ECPA's Rush To PressPublishing leaders “look back and move forward” at ECPA Leadership Summit

  • ECPA 40th anniversary celebrated with industry alumni and reflections on industry past, present and future.

  • Sessions focus on trends in data, the “new” author, Christian retail channel, intersecting faith & culture, and more.
  • New ECPA board members voted in: Dwight Baker (Baker Publishing Group) to serve as Board Chair.

Colorado Springs, May 1, 2014 – The ECPA Leadership Summit adjourned yesterday with over 135 publishing leaders in attendance at the Focus on the Family headquarters in Colorado Springs. Celebrating its 40th anniversary, ECPA gathered industry alumni and Christian publishers for an anniversary reception and awards banquet emceed by Jerry Jenkins, that featured industry awards, milestones, and reflections, including the Christian Book Award® winners. The Leadership Summit opened the next morning with informative sessions on new consumer and sales data, trends in author engagement, the future of the Christian retail channel, faith & culture issues, and more.

“We are stewards of the message and servants of the messengers,” challenged Bruce Barbour, Christian literary agent whose family has served in Christian publishing for four generations. “Our daily work is truly about one heart, two eyes at a time as we face new challenges but share the same transforming message of the Gospel.”

Religion News Service columnist Jonathan Merritt further challenged publishers on their approach to engaging the culture we’re in: “Many Christians are disturbed by the trends shaping our current cultural moment, and some have devoted their lives to joining some sort of culture war in an attempt to turn back the hand of time. But most of the next generation — both Christians and non-believers — have made peace with these things. And rather than fight to change them back, many Christians today want and need to know how to be faithful to the good news of Jesus while living in the tension.”

Attendees also heard from Jeremy Greenfield (DBW), Christian retailers John Nardini (Mardel), Steve Potratz (Parable), Tim Vineyard (LifeWay), with Curtis Riskey (CBA); Ron Rosenberg (Business Self-Defense), Charlie Friscia (Nielsen Bookscan), Peter McCarthy (McCarthy Digital), Jim Daly (Focus on the Family CEO), along with Mark Kuyper (ECPA) and Cris Doornbos (ECPA outgoing Chair and CEO of David C Cook).

At the ECPA annual member meeting, four board members were voted in. Second term candidates were Dwight Baker, president of Baker Publishing Group, who will serve as ECPA chair; and Bob Fryling, publisher of InterVarsity Press, who will serve as board secretary. Byron Williamson, CEO/Publisher of Worthy Publishing Group; and Joe Wikert, Director of Strategy at Olive Software, will join the ECPA board as first-term candidates. Remaining on the board are vice-chair Dave Moberg, senior VP at HarperCollins Christian; treasurer Jerry Kregel, VP/CFO of Kregel Publications; member at large Jeff Wright, CEO of Urban Ministries; Stephen Cobb, president of Waterbrook/Multnomah; Tammy Gaines, VP of Abingdon Press; Jeff Johnson, COO of Tyndale House; Cory Verner, president/publisher of eChristian; and Selma Wilson, president of B&H Publishing Group.

ECPA extends appreciation to outgoing board chair Cris Doornbos (President/CEO of David C Cook) and outgoing vice-chair Gretchen Goldsmith (co-founder/president/CEO of Rose Publishing and Aspire Press) for their extensive, valuable and generous service to the Association as executive board members.

ECPA’s next Leadership Summit is scheduled for May 4-6, 2015 in Chicago. More information at

ECPA Media Contact: Mark Kuyper, ECPA President/CEO, 480-966-3998,


The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) is an international non- profit trade organization, comprised of nearly 200 member companies worldwide, representing a combined revenue of nearly $1.4 billion. Since 1974, ECPA has strengthened Christian publishing by building Networking, Information, and Advocacy opportunities within the industry and across multiple channels so that our members can more effectively produce and deliver transformational Christian content.

For more information about ECPA: 480-966-3998,,

Christian Book Award® is a registered trademark of ECPA