Christian Retailing

Christian publishers’ group marks 40 years Print Email
Written by Ken Walker   
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 08:12 AM America/New_York

Association helps ‘set the bar high’ for Christian publishing industry in working for ‘the greater good’

ChristianPublishersWhile marching into a future likely to offer increasing industry challenges, the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) paused to celebrate its 40th anniversary during the group’s April Leadership Summit in Colorado Springs, Colo.

People like David C Cook’s CEO Cris Doornbos, chairman of ECPA’s board, hailed the association as a vital resource for the industry.

“I became a part of Christian publishing in 1983 and fully invested myself in it ever since,” said Doornbos, which hosted a 40-year “Retro Party” during the conference. “ECPA played a significant role in my personal and professional leadership goals, as I had the opportunity to build relationships with leaders throughout its membership.”

ECPA President and CEO Mark Kuyper sees the association becoming even more important in the future.

ECPA’s fourth leader said the association’s networking, data gathering and educational initiatives have already helped members traverse the digital revolution. Keeping members up to date on developments will be crucial as e-books morph into new forms, Kuyper said.

“The traditional e-book isn’t the future,” he said. “We talk about publishers making a message known. You can do that in a couple sentences and make it known around the world in a few seconds.

“I think we’re going to see a lot of creative electronic solutions to getting the message to the right people at the right place. It’s not simply going to be taking what was in print and making it available on an electronic reader.”

During the anniversary banquet that opened the Leadership Summit, presenters announced the 2014 Christian Book Awards in seven categories as well as the Christian Book of the Year award. ECPA also celebrated where it has come since originating as a one-man shop under Executive Director Donald Brandenburg.

C.E. Andrew, known as Ted, replaced Brandenburg in 1981, with Doug Ross succeeding Andrew as president in 1987. Kuyper, formerly in marketing with CBA, arrived in 2004 and assumed the mantle of CEO.

Among the 17 publishing houses and 23 individual charter members was Thomas Nelson Publishers, now under the HarperCollins Christian Publishing (HCCP) umbrella. 

HCCP’s senior vice president and group publisher, David Moberg, lauded ECPA for promoting professionalism and raising members’ effectiveness by equipping them to meet the marketplace’s ever-changing needs.

“Four decades later, as we continue to go through significant transitions, that vision is even more relevant and needed,” Moberg said. “We are grateful to be part of an organization that helps us set the bar high.”

Dave Schroeder, director of communications for B&H Publishing Group’s trade book marketing, said the Nashville house finds value in ECPA’s online and in-person training and conferences, and especially appreciates the best-seller lists.

“The best-seller list has been integral to understanding the trends of what type of content is connecting with readers who go into Christian bookstores,” he said. “It also provides a good look at how we can better serve our retail partners to serve their customers.”

Marilyn Largent, vice president for sales at David C Cook, said the best-seller lists offer additional value charting across all sales channels.

“This has become a great asset for book sales in the industry,” Largent said. “When we have a title on the ECPA list, it makes a difference in purchasing decisions for the general market and ABA accounts.”

ECPA’s best-seller lists and seminars are just two of many developments dotting its timeline. The group sponsored its first management seminar in Colorado Springs in 1975 and a year later attracted its first “name” speaker: former White House aide Charles Colson.

In 1978, the association launched its Gold Medallion Book Awards, naming five award winners. The number of categories would triple in 1987 before shrinking after taking on a new name, Christian Book Award, in 1996.

ECPA presented its first Lifetime Achievement Award to Pat Zondervan, founder and chairman of Zondervan, in 1982 and two years later launched its inaugural major research project on book sales.

In 1984, the association sent its first collective of publishers to exhibit at the Frankfurt Book Fair and the following year dispatched representatives to the Moscow International Book Fair.

The organization’s other achievements include the following:

  • Completing The Moscow Project in 1994, which saw 4 million New Testaments distributed across Russia.
  • Sponsoring its first Spanish Expolit with the Spanish Evangelical Publishers Association in 1993
  • Hitting a record year for Gold and Platinum sales awards in 2003, when 60 titles reached milestones of 500,000 or 1 million copies.
  • Sponsoring its first PubU (Publishing University) in 2004.
  • Producing a new multi-channel best-seller list in 2010.

