Christian Product Expo Murfreesboro gathers independent retailers Print
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Monday, 29 September 2014 04:48 PM America/New_York

TenthAvenueNorth-webMunce Group hosted independent Christian retailers Sept. 21-23 for the Christian Product Expo (CPE) at Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Highlights of the event included a talk from author Ryan Dobson (Building a Family Legacy Project, LifeWay Christian Resources); devotions with Philip Yancey (Vanishing Grace, Zondervan); the Author Meet and Greet Personality Party and dinner hosted by Charisma Media; the Night of Worship with Jon Weece, author of Jesus Prom (Thomas Nelson) and music by Kim Hill, Ashley Cleveland, Margaret Becker and Paulette Wooten; music and readings from The Isaacs, who were attending on behalf of their mother, Lily Isaac, who recently wrote You Don’t Cry Out Loud (New Leaf Publishing Group); a message from Tullian Tchividjian based on his book One Way Love (David C Cook); and an acoustic set from Tenth Avenue North.

Bookstore Manager conducted training for the retailers, and there were workshops on topics such as merchandising led by Michelle Amster, Bible training with Dylan Hillhouse of HarperCollins Christian Publishing and involvement with Compassion International by Brock Eastman. Working Title Agency’s Bill Reeves and Brian Mitchell spoke about “Faith Films—The Next Growth Area” for retailers.

Munce Group President Kirk Blank was pleased with the event.

“CPE provides an opportunity for independent stores to participate in a conference and tradeshow that is specifically designed to bring encouragement, equipping through training, workshops and product education, and engagement with like-minded retailers and the vendors who support this vital channel of our industry,” Blank said. “It was a great blessing to bring together a couple-hundred independent Christian retailers, a hundred Christian product vendors and over 50 Christian authors and artists all under one roof. New accounts were opened, significant product orders were written, hundreds of handshakes and hugs were given, and new friendships were made and old friends revisited. This year was one of the best CPE’s yet!”

The event marked the first time many retailers had attended a Christian Product Expo (CPE) and was their introduction to the Christian products industry.

“I’m new to the industry,” said Gary Courtney from One Way Book Store in Selma, Alabama. “I learned a lot and will come again.”

Veteran retailers were also positive about the event.

“CPE is a great opportunity to get up to date, network with other stores, get personal with authors and artists, and finally to get some great business ideas,” said Mark Griffin from J. Farvers Christian Books & Gifts in Shipshewana, Indiana.

The show floor closed Tuesday at noon with three cash-prize drawings, which were awarded to Living Room Books & Gifts (Bastrop, TX), $400; Parable Christian Store of St. Joseph (St. Joseph, MI), $600; and Jacob’s Well (Calhoun, GA), $1,500.

CPE ( will be in Hershey, Pennsylvania, Jan. 18-20 at the Hershey Lodge. Best-selling author Randy Singer will address the group on Sunday evening, and author Stan Toler will be the keynote speaker with the Collingsworth Family at the Monday evening banquet.