Christian Retailing

Harvest House Publishers promotes key personnel PDF Print E-mail
Written by Christianne Debysingh   
Monday, 30 March 2015 02:11 PM EDT

HarvestHouseNew-webHarvest House Publishers has announced the promotion of two key managers for the purpose of better utilizing their strengths and creating greater efficiency and productivity within the company.

The first of these changes is the promotion of Don Sage, former manager of financial operations, to senior director of financial operations. In his expanded role, Sage will handle additional corporate-level responsibilities including overseeing the newly renamed Implementation Solutions department. Previously organized as two separate departments—Order Fulfillment and Information Technology—this new name and management structure will properly align these company disciplines with their financial foundation.

Along with this realignment, Stephanie Osborne, former director of information technology and order fulfillment, is being promoted to director/implementation solutions and will report to Sage. Osborne’s increased responsibilities will include the oversight of the Distribution department along with the continued administration of Implementation Solutions.

As these two departments already work so closely together, given the functions of order entry, customer service, and distribution, this team realignment will now provide greater synergies and efficiencies within the company.

“God has gifted Harvest House with incredibly talented individuals in Don Sage and Stephanie Osborne, and I am very pleased to further utilize both of their strengths in exciting new ways,” says Harvest House President Bob Hawkins Jr. stated. “With this realignment, Harvest House will be better positioned to achieve our short and long-range goals and initiatives as we seek to blaze new trials in the years to come.”

B&H Publishing announces ‘Gospel for Life’ partnership with ERLC PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dave Schroeder   
Monday, 30 March 2015 01:55 PM EDT

BHLogoB&H Publishing Group and The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention have announced their partnership plan to publish the Gospel for Life book series.

The Gospel for Life book series will feature issue-specific volumes from noted leaders that address hot-button ethical issues facing Christians in today’s culture. The goal of the series is to produce gospel-centered resources that equip Christians and local churches to engage ethical issues with convictional kindness. 

The announcement was made in conjunction with the start of the ERLC’s 2015 Leadership Summit on “The Gospel and Racial Reconciliation,” March 26-27 in Nashville, Tennessee.

ERLC President Russell Moore and ERLC Director of Policy Studies Andrew Walker will serve as editors for the series.

“Our goal with this series is to help connect the agenda of the gospel to the complex questions of the day in a way that is accessible to and helpful for Christians and churches,” Moore said. “I am thrilled to get to partner with this team of talented scholars and pastors to produce these volumes, and we pray the Lord would use them to equip the saints to face the tough questions of 21st-century life from a kingdom perspective.”

This series will follow the major launch of Dr. Moore’s book Onward: Engaging the Culture Without Losing the Gospel, releasing in August this year.

“The time has long past for churches to begin preparing to engage a rapidly changing culture,” said Devin Maddox, Christian Living and Leadership Publisher at B&H Publishing Group. “I couldn't be more excited for B&H to partner with the ERLC in a shared mission to serve churches in this way.”

The series will include the release of nine books. The first three books, tentatively scheduled to release in spring 2016, will focus on racial reconciliation, same-sex marriage and religious liberty.

Authors for the first round of books include:

  • R. Albert Mohler Jr.—President, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • John Piper—Founder and Teacher,
  • J.D. Greear—Pastor, The Summit Church
  • Russell Moore—President, ERLC
  • Trillia Newbell—Director of Community Outreach, ERLC
  • Eric Mason—Founder and Pastor, Epiphany Fellowship

The books will be written in an accessible manner for laypersons in the church and will include discussion questions at the end of each chapter to be used for small group discussion.

Christian Brands makes Universal Designs its latest acquisition PDF Print E-mail
Written by Beth Williams   
Monday, 30 March 2015 01:38 PM EDT

christian-brandsThe Universal Designs Company of DeLand, Florida, has become the latest acquisition of Christian Brands. Founded in 1948, Christian Brands is a distribution, importing and manufacturing firm with six distinct catalogs that sell direct to institutions and to an assortment of resellers across the country.

Other recent acquisitions for Christian Brands’ wholesale division include Robert Smith (furniture), Will & Baumer (candles), Creed (jewelry), Heartfelt (wall art), Gerffert (art masterpieces), and RJ Toomey (Apparel). Products in these brands are sold to an assortment of channels within the Christian and secular gift fields with a special emphasis in the Christian retail channel.