There were setbacks too. Most recently the Christian Book Expo in Dallas in 2009 saw a tepid consumer response at the peak of the economic downturn. Low attendance numbers forced its cancellation for the following year.

On the plus side, Kuyper said the awards program ECPA runs does the same for the Christian industry that the Academy Awards and the GRAMMYs do for movies and music.

“I think this has been one of the most significant tools we’ve had,” he said. “Back in the day, we had very little media coverage and very little retail support, but we’ve continued to (attract) support.”

Another accomplishment that generates few headlines outside the industry has been ECPA’s anti-piracy advocacy, which included successfully engaging ina drawn-out battle to remove copyrighted content from a London-based website.

More recently, the association worked with Nigerian authorities to crack down on sales of pirated material.

Kuyper is pleased that a sizable group gathered to observe ECPA’s 40th anniversary since it draws a sharp contrast with conditions in 1974. He recalled Brandenburg’s challenge in developing cooperation at a time when little existed among the publishers.

The data gathering that followed shows how publishers became more willing to work together.

“They were willing to take the risk of having some of their data available for the greater good and analyzing the data from a market perspective,” Kuyper said. “You’ve got to be working together and you’ve got to develop a sense of trust for these kinds of tools to be available.”

 
Barbour partners with Back to the Bible to serve churches with new goTandem nonfiction imprint Print Email
Written by Jeremy Burns   
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 08:52 AM America/New_York

Popular Scripture-based app inspires line of ‘life-changing resources’

GoTandemLogoLargeBarbour Publishing announced an exclusive partnership with Back to the Bible on Feb. 6. Under the new agreement, negotiated by Greg Johnson of WordServe Literary Group, Barbour will work with Back to the Bible to launch the goTandem book imprint to provide quality nonfiction resources especially for churches.

These resources will complement the successful goTandem mobile app, which provides daily biblical encouragement, catered to individual needs. 

“We’re thrilled to be aligned with one of the most trusted ministries serving the church today,” said Barbour CEO Timothy Martins. “This unique opportunity to develop practical and life-changing resources with such a passionate and talented team is a privilege.”

The first book release is scheduled for November, with another 12 titles to follow in 2015. The goTandem imprint aims to provide churches with a solid and relevant selection of books that address the unique needs of congregations large and small.

The mission statement of Back to the Bible is to meet people where they are and help them connect with God through daily Bible engagement. It is this strategy that drives the launch of the new imprint, according to Arnie Cole, CEO of Back to the Bible.

“There are few publishers who can combine value with meeting high felt needs of readers, few who can distribute to a broad array of outlets with a sharp eye toward editorial and packaging,” Cole said. “Barbour’s history of creating Bible-oriented books makes them the perfect partner to work with churches to meet the ever-changing needs of local congregations.”

Titles from the new imprint will be distributed by Barbour to churches and bookstores.

 
Adam Hamilton takes five spots on CBA Top 50 Print Email
Written by Jeremy Burns   
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 08:46 AM America/New_York

Abingdon Press ‘honored by the support of our retail partners’

AdamHamiltonLargeAbingdon Press author and pastor Adam Hamilton claimed five spots on the March CBA Top 50 best-sellers list. 

Hamilton’s award-winning The Way: Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus took the No. 10 spot, with Final Words From the Cross (No. 34); 24 Hours That Changed the World (No. 35); The Way: 40 Days of Reflection (No. 36); and Love to Stay: Sex, Grace and Commitment (No. 45) also making the list. 

“Our publishing house has always believed in and championed the writing and ministry of Adam Hamilton, and have enjoyed a long-standing history with him,” said Tamara Crabtree, executive director of marketing and sales at Abingdon Press. “We are honored by the support of our retail partners for Adam’s books and resources. Likewise, we are pleased to know that through our partnership with authors such as Adam, we are meeting the needs of customers for life-changing and application books and studies.”

The March CBA list reflects sales through Feb. 1 in Christian stores as reported through CROSS:SCAN.

 
Harrison House pioneering author Charles Capps dies Print Email
Written by Jennifer LeClaire   
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 08:44 AM America/New_York

Word of Faith preacher’s books launched the charismatic publishing company and have sold millions

CharlesCappsAuthor and Word of Faith preacher Charles Capps died Feb. 23. He was 80.

