Christian Retailing

'Christianity Today' makes changes in leadership PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 05 December 2012 02:15 PM EST

Christianity Today magazine has announced a new leadership structure, the first significant change in the publication's executive team in 12 years.

Mark Galli, previously Christianity Today's managing editor and author of several Christian books, took over as editor Dec. 1. Andy Crouch, author of Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling (IVP Books/InterVarsity Press), assumed the new executive editor position at the same time.

"I'm looking forward to helping the staff shape and frame content that will address the most pertinent issues for active Christians," said Galli, whose books include God Wins (Tyndale House Publishers), and A Great and Terrible Love and Chaos and Grace (both Baker Books/Baker Publishing Group). "And I'm really looking forward to working with Andy Crouch, who will add fresh energy and ideas into the CT [Christianity Today] mix."

Crouch, who has directed several projects since joining the publication in 2005, said his new responsibilities will include "paying attention to the big picture, and asking big questions about who are we serving, how well are we serving them and how we earn readers' trust."

Christianity Today President Harold Smith added: "This progressive 'dyad' of Mark and Andy will not only build upon CT's editorial excellence, but will also find new ways of delivering our award-winning content in print and through emerging online and digital formats."

Katelyn Beaty, previously associate editor, will now serve as managing editor, overseeing the print publication. The first woman to lead the magazine in this capacity, Beaty is also editorial director of the This Is Our City project and co-founder of, Christianity Today's online blog for women.

Previous Christianity Today Editor David Neff is refocusing his attention to the March 2013 launch of the first digital edition of Cristianismo Hoy, a new publication that "will provide a rallying point for Hispanic evangelicals, Christianity Today officials said. Ted Olsen will continue serving as managing editor of news and online journalism.

TobyMac leads debut music awards' nominees PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 05 December 2012 09:18 AM EST and Grand Canyon University have announced nominations for the inaugural We Love Christian Music Awards, with TobyMac garnering 11 nods.

TobyMac, who recently won the Contemporary Inspirational Favorite Artist category of the 40th annual American Music Awards, was nominated for Song of the Year ("Me Without You"); Album of the Year (Eye On It, ForeFront Records/EMI CMG Distribution); Male Artist of the Year; The Hook Award (Best Pop Artist or Group); and Best Lecrae Collaboration for "Forgiveness."

Tenth Avenue North follows with six nods, including Album of the Year, The Inspo Award (Best Adult Contemporary Artist or Group) and Group of the Year. The group's hit single "Losing" was also nominated for Song of the Year and Video of the Year. Lecrae, Group 1 Crew and King & Country received five nominations each. MercyMe, Thousand Foot Krutch and Family Force 5 each garnered nods.

Nominations in 25 categories represent an eclectic mix of music artists and projects from 2012 as determined by a nominating committee of industry professionals. Fans are invited to help choose the winners by voting through Jan. 14 at, or write in their own selection for a runner-up winner in each category.

In addition, voters can write in the artist who has most impacted them for The 2012 Award, patterned after a "viewer's choice" award. Winners will be announced early next year as part of an live web-based event.

One voter will also be randomly chosen to win an iPad Mini and five voters will win a $25 iTunes or Amazon gift card. will also donate $1,000 to charities selected by the artists who win in the eight categories of Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Artist of the Year (Male), Artist of the Year (Female), Group of the Year, New Artist of the Year, Video of the Year and The 2012 Award.

Click here for a complete list of nominations and to vote in the 25 categories of the We Love Christian Music Awards.

Religious books down overall, e-books grow again PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 04 December 2012 10:11 AM EST

Religious presses reported a 32.5% increase in faith-based e-books for the year-to-date versus January-August 2011, with sales of more than $44 million, according to the latest figures available from the Association of American Publishers (AAP).

Overall, religious book sales from publishers for the year-to-date versus the same time frame in 2011 saw almost a 8% drop to nearly $382 million.

Religious paperback sales experienced a nearly 26% decrease for the year-to-date versus January-August 2011, with sales of more than $119 million. In the same date range, religious hardcover sales were down 0.4%, with sales of nearly $185 million.

