Thankful for the Pioneers in Our Industry

by Dan Balow


Yesterday, Steve Laube asked you to thank those who have the most direct connection with readers of books…the retail bookseller.  Steve has Christian retailing in his DNA.  He worked for Berean Christian stores, managing their Phoenix, Arizona locations and was named the Christian Booksellers Association Store of the year in 1989.  You win that award because you balance the business and ministry sides very well.

Today, I am thankful for the pioneers of the Christian publishing industry. At the founding of every Christian publisher are men and women who had a calling from God to publish books, Bibles and other materials that pointed people to Jesus Christ.  If you knew one of these pioneers personally, your life is blessed for it.

I had the privilege of working with one such man, Ken Taylor, who founded Tyndale House Publishers at his kitchen table in 1962.  He was also one of the founders of the Christian Booksellers Association in the 1950’s.  You can read his biography here (

My connection to Ken begins with my wife’s parents, who worked for him from the 1960’s through the early 1990’s. Working for Tyndale from the 1990’s until 2006, I was able to speak, work and pray with him.  I recall him saying, “If we have time to meet about something, we have time to pray about it.”

As his children, God gives us blessings throughout our lives. Among those gifts are people who are examples of his grace and love.  This week I am reminded to be thankful for one of those examples.

What people influenced you?

4 Responses to “Thankful for the Pioneers in Our Industry”

  1. Ron Estrada November 26, 2013 at 5:17 am #

    I’ve never worked in the publishing industry, Dan, but I know what it takes to start and run a business. These men and women must have worked tirelessly to bring us what now seems a never ending supply of books affordable to the common man. In the 19th century, owning more than one book was a luxury. Now we pile them in boxes for the garage sale. That took the efforts of some hard working folks. Yes, I am thankful for them!

  2. Terry White November 26, 2013 at 7:11 am #

    From my early days at the Evangelical Press Association, Dan, I remember SO MANY of the leaders I looked up to.

    Mel Larson
    Don Anderson
    Paul Fromer
    Charlie VanNess
    Charlie Shedd
    Eleanor Burr
    Joe Bayly
    Norm Rohrer
    Roger Palms
    Dick Champion

    These are just a few!

  3. Robin Patchen November 26, 2013 at 8:14 am #

    There have been so many people who’ve influenced me. Today I’m especially thankful for the writers in my local writing group. As wonderful as blogs and national conferences are, it was the people I met here in Oklahoma who encouraged me more than anyone else on this writing journey. So thanks, OKC Christian Fiction Writers. I’m so blessed to be among you.

  4. Marci Seither November 26, 2013 at 8:38 am #

    I am so thankful for all the mentors I met through Mount Hermon Christain Writer’s Conference. Ethel Herr was so gracious and encouraging, not only through her writing but also in how she lived out her faith. I am also blessed to have know Barbara Curtis. She as a mom who wrote and made a difference by writing with conviction and grace. The list it so long, but I am thankful every time I place an article for all those who have been such amazing mentors in my writing journey.

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