Capps’ best-selling books, including The Tongue: A Creative Force and God’s Creative Power Will Work for You (both Harrison House), have sold millions of copies and are still in demand. The latter gave birth to the “God’s Creative Power” series, which alone has sold more than 5 million copies.

Capps was a retired farmer, land developer and Bible teacher who traveled extensively throughout the United States and several foreign countries sharing the truths of God’s Word. He taught Bible seminars for more than 35 years, emphasizing the authority of the believer, faith and the power of words.

Capps and his wife, Peggy, had roots in the rich farmland of Lonoke County, Ark. Having been raised by parents who were farmers, Capps began farming cotton, soybeans and rice immediately after graduating from high school and marrying in 1951.

Three-and-a-half months older than Capps, Peggy had to sign as the adult on his behalf when he wanted to take flying lessons at the age of 17. They joined an organization known as the Flying Farmers and gained experience going to “fly-ins” and national meetings across the United States.

Neither knew that this skill of flying would be such an asset later, when Capps began teaching personal evangelism in the 1960s. He spoke on the subject of soul-winning in churches not only in the U.S., but also flew his twin engine Piper Comanche to the Bahamas to teach students of Youth With a Mission how to share Christ with others.

After reading a book by Kenneth E. Hagin entitled Authority of the Believer, Capps’ life took on a new dimension of travel and ministry as he became known for his teaching gift and insight on the subjects of faith and confession.

Invitations to minister to the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship International began to pour in, eventually leading to the publication of Capps’ teachings in book form. The Tongue: A Creative Force and God’s Creative Power Will Work for You became best-sellers after Buddy Harrison, Hagin’s son-in-law, launched his publishing company—Harrison House—with the two titles.

Capps’ Concepts of Faith daily national radio broadcast and a weekly television broadcast aired on several networks, satellite and the Internet.

Capps is survived by his wife, Peggy, and daughters, Annette and Beverly.

 
Harvest House announces corporate restructuring plan Print Email
Written by Jeremy Burns   
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 08:43 AM America/New_York

Changes come as family-owned company enters 40th year of publishing

HarvestHouseNewLogoHarvest House Publishers has announced a strategic corporate restructuring plan designed to generate new sales opportunities and inject more innovation and efficiency into the company. In response to an ever-changing publishing climate, Harvest House is seeking to better employ the strengths of key personnel.

“God has gifted our company with incredibly talented people, and there were opportunities to implement their strengths in exciting new ways that will benefit the company and our authors as we continue to exercise a forward-thinking outlook in everything we do,” said Harvest House President Bob Hawkins Jr. “With this restructuring, I am confident Harvest House will realize new sales growth, an even more invigorating corporate culture and the achievement of the company’s short- and long-range goals and initiatives.”

The first of the corporate changes was the promotion of Vice President of Editorial LaRae Weikert to executive vice president/editorial. In her expanded executive role, Weikert, a 28-year veteran of Harvest House, will handle more corporate-level responsibilities as she applies her leadership abilities and market insights to the company’s publishing program.

In addition, Barb Sherrill, vice president of marketing, was promoted to vice president of product development. In this newly created position in the Editorial department, Sherrill will utilize her more than 25 years of industry experience to lead a team of editors in the acquisition and development of gift, youth and children’s books, and will oversee the growth of the company’s fiction line and the establishment of e-products.

In a key change to its infrastructure, Harvest House also combined the Interactive Media and Design department (IMD) with Marketing, creating the newly formed Marketing Services department. Bryce Williamson, manager of IMD, will now serve as director of marketing services. Williamson brings significant graphic design and marketing experience to this position, as well as an innovative mind-set from his eight years as graphic design manager.

Serving alongside Williamson is Aaron Dillon, former publicist, in his new capacity as marketing services manager. Dillon will assist Williamson in the development of marketing strategies and ensure their efficient implementation.

Other changes at the company include the promotion of Heather Green to manager/corporate development and strategy, and Jeff Marion to the position of covers project manager.

Harvest House is entering its 40th year as an independent, family-run Christian publishing house.

 
Worthy Publishing celebrates record year Print Email
Written by Jeremy Burns   
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 08:42 AM America/New_York

‘Jeremiah Study Bible,’ John Hagee lead with strong sales

WorthyPublishingWorthy Publishing Group (WPG) grew 84% in 2013 versus its already strong start of 64% growth from 2011 to 2012. In the company’s first full year of business, its list of trade books, along with new releases from imprints Ellie Claire, WorthyKids and Inspired, helped WPG establish an aggressive growth profile for the young publishing house.

