As we turn the calendar to 2017, here’s a snapshot of some of the events that impacted the Christian retail marketplace in the past year.

Major changes

In one of the greatest industry revolutions in its more than 66 years, CBA’s strategic alliance with Content Road Media Corporation is helping bring new profit and sales to Christian stores.

UNITE 2016, CBA’s International Christian Retail Show, held June 26-29 in Cincinnati, Ohio, delivered new dimensions of fellowship, ministry, and business to Christian product providers, and a new CBA UNITE Rewards program.

With the July issue, CBA launched its redesigned magazine.

CBA, the leading association for providers of Christian products, and NetGalley announced a joint initiative to give Christian retailers quicker and wider access to digital galleys.

Tyndale House Publishers’ board of directors elected company president Mark Taylor to the position of CEO/chairman following the retirement of long-time board chairman Charles Stair.

Following its acquisition of Gospel Light and Standard Publishing resources, David C Cook created the Learning Resources Strategic Ministry Unit.

Eugene, OR-based Harvest House Publishers reorganized into two publishing groups: The Willamette Group and The McKenzie Group, named after two area rivers.

Because of a shift in company strategy, WaterBrook and Multnomah, imprints of Crown at Penguin Random House, LLC., became two distinct imprints.

Warner Music Group (WMG) sold its stake in Word Entertainment to Curb Records, making Word a wholly owned division of Curb.

Shawn Morin was named president and CEO of Ingram Content Group succeeding John Ingram.

Swanson Christian Products realigned senior management to enhance strategic focus on business and ministry.

B&H Publishing Group began a complete revision of the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB), including a new name.

AMG Publishers announced it will focus new product development on Bibles, Bible reference, and youth fiction.

The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) assumed ownership and administration of The Christy Award program.

Tyndale House Publishers combined its two nonfiction acquisitions and marketing teams into one group, Tyndale Momentum.

The closure of Send The Light Distribution left “a huge hole in the Christian marketplace,” according to Eric Kampmann, CEO of Midpoint Trade Books.

CBA unveiled its new website at

Christian Book Distributors (CBD) completed its 70,000 square-foot warehouse expansion at its headquarters in Peabody, Massachusetts.

InterVarsity Press’s parent organization InterVarsity Christian Fellowship made headlines for starting a process of “involuntary terminations” for any staff member who comes forward to disagree with the company’s position on human sexuality—specifically, that any sexual activity outside of marriage between a husband and wife is immoral.

The Christian Writers Institute, founded in 1945 by Robert Walker, changed hands and formats.

Abbey Press will close its trade marketing and printing divisions in mid-2017, after nearly 150 years of printing and marketing Christian books and gifts.

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a case on Monday that could lead to states collecting sales taxes lost to internet giants such as Amazon.

Passed Away

Charles Ryrie, known for The Ryrie Study Bible, died Feb. 16.

Gilbert Morris passed away on Feb. 18 at the age of 86.

Gospel great Buck Rambo passed away Feb. 21 at the age of 84.

Jerry Bridges, NavPress author and 60-year member of The Navigators ministry, died on March 6 at the age of 86.

Bestselling author and speaker Gary Smalley also died on March 6.

Jan “Momma Jan” Crouch died following a stroke.

Kenneth E. Bailey, respected author, lecturer, and a Middle Eastern New Testament studies scholar, passed away May 23 at the age of 85.

HarperCollins Christian Publishing VP Scott Harvey passed away June 3.

Dr. Tim LaHaye, most noted for the “Left Behind” series, died at age 90.

Publishing veteran Nick Jones, former managing director of Lion Hudson, died on Aug. 4.

Best-selling author Emilie Barnes died on Aug. 31.

On Oct. 16, author Dr. Lawrence O. Richards passed away.

Author and theologian Charles Peter Wagner died on Oct. 21.

Shirley Hawkins, partner in one of Christian publishing’s most successful companies, went home to be with the Lord on Nov. 23 at the age of 90.

