Fate Thompson grew up on a tobacco farm in Wilson County, North Carolina in a good, but not Christian, family. In 1965, he graduated from NC State with honors. Prior to his graduation, he married Linda Ivey who gradually converted him to her Christian faith by her daily example of Christ. After receiving his Ph.D from the University of Illinois, Fate accepted a job on the faculty of the University of Kentucky. It was in Lexington, that he was baptized in 1972 and from 1972 through 1987, he and his family attended Baptist and Methodist churches. During that time, Fate had successful careers at the University of Kentucky, Ciba-Geigy Corporation and North Carolina State University. While in these capacities, he received many awards and when he resigned from NC State in 1982, he had an endowed position.
He resigned to start American Agricultural Services, a consulting firm to the agricultural chemical and ag bio-technology industries. Initially, it had meteoric success. Through three years it was very financially successful.
His brother, Ron, who had a similar background and a successful career at Monsanto Chemical Company, joined the company in 1986. During that year, the fortunes of the company changed abruptly. The company lost over 1 million dollars. Fate was humbled and desperate. He had never failed before. He struggled with who he was. God got his attention. In 1988, he had a dramatic encounter with the risen Christ, who for the first time became Lord of his life. Christ told him to take down the diplomas, the awards and the plaques that were displayed in his office and put up His Cross, which he did immediately.
The brothers committed to tithe the business and to personal tithing. And by the power of the Holy Spirit, the business fortunes reversed dramatically. In 1989, God delivered one contract worth 5.2 million. Many other God-delivered contracts followed. AASI became successful and this led to the formation of the sister company, European Agricultural Services in 1993 in Lyon, France. [European Agricultural Services was sold in 2002.]
God opened doors for business around the world. In regular business activities and business travels, God showed Fate the needs for His kingdom around the world: Cold Europe, corrupt and poverty stricken Latin America, as well as indifferent Japan and South Korea. God continually guided the business and witnessed His presents with not only business success, but also miracles, signs and wonders among employees and other business associates.
In the early 1990s the Holy Spirit began to speak to Fate about teaching other businessmen but he did not embrace the call. In 1999, American Agricultural Services began to sell software, developed for its internal use, to multinational agricultural chemical companies. In 2003, iAdvantage Software was formed to address the broader life-science market. After 2000, the struggles in the very mature agricultural chemical market, the down turn in the economy and the expenses of software development, with limited sales, depressed both companies dramatically but God continued to provide.
During this time, Fate became involved in international ministry, going on mission trips to Ecuador ten years in a row with Cary Church of God and to Kenya in 2005 with Joe Faircloth of Disciples of Christ to Africa. It was after this time of ministry in both Ecuador and Kenya that God called Fate back to the ministry that He had called him to earlier.
God said, "I have shown you the need around the world. Now that you know the need, go back to the Research Triangle and work with other businessmen. Help them understand that their business is their ministry and that I will use them to take dominion of the earth".