“We are thrilled to be a part of the great heritage at Universal Designs,” says Paul DiGiovanni, president of Christian Brands. “The Baugh family has combined vision and hard work to build this unique gift brand and we look forward to continued success in both the secular and Christian gift arena.”

Christian Brands is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, with manufacturing facilities, a call center and a distribution center in Lewisburg; Tennessee. Visit

Universal Designs, founded by Bobbi and Ronald Baugh in 1999, is a family-owned and operated company focused on providing excellent products and service to the Christian Book Association (CBA).

Since 1999, the Universal Designs Company has been managed by the Baughs and has solidified its position as the market leader in paper products, inspirational gifts and related items. Core products include Pass it on Message Cards and Posters, Names to Remember cards, VerseCards and VerseMarks.

“We are very pleased to have a new strategic partner who will share our vision for Universal Designs which has built its business on printing and finishing quality products, fulfilling the unique gift-giving needs of people in the Christian Gift Industry,” Bobbi Baugh said. “This team is well-versed with the needs of our industry and can help strengthen our position as a leader in the stationery field.

“With their resources, and the help of their field sales force, telemarketing staff and sophisticated web presence we firmly believe Universal Designs will continue to grow profitably and offer our customers the highest quality products and superior customer service that our industry has come to expect.”

Deadline for CR's Best awards closes in PDF Print E-mail
Written by Christian Retailing   
Monday, 30 March 2015 01:22 PM EDT

CRsBest-LogoVoters for Christian Retailing's Best awards have only one more day remaining to cast their ballots. The voting period ends Tuesday at midnight.

Christian Retailing invites anyone involved in the Christian trade to help us name the top products of 2014 in the Christian Retailing’s Best awards.

Click here to vote.

Christian Retailing’s Best finalists will be announced April 6, and winners are expected to be announced at the International Christian Retail Show in Orlando, Florida, in June.

Introduced in 2001, the awards have been increasingly acknowledged as an important way of recognizing some of the most significant new life-changing products in the Christian retail industry.

For more information, email Awards Coordinator Jenny Rose Curtis at

David C Cook taps new vice president and publisher PDF Print E-mail
Written by Lisa Wadin   
Monday, 30 March 2015 09:00 AM EDT

Kyle-DuncanExecutive Publisher Verne Kenney has announced that Kyle Duncan, a well-respected and sought after publishing leader, has been hired as vice president and publisher of books and media at David C Cook.

In his role, Duncan will be responsible for strategic planning, resource development and project acquisitions for the Books and Media unit reporting directly to Kenney.

“Kyle has an amazing reputation in the Christian publishing industry,” Kenney says. “His forward-looking perspective of publishing will provide us the opportunity to serve the local church in a way that is both refreshing and in direct alignment with the mission of David C Cook. Kyle’s publishing experience has consistently focused on products that serve the family, the church and, most importantly, the Kingdom. I am thrilled to have him on our team.”

Duncan’s publishing career has spanned three decades, with previous experience including managing editor of Focus on the Family Magazine, publisher for Regal Books and president for Bethany House Publishers. Since 2011, Duncan’s consulting company, Scriptorium, has helped organizations around the world acquire and publish content for today’s digitally-driven marketplace.

Duncan has acquired or shepherded more than 550 books and curricula, among them multiple titles selling more than a million copies, including Moments Together for Couples by Dennis and Barbara Rainey. He has also been honored to see 10 of the titles he acquired nominated as ECPA Gold Medallion finalists, including two first-place award winners.

“My life’s calling is to help equip the church with discipleship materials that have a ‘Matthew 28’ focus,” Duncan said. “As the world’s premier church publisher, David C Cook is strategically positioned to help fulfill Christ’s mandate to go and make disciples of all nations. The digital epoch has opened up parts of the world that we couldn’t imagine reaching only 10 years ago. I am thrilled to be joining the team at DCC during this unprecedented time in the Church’s history.”

CLI reaches milestone in service to prisons PDF Print E-mail
Written by Christian Newswire   
Sunday, 29 March 2015 04:00 PM EDT

CLI-logoSince its founding in 1996, Christian Library International has helped thousands of incarcerated men and women find new hope in the healing powers of Jesus Christ. Recently, CLI distributed its one-millionth book to inmates to help advance Christ’s light in prisons.