WPG released The Jeremiah Study Bible right before Thanksgiving, shipping more than 140,000 copies at launch. The release was celebrated by a sell-out crowd at an event at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, featuring David Jeremiah, MercyMe, Kari Jobe and The Brooklyn Tabernacle Singers. This month, Dr. Jeremiah and the Worthy team celebrated a milestone achievement as The Jeremiah Study Bible hit No. 1 on the CBA best-seller chart.

“The enthusiastic support from LifeWay, Family Christian, Barnes & Noble, CBD [Christian Book Distributors], Walmart and so many others is deeply appreciated,” said Worthy President and Publisher Byron Williamson in a Feb. 3 statement. “At the current rate of sale, Dr. Jeremiah’s study Bible will soon surpass 300,000 in print.”

John Hagee’s Four Blood Moons, which had more than 375,000 copies in print by early February, became a New York Times best-seller shortly after its October release.

“Pastor Hagee’s book has captured readers’ imaginations with its message that ‘something is about to change’ on this earth,” Williamson said.

The coming series of four lunar eclipses predicted by NASA are signs from the heavens of things to come, according to Hagee.

Worthy titles slated for release in 2014 include books from authors including Jeremiah, Ted Dekker, Ralph Reed, Bob Coy, Les and Leslie Parrott, Bob Buford, Rudy Rasmus and Stephen Mansfield.

WorthyKids, a new division of WPG, recently signed an expanded publishing deal with DreamWorks Animation for additional rights to VeggieTales. New titles will be releasing throughout the year.

 
‘The Bible,’ ‘Grace Unplugged’ win Movieguide’s Epiphany Prizes Print Email
Written by Jeremy Burns   
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 08:39 AM America/New_York

Robertson family of ‘Duck Dynasty’ fame takes home pair of awards from 22nd Annual Faith & Values Gala

MovieguideAwards2014The Bible miniseries, Grace Unplugged and Duck Dynasty’s Robertson clan each won multiple awards at Movieguide’s 22nd Annual Faith & Values Gala. Held Feb. 7 at the Universal Hilton Hotel in Universal City, Calif., the awards show also featured a special performance by author and singer Joni Earackson Tada.

“What we’re celebrating tonight is you,” said Movieguide founder Ted Baehr to the audience in the award ceremony’s opening address.

People want great movies, and “great movies are great stories well told, with a positive worldview, and that are spiritually uplifting,” Baehr added.

The night’s biggest winners were Grace Unplugged and The Bible, which won the $100,000 Epiphany Prizes for Most Inspiring Movie of 2013 and Most Inspiring TV Program of 2013, respectively.

“What an exciting and humbling honor,” said Brad J. Silverman, writer and director of Grace Unplugged (Lionsgate Entertainment/Capitol Christian Distribution). “Our goal from the beginning was to make a movie that would entertain and inspire families—and to have Movieguide recognize us for doing just that is more special than I can put into words.”

In addition to the Epiphany Prize, Grace Unplugged took home two other awards: Best Film Actress for AJ Michalka and Best Film Actor for James Denton.

“This has been quite a journey for us, for my husband and I, as a married couple, said The Bible co-producer Downey, who along with Burnett, recently released the Jesus-focused full-length film Son of God in theaters. “We were very encouraged all last year.”

Downey also took home the award for Best Television Actress for her part as Jesus’ mother, Mary, in The Bible, a role she reprises in Son of God. Diogo Morgado, who plays Jesus in the miniseries, was runner-up for Best Television Actor. Morgado also reprises his role in Son of God.

Tada’s performance of the title song from Enthuse Entertainment’s Colonial-era drama, Alone Yet Not Alone, received an Oscar nomination in late January, only to have it rescinded by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences a week later. The rare nomination withdrawal was prompted by an alleged ethical breach by the song’s composer, Bruce Broughton, whose email to voters drawing attention to the song was viewed as inappropriate due to his position on the Academy’s executive committee. 

The singer pointed to the silver lining in the disappointing turn of events, indicating that the nomination and its withdrawal had helped bring into the public eye the movie and her cause—people with disabilities such as herself.

“God’s power always shows up best in weakness,” Tada told the Movieguide Awards audience.

