Mavis Sanders 


Carol Stream, Illinois (August 13, 2010)  – Tyndale House Publishers has joined with Christian Publishing Company (Christian Art Gifts and CUM Books) to incorporate Johnsen & Taylor, Inc., a new Christian retail bookstore opening in Wheaton, Illinois, in late October 2010. Johnsen & Taylor Bookstore will be strategically located in Town Square Shopping Center on the south side of Wheaton. CUM Books is the acronym for Christelike Uitgewersmaatskappy Books, the company’s full name in the Afrikaans language.

Johnsen & Taylor is named in honor of Chris Johnsen, who founded Christian Art of South Africa, and in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth Taylor, who founded Tyndale House Publishers. Johan Wessels, newly appointed store manager, said, “I am deeply honored to be entrusted with this responsibility, and I thank God for this opportunity to serve in the community, as we offer people life-changing materials.”

The partners bring unique resources to Johnsen & Taylor, Inc. CUM Books currently operates 41 bookstores within South Africa, while Christian Art Gifts Inc., based in Lombard, Illinois, produces and distributes innovative gift products for the Christian retail channel. Located in Carol Stream, just north of Wheaton, Illinois, Tyndale House Publishers is recognized within the Christian publishing industry as a successful book and Bible publisher, and is known for its strong commitment to the local community. 

 “We are deeply committed to making the resources that a Christian bookstore provides available to our community,” said Paul Mathews, Executive Vice President, Tyndale House Publishers. “As the folks at Tyndale initially shared our desire to see a store established in Wheaton with Chris and Kobus Johnsen, we were pleasantly surprised by Chris Johnsen’s immediate reaction that we should partner together and make this dream come true. Tyndale feels it is an honor and privilege to be serving with the Johnsen family in this new enterprise.”

Tyndale will be represented on the Johnsen & Taylor Bookstore board of directors by Jeff Johnson, Chief Operating Officer, and Paul Mathews, Executive Vice President. Christian Art Gifts Inc. and CUM Books will be represented by Chris, Heinrich, and Kobus Johnsen.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to serve our local community through the ministry of a Christian bookstore,” said Heinrich Johnsen. “We are excited to partner with Tyndale in this endeavor to further the kingdom of Christ.”

Christian Publishing Company has a proud history dating back to 1939 when it was founded in Johannesburg, South Africa. Chris Johnsen opened C H Johnsen Bookshop in 1974 and established Christian Art Distributors in 1975 to distribute books from international publishers in South Africa. The CUM Books retail chain was established in 1991 and currently consists of 41 stores countrywide. Christian Art Gifts has been the main supplier of gift products in South Africa since 1974. Christian Art Gifts Inc. was established in 2003 in Lombard, Illinois, and has quickly grown to become a leading supplier of inspirational giftware in the United States.

The partnership between Tyndale House Publishers and Christian Publishing Company, existing for more than 40 years, has been strengthened by their common goal to honor God and change lives by making God’s Word accessible. Christian Publishing Company published Die Lewende Bybel in 1982, a translation of The Living Bible in the Afrikaans language, and launched Die Nuwe Lewende Vertaling, a translation based on the New Living Translation, in 2006.

Located in Carol Stream, Illinois, Tyndale House Publishers was founded in 1962 by Dr. Kenneth N. Taylor as a means of publishing The Living Bible. Tyndale publishes books and other resources for children, families, and the church, including Bibles in the New Living Translation (NLT). Numerous Tyndale books, such as the popular Left Behind fiction series and several nonfiction works, have appeared on the New York Times Best Sellers List. Tyndale House Publishers is substantially owned by Tyndale House Foundation. As a result, the company’s profits help underwrite the foundation’s mission, which is to spread the Good News of Christ around the world.