With nearly 1,200 publishers reporting, AAP's Monthly StatShot report included data from Concordia Publishing House, Gospel Light, Moody Publishers, NavPress, Thomas Nelson and Tyndale House Publishers, among others in the Christian market.

Author Frank Pastore remains in a coma after crash PDF Print E-mail
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Tuesday, 04 December 2012 10:02 AM EST

Frank Pastore, a Christian radio host and author of the 2010 memoir Shattered: Struck Down, But Not Destroyed (Tyndale House Publishers), remains in a coma since a Nov. 19 motorcycle crash on a freeway in Duarte, Calif.

Pastore's wife, Gina Pastore, told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune that her husband is still hospitalized in critical condition, but her family is praying and hoping for his recovery.

"So far, it's still the same," she said. "It's stable, but serious. We're still praying and hoping that he'll recover. We're supporting each other and holding up OK."

Pastore suffered major head injuries after his motorcycle was sideswiped by a car in the carpool lane on the 210 Freeway, California Highway Patrol officials said.

A former Major League Baseball pitcher, Pastore was on his way home after broadcasting his "The Frank Pastore Show" on Glendale, Calif.-based Christian radio station KKLA when the crash occurred, family members said.

Gina Pastore said her husband spoke about the fragility of life during a segment on his radio show the night he was in the crash.

"He mentioned on the air, he said that 'if I were to be killed on the freeway tonight and my body parts are all over the freeway, I'm not on the freeway because my soul and I would be with the Lord,' " she told The Christian Post. "He actually said that the night that it happened, not knowing that he would be hit on his motorcycle. Frank would want people to know that."

The driver of the car involved was not arrested or cited, investigators said.

In Shattered, Pastore describes how an elbow injury ended his dream of getting "rich and famous" as a Cincinnati Reds pitcher. He also shares how the incident was part of his testimony in accepting Jesus into his life.

David C Cook author Ross Campbell dies PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 04 December 2012 09:04 AM EST

Dr. Ross Campbell, counselor and author of the Gold Medallion winner How to Really Love Your Teenager (David C Cook), died in a hiking accident Nov. 2. He was 75.

Campbell was sightseeing alone in the Savage Gulf natural area near his home in Chattanooga, Tenn., when he fell 120 feet from an overlook.

"Ross not only helped countless families through his best-selling books, he lived a life of integrity and service," said Don Pape, vice president of trade publishing for Cook. "His books have already changed how two generations of parents relate to their children. We know his legacy will continue through his words and the lives he touched."

Campbell is best known for How to Really Love Your Teenager and How to Really Love Your Child, the latter of which has sold more than 2 million copies and has been translated into 40-plus languages since its publication in 1977. Campbell also co-authored The 5 Love Languages of Children (Northfield Publishing) with Gary Chapman, and he wrote extensively on helping children deal with anger.

"Ross's books were immensely popular and God used them to instruct and inspire parents throughout the world," said Campbell's longtime friend and agent Mark Sweeney. "His death is a loss for all of us."

The founder of the Southeastern Counseling Center in Chattanooga, Campbell counseled thousands of parents in his three decades of practice. He retired in 1996, so he could spend more time writing, lecturing and working with ministers and their families.

His wife of nearly 50 years, Pat, died of cancer in 2005. Campbell is survived by four children and five grandchildren. Funeral services were held Nov. 7 at Signal Mountain Baptist Church in Signal Mountain, Tenn.

Worthy Publishing acquires the Ellie Claire gift brand PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 03 December 2012 03:14 PM EST

Worthy Publishing has purchased the Ellie Claire Gift and Paper Expressions imprint from Guideposts. Effective Nov. 30, the deal includes Worthy’s purchase of the Ellie Claire brand and product lines as well as all nonfiction gift and inspirational books from Guideposts’ Summerside Press.