Duck Dynasty’s “Till Duck Do Us Part” episode won the Faith & Freedom Award for television. Willie Robertson also won an award for his guest-starring role in the “Back to School” episode of ABC comedy Last Man Standing.

 
Influence Resources announces launch of new praise and worship music division Print Email
Written by Jeremy Burns   
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 08:38 AM America/New_York

Influence Music label follows in the vein of ‘We Believe’ release with works of ‘Holy Spirit-inspired creativity’

Influence Resources, an imprint of My Healthy Church serving “Spirit-empowered believers,” has announced the creation of a music division, Influence Music.

The launch of Influence Music comes on the heels of We Believe, a joint release produced by Influence Resources and Integrity Music, which debuted at No. 1 on SoundScan’s Praise and Worship chart in August 2013. The live worship album showcased original music from leading ministries and set the tone for the kind of work Influence Music will champion as a label.

Influence Music will be distributed by My Healthy Church, a leading provider of Christian church supplies, ministry resources and curriculum. Additionally, Influence Music will provide music publishing administration services for select churches and artists.

Sol Arledge, COO of My Healthy Church, says the timing of the launch is perfect.

“The amount of Holy Spirit-inspired creativity coming from our churches and universities is astounding,” Arledge said. “Combined with the marketing and distribution channels already developed by My Healthy Church, we have a truly unique opportunity to serve the church with outstanding worship music.”

The individuals at the heart of this effort are John Hartley and Malcolm du Plessis. Hartley, who also served as producer on We Believe, has worked in Christian music for decades, first as a member of British duo Phil and John, and later as a mentor and producer for artists like Leigh Nash, Aaron Keyes and Matt Redman.

A songwriter, band manager and pioneer of multicultural, multilingual worship, du Plessis also consulted with labels such as Kingsway Music, Integrity Music and Capitol Christian Music Group.

Influence Music’s first release is set for August.

 
LifeWay customers donate 200,000 Hindi Bibles Print Email
Written by Jeremy Burns   
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 08:32 AM America/New_York

International Mission Board partnership an ‘overwhelming success’

TheThomasProjectLifeWay Christian Stores set a goal last fall of donating 100,000 Hindi language Bibles across South Asia, but customers gave enough for twice that many.

“LifeWay has proven once again it is an organization with a heart for the world,” said Tom Eliff, president of the International Mission Board (IMB). “Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine The Thomas Project would be such an overwhelming success.”

Named for the disciple believed to have been the first Christian missionary to the region, The Thomas Project invited customers at LifeWay’s 186 stores to purchase a Bible for $5 to send to South Asia.

Considering similar initiatives in the past had sold considerably fewer Bibles, the original goal was a significant one for The Thomas Project, a joint venture with LifeWay Christian Stores, B&H Publishing Group and IMB.

This time, however, customers engaged more deeply with the project, giving enough for 200,000 Bibles. Churches continued to donate even after the initiative ended in November, with one church donating enough in January to print 1,200 Bibles.

“We are indeed grateful for the opportunity to partner in ministry with our customers and the IMB through The Thomas Project,” said Thom S. Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. “The response has been amazing, thanks to the Lord’s blessings and the tremendous generosity of our customers who truly have a compassion for the lost and confidence in the Word of God.”

A LifeWay employee mission team will go to South Asia this spring to help IMB workers distribute the Bibles.

“It is especially gratifying that some of our own LifeWay employees will be joining workers in the field to help distribute the Bibles that are so desperately needed,” said Tim Vineyard, vice president of LifeWay Christian Stores. “Our prayer will be that each Bible donated will have a life changing impact on the individuals who receive them.”

The mission team will visit locations strategically selected by IMB and work through local church leaders and believers to distribute the Bibles. Additionally, they will be involved in direct evangelism and training.

“This has been a year of immense blessings and we cannot keep it to ourselves,” said B&H Senior Vice President of Sales Craig Featherstone, who will be on the team to India alongside Bob Van Fleteren, B&H Vice President of International Sales. “Bob and I are so thankful to be able to see God work in this initiative and see the people of South Asia blessed with these Bibles.”

“God has honored the heart desire of both LifeWay and IMB to see the gospel penetrate the unengaged unreached people groups in South Asia,” Eliff said. “We can only dream what will happen as these Hindi Bible are distributed to the new believers and the lost, as well.”

