Our History

Our Company's History

Building a Christian Franchise in the Auto Service Industry

The story of Christian Brothers Automotive begins in 1981. That year, Mark Carr was working as a graphic arts salesman for a photographic mural company. Despite the success he was having, he couldn't shake the feeling that he should be doing something else with his life.

Mark prayed on this and one night asked God to show him a path towards a different vocation. The very next day, while Mark was at a Sunday school event presented by his church, a friend walked up to Mark and the two got to talking. This friend was an automotive technician that was looking to start an automotive repair shop. And he needed help.

They went on to name their new company Christian Brothers Automotive (inspired by the circumstances of their first meeting) the following year. In August 1982, Mission Bend, Texas was the site of the very first Christian Brothers Automotive repair facility. Today, Mark Carr is still the Founder and Retired CEO of Christian Brothers Automotive.

Taking on a Different Role

Almost immediately, customers seemed to appreciate that Mark did not have typical auto service industry experience. Instead, Mark was closely relating with his customers and making sure they got the attention and repairs they needed. There were, however, early bumps in the road. After one customer complained about the condition of the shop and the waiting area, Mark took a hard look at the facility and realized the customer was right.

How could a mother and their kids—how could anyone be at ease waiting for their auto service in this kind of stereotypical auto shop environment? This was a moment of inspiration for Mark and he quickly went on to list all the things he knew customers didn't like about getting their car serviced. That list grew fast—up to 25 items—and Mark realized that there was an opportunity to change the way Christian Brothers Automotive did business to truly differentiate itself from the competition.

Christian Brothers Automotive Store Front Design

This is why, at every one of our locations, customers can expect a beautiful, clean lobby and waiting area, complimentary shuttle service to get them where they need to go, and other services and small touches to truly elevate their auto service experience. In Mark's own words:

"Let’s picture a single mom who has been divorced. This is her first day at work in 13 years. She has two kids in the backseat, she’s late for work, it’s pouring rain, and the car breaks down. What do you do about that? You bring her inside, you treat her with kindness, you take her kids to daycare, you take her to work. Picture that woman having the worst day of her life, and let’s try to make it a little bit better. That’s the kind of compassion that we want to show people."

Humble Beginnings & Expansive Success

Over the years, Mark opened a few other Christian Brothers Automotive locations and continued to have consistent success. Another turning point, however, came in 1996: A friend came to Mark for help with opening his own automotive repair shop. Mark taught the friend everything he knew and set up the new shop just as he would his own. In one year, that shop was already out-grossing Mark's shops.

When Mark saw that the practices and principles he knew worked in his own shops could really thrive in other communities, even under different management, he knew there was an opportunity to become a registered franchisor. Mark did this and was able to open an additional seven locations throughout Austin, Houston, and Dallas/Ft. Worth.

By 2001, Christian Brothers Automotive—with 17 total locations—had even grown outside of Texas with new facilities in Oklahoma, Georgia, and Tennessee. In just six years, that number grew to 50, including locations in Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, and Alabama. It seemed like, everywhere, Christian Brothers Automotive's commitment to reliable auto work and uncommonly good customer service was resonating with individuals, families, and communities.

After 38 years of business, Christian Brothers Automotive celebrated its 200th location in 2019. Since then, that number has grown to more than 230 locations. With more than 100 dedicated, qualified home office team members to assist our franchise team members, we're proud to say that Christian Brothers Automotive has yet to close a single location—an indelible testament to the principles Mark knew could change the way people experience auto service.

Want to learn about Christian Brothers Automotive and the opportunities we offer our franchisees? complete our contact form and download our Franchise Report below.

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Hear From Some of Our Franchisees

  • "There are so many little things we do to let people know, ‘Hey, I’m trying to help you out.’ For instance, we’ll go out and jump start cars so customers don’t have to have their cars towed in, which saves them money, and our National Service Day for ..."

    Matt & Lee Rucks

  • "People don’t understand auto repair, and they need someone dependable they can trust, someone who will tell them truth."

    Jeff Toth

  • "Once a year, every fall, we do a single moms oil change day. We work with local churches to find people who need it. We don’t advertise it or broadcast it to the masses. It’s an awesome experience that our staff thoroughly enjoys."

    Brad & Kasey Fink