Christian Retailing

News Beat July 2011 Print Email
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Wednesday, 29 June 2011 03:44 PM America/New_York

Paul Davis, 67, a U.K. Christian music pioneer and founder of New Christian Music (NCM), died from cancer May 6 in a hospice in Leighton Buzzard, England. Doctors discovered a brain tumor in February. A journalist, record producer and broadcaster, Davis wrote several books, including the biographies of Pat Boone, George Hamilton IV and George Beverley Shea. For the last 26 years, Davis had served as lead pastor of Leighton Christian Fellowship—a church he formed with Hazel, his wife of 46 years.    

A 400th anniversary commemorative edition of the King James Version published by Oxford University Press has become a surprise hit with Australians, completely selling out, according to the publisher, who is scrambling to print more copies. With 1,520 pages and a retail price of $120, the Bible is faithful to the 1611 original—replete with arcane prose and more than 350 printing errors.    

A Christian bookstore in County Armagh, Northern Ireland is hoping to reach new customers around the world after launching what is believed to be the first iPhone application for a Christian retailer. One of the biggest Christian booksellers in the U.K., ICM Books Direct has embraced e-commerce and tripled sales through its Web site in the last year.    

The Council of Churches of Malaysia and the Christian Federation of Malaysia have expressed frustration over the repeated detention of Bibles written in the nation’s language, Bahasa Malaysia, in the ports of Kuching and Klang because they feature the word “Allah.” The Malaysian government prohibits the word in Christian publications, arguing that use of the term might cause confusion among Muslims, who make up about 60% of Malaysia’s population. Since March 2009, all attempts to import the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia have been thwarted. 

News Beat June 2011 Print Email
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Wednesday, 15 June 2011 02:26 PM America/New_York

Magicians-NephewDespite the disappointing box-office tally of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Walden Media is looking to produce The Magician’s Nephew as the fourth film in the franchise based on C.S. Lewis’ beloved children’s fantasy novels. The sixth book in Lewis’ seven-title series, The Magician’s Nephew is a prequel to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, telling the story of the creation of Narnia and how evil entered into the magical land.   ?


Performing rights organization Broadcast Music Inc. honored the writers and publishers of last year’s most-performed 

Christian songs on U.S. radio and TV during its annual Christian Music Awards, held April 4 in Nashville. For the second consecutive year, TobyMac (right) was recognized as Songwriter ofMac_Toby2010 the Year along with Southern gospel’s Rodney Griffin and Needtobreathe’s Bo Rinehart. Written by Scott Krippayne and was recorded by Kutless, “What Faith Can Do” was named Song of the Year.   ?


David Wilkerson—pastor and author of the 1963 best-seller The Cross and the Switchblade (Chosen Books/Baker Publishing Group), which helped launch the charismatic-publishing market—died in a car crash in East Texas on April 27. Wilkerson, 79, was founder and senior pastor of Times Square Church in New York City. He authored more than 30 books, but was best known for The Cross and the Switchblade, which has sold more than 15 million copies, and introduced readers to the struggles of inner-city youth recruited by gangs.  ?


Due to “significant response” to Ann Voskamp’s recently released New York Times best-selling memoir, One Thousand Gifts, Zondervan and the author have launched to give readers a place to share their everyday gifts as they count their way to 1,000. In One Thousand Gifts, Voskamp explores what it is to “fully live” —delving into Jesus’ earthly life, taking bread and giving thanks.

News Beat CR April 2011 Print Email
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Thursday, 05 May 2011 04:16 PM America/New_York

Pat Williams—Orlando Magic co-founder and author of numerous Christian books—has been diagnosed with bone cancer. Williams, 70, was diagnosed in January after an extensive physical the Magic require of all executives. Multiple myeloma is inoperable and incurable, but sometimes can be treated with chemotherapy to the point of inactivity. Williams has written more than 70 books, including his latest—Coach Wooden: The 7 Principles That Shaped His Life and Will Change Yours—released in February by Revell/Baker Publishing Group.  