 
LifeWay reports on retail and publishing growth Print Email
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 08:28 AM America/New_York

B&H Publishing called ‘powerful force in Christian publishing’

ThomRainerLifeWay Christian Resources President and CEO Thom Rainer praised the work of B&H Publishing Group and cited the growth of LifeWay Christian Stores in his state of the ministry report, according to Baptist Press. The report was presented at a Feb. 3-4 meeting in Nashville.

“B&H Publishing is an incredible story of growth,” he said. “B&H is now a powerful force in Christian publishing.” 

Rainer particularly noted the advances of the church resources division.

“Our church resources division has turned around a nearly 30-year decline in use of our ongoing Bible study resources in order to get more resources into more churches and the Bible into the hands of more people,” Rainer said. “And Ministry Grid, launched last fall, is the most massive resource we’ve ever produced with thousands of training videos for the local church available anytime, anywhere.”

Rainer also cited last year’s growth of LifeWay Christian Stores, which acquired the 17-store Berean chain and opened nine additional locations. There are now 186 LifeWay Christian Stores in 29 states.

“The Berean acquisition was an incredible endeavor that required cooperation by all of LifeWay—from everyone in the stores division to IT [information technology] and human resources and from finance to legal services.” 

Rainer spoke of his approach to his approach to leadership overall in the report.

“My consistent prayer since coming to LifeWay eight years ago is that I would lead LifeWay with wisdom,” Rainer said. “I don’t want to lead out of my own strength or ability, but with God’s wisdom. And I believe He has shown us His favor in so many ways.”

Rainer said his executive leadership team is “constantly asking honest questions about everything we do at LifeWay. ‘Is LifeWay doing what we should be doing—what God wants us to do?’ We want to be a leader instead of a follower—an influencer instead of simply a reactor.”

He also announced a new LifeWay partnership with Big Oak Ranch, a national ministry to abandoned and neglected children in Alabama. Employees are being given opportunities to donate and provide support for Big Oak.

Trustees at the meeting also approved a response to a motion from last summer’s Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) meeting that SBC entities report how they are assisting churches in “the challenge of ministry to those suffering from mental health issues.”

LifeWay plans to provide a variety of resources to assist individuals and churches in ministering to persons with mental health challenges.

LifeWay’s board also heard reports from the ministry’s executive leadership team, one of which pointed to the organization’s strong financial start to the fiscal year.

 
‘Mercy Rule’ gives Kirk Cameron second consecutive No. 1 DVD Print Email
Written by Jeremy Burns   
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 08:26 AM America/New_York

Family Christian exclusive joins ‘Unstoppable’ with chart-topping sales

MercyRuleKirkCameronKirk Cameron’s Mercy Rule has debuted as the highest-selling DVD in Christian retail in its first week. Released Feb. 14 by the actor’s CAMFAM Studios, Mercy Rule follows on the heels of Cameron’s Unstoppable, which was also the No. 1 best-selling DVD in Christian retail during its release week in late January.

Mercy Rule is available on DVD from Family Christian Stores, the film’s exclusive brick-and-mortar retailer.

Mercy Rule has truly struck a chord with Family Christian customers,” said Family Christian CEO Cliff Bartow. It is a movie that the whole family can enjoy, and its message of families supporting each other through life’s challenges really resonates with our customers.”

Mercy Rule tells the story of a father and son who are facing their own unique challenges. The father (Cameron) is working to save his business from a corrupt lobbyist. The son is trying to find his place on his Little League baseball team. Behind both is a loyal, encouraging family.

“Our hope is that Mercy Rule can be to families what Fireproof was to marriages,” said Cameron, who plays husband to his real-life wife, Chelsea, in the film.

The movie also includes a discussion guide that helps families who want to start conversations around the themes in the film.

“Christian families are clamoring for high-quality, faith- and family-friendly entertainment,” Bartow said. “Through our partnership with CAMFAM Studios, Family Christian looks forward to continuing to deliver the best in Christian entertainment to our customers for years to come.”

Family Christian will donate a portion of the sale of each Mercy Rule DVD to support the Camerons’ Camp Firefly, which provides seriously ill children and their families an all-expenses-paid vacation at the camp.

Cameron’s previous work Unstoppable, a joint production with Liberty University, was the No. 1-ranked DVD for two weeks after its release.