Author Sandra D. Bricker died on Nov. 26.

Author Thomas C. Oden, a respected editor, researcher, and ecumenical scholar, died on Dec. 8 at the age of 85.


CBA presented several awards recognizing excellence and service to the Christian-products industry at UNITE 2016.

Cedar Springs Christian Store in Knoxville, Tennessee, marked its 40th anniversary.

The 58th Annual GRAMMY Awards, presented on Feb. 16, honored several bestselling Christian artists.

Family Christian said War Room was the fastest-selling DVD in company history.

More than 1 million combined reading plans from Thomas Nelson and Zondervan have been completed through YouVersion’s Bible App and website.

Yates-Chance Christian Bookstore celebrated its 40th anniversary in Cullman, AL.

Carolina Christian Supply (Winston-Salem, NC) celebrated its 30th anniversary on April 1.

KCBS (Korea Christian Book Service) celebrated its 25th anniversary.

The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) announced the winners of the 2016 Christian Book Awards and the 2016 Christian Book of the Year.

The 29 winners of the 2016 Audie Awards were announced.

Crossroads Books & Coffee celebrated its 40th anniversary May 13 and 14.

The 2016 K-LOVE Fan Awards were presented June 5 at the Grand Old Opry.

The Book Industry Study Group, Inc. (BISG) celebrated its 40th anniversary.

Winners of the 2016 Christy Awards were announced.

Oasis Books in Logan, Utah celebrated 33 years in business.

American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) recognized significant achievement in Christian fiction at the 2016 Awards Gala.

Christianity Today’s 2017 Book Awards represent titles in 12 categories that are “most likely to shape evangelical life, thought, and culture.”


Anchor Distributors, a division of Whitaker Corporation, and Bridgestone Multimedia Group (BMG) inked an agreement giving Anchor exclusive licensing rights to produce, market, and distribute Bridgestone films and teaching videos to Christian retail.

Pure Flix Entertainment and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (UPHE) announced a long-term, multi-year distribution services agreement.

David C Cook and Voice of the Martyrs partnered on the “i am n” initiative to raise awareness of the plight of exiled Christians in Syria and Iraq and support refugees with material help and spiritual encouragement.

The Perseus Books Group and Ingram Content Group entered into an agreement to sell Perseus’ client services business to Ingram.

Worthy Publishing partnered with Genesis Marketing Group for sales representation to independent Christian retail.

Follett Corporation acquired Baker & Taylor, LLC.

The Steve Laube Agency became the publisher of the 2017 edition of The Christian Writer’s Market Guide.

RCA Inspiration began operating under the umbrella of the Provident Music Group, a division of Sony Music Entertainment.

New Day Christian Distributors and Word Entertainment expanded their distribution relationship.

Outsell Inc., a research and advisory firm focused on media, information, and technology, partnered with The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) to provide their members with the market intelligence needed to create growth strategies.


Melanie Shankle signed with Zondervan for two trade books, a DVD curriculum, and a gift devotional.

New York Times best-selling author Jonathan Cahn signed a book contract with Charisma House/FrontLine.

Bestselling Bible teacher Beth Moore debuted her first novel, The Undoing of Saint Silvanus, with Tyndale.

Bible scholar Eugene H. Peterson inked a multiple-book deal with WaterBrook, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

WaterBrook has signed former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow.

Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, signed a three-book contract with former Thomas Nelson Publishing CEO Michael Hyatt.


Sylvia Robinson, owner of My Time Christian Bookstore in Monroeville, AL, is opening a second location.

LifeWay Christian Resources made plans to relocate its downtown headquarters to a new building to be built at the Capitol View mixed-use project site.

Mardel is opening a 25,000-square-foot store at a 106-acre development in Wichita, KS.

Redemption Bookstore (Onalaska, WI) will celebrate its grand opening April 2.

In His Time, a new Christian bookstore in downtown Crawfordsville, Indiana, celebrates their grand opening July 18-23.