Christian novelist Leisha Kelly was killed in a car accident Jan. 25 near Fowler, Ill. She was 47. Her 16-year-old son, Justice, also died in the accident. A resident of Clayton, Ill., Kelly authored 11 books, including The House on Malcolm Street, published by Revell/Baker Publishing Group in September 2010.  


Tyndale House Publishers will publish the novelization of Courageous—the follow-up from the makers of the hit movie Fireproof—which will release in theaters nationwide Sept. 30. Based on the screenplay by Alex and Stephen Kendrick, Courageous: A Novel—to be released in August and retail for $14.99—will be written by best-selling author Randy Alcorn. Versions of the Kendricks' The Love Dare (B&H Books/B&H Publishing Group)a plot device in Fireproof and published in 2008have sold more than 4 million copies.  


A division of Salem Communications Corp., Salem Consumer Products has acquired an online bookstore that specializes in a Reformed selection of evangelical books and Bibles. Evangelical Bible Book Store,, focuses on resources in areas such as history, Puritan writings, science and creation, as well as theology and doctrine. Salem Consumer Products also owns another online Christian bookstore——with a catalog of more than 100,000 Christian products.

News Beat CR March 2011 Print Email
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Friday, 04 March 2011 03:05 PM America/New_York

Curtis_KenVeteran Christian filmmaker Ken Curtis died Jan. 3 after a long battle with cancer in Palm Harbor, Fla. He was 71. Curtis was the founder and president of Gateway Films/Vision Video and Christian History Institute. Curtis—who produced The Cross and the Switchblade, a 1970 film starring Pat Boone as inner-city minister David Wilkerson and Erik Estrada as gang member Nicky Cruz—specialized in featuring the stories of early Christian pioneers such as William Tyndale and John Wycliffe through films and videos.  


UnsinkableTeen sailor Abby Sunderland has signed with Thomas Nelson to write a book telling how she set out to become the youngest person in history to circumnavigate the globe alone last year. Unsinkable: A Young Woman’s Courageous Battle on the High Seas is to be released next month.   


Longtime Billy Graham Crusade soloist George Beverly Shea was to be honored for his gospel music career with a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Recording Academy. The presentation was to be made at a special ceremony Feb. 12 during GRAMMY Awards week, a few days after Shea’s 102nd birthday. Shea has recorded more than 70 albums, earning 10 GRAMMY nominations and winning once, in 1965.   ?


Heralding the release of The Four Holy Gospels—an exquisite edition of the four Gospels in the English Standard Version—Crossway hosted renowned artist Makoto Fujimura with a Jan. 21 exhibit of his work from the project. Published in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the King James Version Bible, The Four Holy Gospels incorporates five large-scale paintings, four opening plates—one for each of the Gospels—plus 89 initial letters, each painted and many adorned with gold flecks and foil. Known for his use of traditional Japanese Nihonga techniques and his passion for reconnecting spirituality with fine art, Fujimura attended the exhibit at Crossway’s Wheaton, Ill., headquarters.

News Beat CR February 2011 Print Email
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Thursday, 20 January 2011 10:37 AM America/New_York

BonhoefferThe plus-sized World War II biography of German pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer made Barnes & Noble’s Best of 2010 Books. Eric Metaxas’ Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy (Thomas Nelson) was named among 25 titles of B&N’s Best Nonfiction Books. At more than 600 pages and nearly $30 retail, Bonhoeffer has seen unanticipated strong sales and rave reviews since its April 2010 release.   

MercyMe won the Contemporary Inspirational Favorite Artist category of the 38th annual American Music Awards (AMA), held Nov. 21 in Los Angeles. MercyMe, which also won the award in 2004, was chosen over Casting Crowns and TobyMac. For the fourth year, AMA winners were determined by online voting.   ?