Byron Williamson, president and CEO of Worthy Publishing spoke of Ellie Claire as having an “extraordinary commitment to qualitly gift books, journals and other premium paper products” and to “its esteemed reputation as a leader in the gift market.”

Jason Rovenstine, who has served as creative visionary for Ellie Claire, moves to Worthy as a vice president continuing to lead Ellie Claire’s growth. Williamson said there is “enormous potential” under Rovenstine’s leadership.

Global Study Bible launches with BOGO campaign PDF Print E-mail
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Monday, 03 December 2012 10:06 AM EST

Crossway has literally taken a global approach with the publication of its new ESV Global Study Bible.

The publisher launched a "Buy One, Give One" campaign last month, where for every print edition purchased and registered online in North America, Crossway offers free digital access to someone in the world who requested the ESV Global Study Bible (GSB).

"Our aim through print sales, digital distribution and the donations of others is to distribute the Global Study Bible content to 1 million people around the world," said Crossway Marketing Manager Andrew Tebbe. "Buying a copy of the GSB or donating online will help Crossway as we seek to equip the global church with God's Word. ... In effect, everyone who buys and registers a print or online copy of the Global Study Bible unlocks free online access for someone who has requested it."

Containing notes and maps dealing with global issues and adapted from the best-selling ESV Study Bible, the Bible features contributions from more than 100 evangelical Bible scholars and teachers from 20-plus countries and more than 25 denominations.

Created to "bring the truth of God's Word to Christians from every walk of life in every corner of the globe," the ESV Global Study Bible was released in October in partnership with 20 Bible societies around the world.

"The goal was to create the most inexpensive study Bible, so individuals could also buy copies to send overseas, churches could purchase caseloads of these and send them overseas," said Francis Chan, author of the recently released Multiply (David C Cook), in a video promoting the GSB. "The whole point is that we've got to get the Word of God into people's hands."

Each physical edition of the GSB comes with free access to the online version at, making its content available anywhere with an Internet connection.

Click here for more information on the ESV Global Study Bible.

Concordia takes stand against VBS' 'entertainment machine' PDF Print E-mail
Written by Eric Tiansay   
Monday, 03 December 2012 10:00 AM EST

Concordia Publishing House is calling on Vacation Bible School (VBS) publishers to make the gospel—not entertainment—central to their VBS programs.

"Our stand is against Vacation Bible School programs that confuse children with images and characters that are unrealistic and too similar to cartoons on TV and in the movies—where is the Christian focus?" said Emily Barlean, senior public relations specialist.

Acknowledging that VBS themes may use cartoonish figures or themes to "hook" children and get them interested in participating in a church VBS program, a company statement observed that "the steady transformation of VBS programs into full-on entertainment machines has created a rather distressing situation.

"Instead of being used to share the Word of the Lord, VBS is being used to babysit and cure boredom—and many children are leaving VBS more confused than ever as to who and what is real and who and what are just characters and stories."

Laying the blame at the feet of publishers, parents and churches alike, Concordia, publisher for The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), has spent three years refocusing its VBS brand and creating programming that remains faithful to the gospel message and the Scriptures as a whole. The publisher calls this renewed focus "VBS with Purpose."

"After many years of trying to mold our VBS programs after what was considered fun and popular, we decided that we'd had enough," said Pam Nummela, Concordia's VBS editor, who is also a director of Christian education and a 30-year veteran leader of VBS programs.

Concordia's VBS curricula will be changing significantly as a result. Stores and churches will see the publisher's VBS programs will no longer be set in locations that cannot be found in the Bible, stories will no longer feature characters outside of the Bible, all artwork will be realistic, and "wise-cracking animals" will not be the spokesmen for Concordia VBS themes.

"Kids love all kinds of art, but that does not mean all art is best for presenting Bible stories," said Gail Pawlitz, a childhood education expert. "During the early childhood years when children sort out for themselves what is real from what is not real, realistic images for Bible stories trump others because they communicate the idea that if 'it looks real, it is real.' "

Retailers can click here to learn more about Concordia's 2013 program, Tell It on the Mountain.

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