CLI serves 1,300 prisons in all 50 states with Christian materials. It began serving prison chaplains exclusively in 2001.

“We have reached a milestone of sending wonderful Christian books, Bibles and other Christian materials to the prisons,” said Anders Skaar, CLI’s director of communications.

Inmates have responded with thousands of letters, thanking CLI for the books and asking to be enrolled in the CLI Leadership Bible Study. To date, 7,500 prison inmates have enrolled in the 15-lesson study.

CLI partners with churches, individuals, Christian publishers and authors, and even Christian bookstores that send their Christian books. The organization doesn’t store books, but processes donated books and sends them out to the prisons, where they can lead inmates to Christ and encourage them.

“Our success depends on the prayers, the partnership and the generosity of our donors, our volunteers, our board, our prayer warriors and churches, foundations all over the U.S.,” Skaar says.

LifeWay pulls ‘Heaven visitation’ books from shelves PDF Print E-mail
Written by Christian Retailing   
Thursday, 26 March 2015 01:56 PM EDT

90-minutesAdhering to the 2014 Southern Baptist Convention resolution on “the sufficiency of Scripture regarding the afterlife,” officials at LifeWay Christian Resources have said that the organization will stop selling all “experiential testimonies books about heaven,” has reported.

LifeWay’s decision to do so is connected with an inquiry into the book titled, 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper. The book details Piper’s supposed experiences in heaven after suffering an auto accident. The book sold 6.5 million copies.

LifeWay spokesman Marty King told Baptist Press that the decision to pull the books from the shelves is part of LifeWay’s “new structure and direction” it is undertaking.

“We decided these experiential testimonies about heaven would not be a part of our new direction, so we stopped re-ordering them for our stores last summer,” King told Baptist Press in written comments. “Now that we’ve begun implementing the new direction, the remaining heaven visitation items have been removed from our stores and website and will not be replenished.”

The Southern Baptist Convention’s resolution, implemented last June, gave a staunch warning to believers about movies and books like 90 Minutes in Heaven, that those entities should not “become their source and basis for an understanding of the afterlife,” reported.

A movie version of 90 Minutes in Heaven, produced by Giving Films, has completed filming and is set to release later this year. Hayden Christian of Star Wars fame and Kate Bosworth star in the film.

Organizations partner to ‘Ignite’ church resource marketing program PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mark Phillips   
Wednesday, 25 March 2015 02:39 PM EDT

SendTheLightNew.WebSend The Light Distribution, a leading distributor of products serving Christian retail stores, and the Covenant Group have launched a cooperative program to assist independent Christian retail stores as they seek to grow their church resource business and serve their local churches more effectively.

“This new program, entitled 'Ignite,' will enable stores to ignite sales to churches by supplying them with an industry-leading annual church supplies catalog featuring more than 200 pages of resources especially geared to the needs of the local church,” says Chuck Wallington, president of the Covenant Group. “In addition, three supplemental seasonal fliers give the retailer a comprehensive and year-round program to stay in contact with the churches they serve.

“Best of all, stores can get all or part of the cost of these catalogs and the associated fliers completely offset with free product from STL Distribution. Stores can literally have a turn-key program, at little or no final out-of-pocket cost.”

Ignite is an innovative program that allows retailers to receive a starter package of the 2015-2016 Church Supplies Catalog (published in late August 2015), and an identical quantity of each of the three seasonal church resource flyers for a set fee. The fee is then completely offset with a free allotment of the Lumen Disposable Communion Cups that the retailer receives as reimbursement of the program cost.

“This program will enable the retailers we serve to effectively communicate to the churches they serve that they have the products they need, and do so at virtually no cost to the retailer with the free goods offset,” says Mark Phillips, vice president of sales & marketing for Send The Light Distribution. “We are excited to work with Covenant Group to provide their excellent and proven marketing materials to our customers, especially coupled with this unique offer that reimburses the store for most or all of their costs.”

For more information, retailers can contact their Send The Light Distribution telephone sales representative at 800-289-2772. This special offer will remain in place through April 30.

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