Smith_MichaelWMulti-platinum artists Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith were to kick off a multi-city tour this month that reunited the two iconic singer-songwriters for the first time on the road in more than two decades. The 2 Friends Tour was slated to hit approximately 20 cities across the country, including Chicago; Omaha, Neb.; Minneapolis; and Cleveland. The two, who have won nine GRAMMY Awards combined and sold more than 47 million albums, first toured together in 1982 on Grant’s Age to Age Tour.   ?

Inspirational gift pioneer Bob Siemon saw a good response to a new Seasonal Sales Program introduced as his company marked its 40th anniversary last year. Around 175 items from Bob Siemon Designs’ (BSD) inventory were discounted 60%-97% for the Back to School promotion offered to stores in August. A second Christmas discount offer gave minimum savings of 80% on around 150 items, with an Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and graduation promotion due this month. As part of the sales program, BSD opened a warehouse showroom at its Santa Ana, Calif., headquarters, which marked a Grand Opening in November.

News Beat Int'l CR January 2011 Print Email
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Wednesday, 29 December 2010 10:36 AM America/New_York

INTL_BEAT-Zschech_DarleneWell-known worship leader Darlene Zschech, 45, has left the Australian megachurch where she has served for 25 years to become senior pastor of a nearby Pentecostal church. Zschech, whose songs “Shout to the Lord,” “The Potter’s Hand,” “Glorify Your Name” and numerous others made the name of Hillsong Church in Sydney synonymous with modern worship music worldwide, will lead Church Unlimited on Australia’s Central Coast with her husband, Mark, starting Jan. 23. The Zschechs will still be involved in various Hillsong praise & worship projects.   

After six years of service, Graham Sopp stepped down at the end of last month as Biblica’s European ministries director. Sopp served in a number of roles, including U.K. national director and group vice president of Eurasia. He also provided leadership to STL Distribution’s U.K. operation following its merger with the International Bible Society in 2008.   ?

INTL_BEAT-FrankfurtBookFairEight Christian magazines in Eastern Europe, Asia and South America will receive free digital publishing software from FlipViewer Xpress Creator. The magazines won the prize in a Digital Publishing Platform Giveaway created by Magazine Training International (MTI) for E-Book Systems. The company donated the software as a support to MTI’s efforts to help Christian magazines in developing countries.   ?

U.S. Christian publishers reported an increase in appointments during the Oct. 12-16 Frankfurt Book Fair in Frankfurt, Germany,which drew more than 25 Christian publishers—represented by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association through its cooperative exhibit, also known as the Christian Collective. ECPA officials said that the increased appointments was attributed to the Christian Collective unable to attend the London Book Fair last year due to the Icelandic volcanic ash forcing the closure of London’s Heathrow Airport.

News Beat CR January 2011 Print Email
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Wednesday, 29 December 2010 09:50 AM America/New_York

NEWS_BEAT-TimTebowThe parent company of Zondervan, HarperCollins will publish the inspirational memoir of Tim Tebow, an outspoken Christian considered one of the greatest college football players of all time. Slated to be released April 19, Through My Eyes will tell the story of  the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, two-time national champion at the University of Florida and now a rookie with the Denver Broncos.   ?

NEWS_BEAT-ThirdDay2009Third Day’s “Follow Me There”—a song from the GRAMMY-winning band’s latest album—was selected as the theme music for Sarah Palin’s Alaska, a new documentary-style series that premiered in November on TLC. The song is from Third Day’s 11th studio release, Move, released Oct. 19 by Essential Records/Provident Label Group. TLC and Provident Label Group agreed to cross-promote the series to Third Day fans and the group to the network’s viewers.   

 A movie telling the inspirational life story of surfer Bethany Hamilton—a Christian teen who had her left arm bitten off by a tiger shark—will be released in theaters April 15. Based on Hamilton’s Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board (MTV Books), which was sold in some Christian bookstores, the film, also called Soul Surfer, stars AnnaSophia Robb as Bethany; Dennis Quaid; Helen Hunt; and Carrie Underwood as church youth leader Sarah Hill.

