 29:11 reminds me that even though I am in a foreign land, I can rely on the promises of God as I conduct business every day. It also reminds me to thank God every day for all the blessings He has provided to A&O through the years! Thank you, God, for your unconditional love that accepts me as I am with all my scars created by sin, and for blessing me in ways that I cannot comprehend.

A&0 20th Anniversary - What Does Our Motto Mean?

By Ted Bartelt, PE

If you know Alpha & Omega Group, you have most likely heard our motto –Begin with the End in Mind.”

If this phrase sounds familiar, it is because the phrase was first coined by Stephen Covey as the second habit of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” published in 1988. I was first introduced to Covey’s 7 habits in the late 1980s in my profession. As an engineer and a problem solver, “begin with the end in mind” fits my nature and the ability to see the end solution to the problem at hand.


This principal sounds simple; however, it takes good communication to determine what the end result should be. To be able to solve a problem for a client, you must first understand your client’s needs. As discussions develop with a client for a particular project, a picture begins to form. Questions help paint the picture - Why is this project being built? What problem is it solving? How will it be used by the public or customer? How will it impact the community? What materials will be used to build it? What will be the expected service life of the project? What is the budget for the project? How long will it take to build the project? How will construction impact the community? These questions and other inquiries shape the picture so that the End is clear and well-defined for you and the client.

The motto also fits well with the name of this company and its reference to God. God reveals himself in Revelation 22:13 - “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End”. As the creator of all things, God showed us this principle through God’s word. The Bible was written over a 1500-year period, showing God’s plan of love and redemption through his son Jesus Christ. All the prophesies of the Old Testament point to the Lamb of God who would come, live, and die to save us from our sin. The End that God has revealed to us is a new heaven and a new earth and the opportunity to spend eternity with Jesus. Our ultimate goal, in everything we do, begins with the End - eternity -  in mind!

A&O 20th Anniversary – Why A&O?

A&O President Ted Bartelt, PE, at the end of a long week of Bridge Inspection in 2000

By Ted Bartelt, PE, President

Last month, as Christmas approached, it was hard to believe that Alpha & Omega Group would be celebrating its 20 year anniversary in 2018.  It seemed so recent that I started the company with the help of my friend and former co-worker Glenn Zeblo and my wife, Beth, to begin a new journey. Since then, many people have come through our doors over the years to begin their engineering careers, transition from other companies, or move into different careers that they felt called to. 

Throughout our 20 years, many have asked “why did you start the company in the first place?” If you look for the origin of the company name “Alpha & Omega Group” you may have some clue as to why I started it.  Alpha & Omega comes from the book of Revelation in the New Testament “I am theAlpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” Glenn and I wanted to honor the Lord with the business. But it really started before 1998 and with the struggles that impacted my life. 

The “Why” question has its origins in my marriage with Beth, leading up to 1994 After struggling with infertility for several years, we reached a point where we both felt uncomfortable continuing with fertility treatments. Beth and I took the step to stop relying on doctors and start relying on God and praying for a child.  

That initial step of faith immediately led us to meetings and situations that were more than coincidental. Friends led us to Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). I was amazed when I saw that more than 500 men signed up for the study, with dozens of men that I knew. The real sign that I knew I was in the right place was when I sat down, a gentleman sat down beside me and introduced himself as Johnny Evans. I immediately knew who he was – the star NCSU quarterback who led the Wolfpack while I was enrolled at NC State.  So many things fell in place in the summer of 1994 that Beth and I knew our lives were changing. 

Bible on a chair in room set up for Bible study

In September, Beth and I began the study of Moses, and our eyes opened to the true meaning of the word of God. Before this, all the stories I knew as a kid – the burning bush, the plagues, the parting of the red sea, the Passover – were just that to me, stories. I had no idea how those stories were related to Jesus, but I quickly began to understand how the Passover pointed to Christ shedding his blood for us as atonement for my sin. I knew I was a sinner and fell short of the glory of God. 

I also knew I had accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior when I went to buy a Bible for BSF. The gentleman in the Christian book store asked if I needed help in finding something and I told him that I was looking for a New International Version translation of the Bible. He pointed me to a men’s devotional bible and said to let him know if I had any questions.  

I looked through the Bible and one thing jumped out at me. I innocently asked the gentleman what the words in red are in the Bible 

 “The red words are the words that Jesus spoke,he said, smiling. 

“Oh, I said, and foolishly smiled back at him. At that point he asked me if I had accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I knew that deep in my soul I had accepted Jesus and told him so. I had an inner peace that is indescribable. I no longer questioned what happens after death. I knew I would be spending eternity in heaven with Jesus and fellow believers. In September 1994, my life changed forever. 

A&O Vice President, Glenn Zeblo, PE, at a job site in 2002

As I studied, I met with fellow believers and conversed with Beth, thinking about my calling in life. God gifted me with many talents, including engineering, the ability to connect with people, and the ability to think creatively. These talents had led me to leadership positions for the companies that I had worked for. God also placed me with a co-worker, Glenn Zeblo, who worked with me, side by side, since we were fresh out of college. I knew Glenn was a believer and observed his ability to talk to people about Jesus and the truths that originated from the Gospel. He was a strong witness to me in his faith and his work ethic. We both felt called to the engineering profession and our strengths complemented each other’s. 

I observed many people begin businesses and run them as strictly business. There appeared to be no thought of integrating ones faith and profession. As a new Christian, I questioned how can one separate faith from work? How is it possible to run a company, dealing with people every day in the workplace, while keeping faith strictly personal and separate? This is still a prevalent philosophy today! 

As God’s providence would have it, the opportunity presented itself in 1997 to start a company that honored God. The company I had worked for and was part owner of was acquired by a national firm, which allowed me to step out and begin A&O. The acquisition was completed in December 1997, and January 1, 1998 began a new journey in my life. From Revelation 21:6,  "He said to me: 'It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.'"

Next week – How our motto, "Begin with the End in mind," came about.