Drummer for Seattle-based Christian band The Myriad, Randy Miller died Nov. 5 after battling chondrosarcoma—a form of bone cancer—since 2008. He was 39. Miller founded and ran a construction company before joining The Myriad in 2006. The band—whose albums include You Can’t Trust A Ladder (Floodgate Records) and With Arrows, With Poise (Koch Records)—is currently working on its new album, to be released in early 2011. Miller is survived by his wife, Kristyn, and two children, Conner, 11, and Gillian, 9.

News Beat CR December 2010 Print Email
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Monday, 22 November 2010 03:04 PM America/New_York

BillGaitherCrackerBarrel Gaither Music Group has launched an exclusive fall promotion of music, DVDs and gifts at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store locations. The chain is offering special editions of Gaither Homecoming releases, Giving Thanks and Count Your Blessings on DVD and CD, plus the Gaither Vocal Band’s Greatly Blessed and Bill Gaither: Christmas In the Country CDs. As well as music, the partnership includes a new line of Homecoming gifts and keepsakes. Among them are a Bill Gaither rocking chair, an etched “Because He Lives” necklace, a 2011 daily planner and a journal.  


 walker_albertinaGospel singer Albertina Walker died Oct. 8 after battling emphysema. She was 81. Hailed the “Queen of Gospel,” Walker founded the Caravans at age 22, which helped launch the music careers of gospel legends such as Shirley Caesar, Inez Andrews, Dorothy Norwood, Bessie Griffin and the Rev. James Cleveland. Walker was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2001. The following year President George W. Bush honored Walker for her contribution to gospel music in a ceremony at the White House.   ?


 Point of Grace won Entertainer of the Year during the 16th Annual Inspirational Country Music Awards Show, held Oct. 14, at the Trinity Music City USA Auditorium in Hendersonville, Tenn. Carrie Underwood won Inspirational Video of the Year for her No. 1 hit “Temporary Home,” while Sandra Bullock’s Oscar-winning film The Blind Side was recognized with the Faith, Family and Country Movie of the Year.   ?

 LifeWay Christian Stores named Jan Watkins, who runs LifeWay Christian Store in Tukwila, Wash., as 2010 Manager of the Year. Watkins was honored Oct. 11 during the awards banquet of the National Sales Meeting, an annual event for all LifeWay store managers and leadership, held at the LifeWay Ridgecrest Conference Center in Ridgecrest, N.C.

News Beat CR November 2010 Print Email
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Tuesday, 19 October 2010 11:48 AM America/New_York

Marshall_PeterChristian historian and author Peter J. Marshall died Sept. 8 after suffering a heart attack . He was 70. Marshall co-authored three best-selling U.S. history books—The Light and the Glory and From Sea to Shining Sea (Fleming H. Revell Co.) as well as Sounding Forth the Trumpet (Revell/Baker Publishing Group). His mother, Catherine Marshall, was well-known for writing the groundbreaking 1967 novel Christy (McGraw-Hill)—the namesake of the Christy Awards.


Third-day GRAMMY-winning band Third Day has been awarded its ninth overall Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) milestone with the Gold certification of Revelations (Essential Records/Provident-Integrity Distribution), released in July 2008. The recognition represents more than 500,000 units sold of RevelationsOfferingsOfferings IICome Together, Time and the CD/DVD version of Live Wire and the live-concert video project Live Revelations: On Stage, Off Stage, Backstage all received RIAA Gold status. Offerings and Live Wire reached the Platinum threshold for shipments exceeding 1 million units or 100,000 units in longform video. Third Day's 11th studio release, Move, was released by Essential Records last month.


Riven, Jerry B. Jenkins' Tyndale House Publishers novel adaptation, is to be directed by his son, Dallas. Filming begins in December for the 2008 book, which the author considers as his life's work. In Riven, he explores the theme of redemption, while looking at the topics of death, capital punishment, forgiveness and grace.


Matt Maher and Greg Walton were among the big winners of the United Catholic Music and Video Association's (UCMVA) 10th annual Unity Awards. New Artist of the Year for 2003, Maher won the 2010 Artist of the Year, Pop/Contemporary Song of the Year ("Alive Again") and Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year (Alive Again) categories during the organization's "Called to Serve" conference at Southside Victory Church in Calgary, Alberta, Aug. 27-28.

News Beat CR September 2010 Print Email
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Monday, 16 August 2010 04:45 PM America/New_York


Newsboys-BornAgainCDHeavily promoted by Christian retail chains, the Newsboys’ first album to feature new lead singer Michael Tait—formerly of dcTalk—sold more than 45,000 units its first week, becoming the biggest release in the band’s history. The pop/rock group’s 15th studio project, Born Again (Inpop Records) was the second-highest Christian artist debut on the Billboard Overall chart and the third-highest debut on the SoundScan Contemporary Christian Overall chart for 2010, selling 45,311 units since its July 13 release.


Hunter_CharlesHealing evangelist and author Charles Edward Hunter died June 21 in his Houston-area home after being in frail health for several years. He was 89. Hunter and his wife, Frances, wrote numerous books on divine healing, including the best-seller How to Heal the Sick (Whitaker House), and they produced teaching DVDs to train others in healing ministry. Hunter also wrote Handbook for Healing and Angel Book (both Whitaker House).



Munce Group’s Christian Product Expo (CPE), scheduled for Sept. 12-14, will feature the premiere of the next, much-anticipated release from the creators of the besst-selling Facing the Giants and Fireproof. CPE will show a screening of Courageous, a police drama addressing issues of fatherhood that likely will not be released in theaters until fall 2011.


A documentary by New Leaf Publishing Group won commendations from the International Christian Visual Media (ICVM) group. Evolution: The Grand Experiment—The Quest for an Answer, based on a book by Carl Werner, took first place in the Best Youth Film and Best Curriculum categories of the organization’s 2010 awards and a second spot for best Documentary Over $50,000. The honors were announced at the ICVM conference held in St. Louis in July, prior to the International Christian Retail Show there. The first in a planned series of videos, the documentary was released last year and has been shown in more than 70 countries.

News Beat CR August 2010 Print Email
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Thursday, 05 August 2010 09:34 AM America/New_York

HamasSigningAn immigration judge June 30 dismissed the deportation case against Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of a Hamas founder, who had become a spy for Israel. The author of Son of Hamas (Tyndale House Publishers), Yousef spoke at ICRS while under threat of being deported. Yousef, 32, received a standing ovation there and also had a long line for his book signing at the Tyndale booth the following day. The judge's ruling in San Diego came after the federal government decided that Yousef was not a terrorist threat. The Department of Homeland Security initially denied Yousef's asylum request in February 2009. No explanation was given by the government attorney for the abrupt change in position.


icrs_sundayVBSStandard Publishing announced the theme for its 2011 Vacation Bible School (VBS), officially introducing Inside Out & Upside Down on Main Street: Where Jesus Makes a Difference Every Day! Each day of the new VBS, children will learn a parable that teaches an important quality of the Christian life. Standard Publishing introduced the VBS curriculum at its Sneak Peak Product Party, which offered retailers and their families a taste of foods from the Gateway City.


Apparel maker Kerusso announced the winner of its Live For Him/Compassion International mission trip at its 3:16 floor event that drew more than 150 retailers. The winner was Calvary Church Bookstore of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., which sold the most Live For Him product in the last 12 months. Two store employees will join Kerusso President and CEO Vic Kennett and Compassion in the Dominican Republic this December.


Bridge-Logos Foundation announced the winner of a unique giveaway. As winner, Peggy Knudsen of The Word Shoppe in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, was given two choices and picked $1,000 worth of product instead of having Bridge-Logos Executive Vice President of Marketing Steve Becker work for two days at her store.