The 2013 International Christian Retail Show was hosted in the lovely city of St. Louis, June 23 – 26. The Gateway City was the perfect back drop for members of the CBA to come together to be in community with one another, share new ideas, network and inspire.
“We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father, knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God.” – 1 Thessalonians 1:2-4 (NKJV)
ICRS opened educational seminars with a first-time Author Boot Camp on Sunday, June 23. Bookseller and author-promotion consultant Suzanne Kuhn lead an intense six-hour session to provide attendees with insights into the world of book sales, retailer relations and effective engagement through social media.
Pastor and author Max Lucado closed Sunday evening with a Worship Him service where he encouraged attendees to “keep God in the middle” of difficult times. Radio host and author Stephen Arterburn delivered the devotional and prayer for the opening ceremony on Monday morning, and VeggieTales characters Bob and Larry were on hand to help celebrate Big Idea’s 20th anniversary.
Musical guests included Grammy and Dove Award winning artists Laura Story and Stephen Curtis Chapman. Former GOP candidate for the 2012 presidential nominee Rick Santorum made a special appearance at Sunday night’s New Voices Showcase, as well. Mr. Santorum has recently been named the new CEO of EchoLight Studios, the first vertically integrated Christian movie studio to offer production financing, marketing and distribution across all releasing platforms.
The theme of this year’s ICRS was “One Mission – To Go Into All the World.” Meaning, we are called as Christians to go into the world to speak His word and encourage our communities to dedicate their lives to Jesus Christ. This year I had the pleasure and honor to meet a handful of WestBow Press authors attending ICRS. Each one of these authors have been called upon to be a part of that mission and to add a light in a world of darkness, engage, lead and inspire through their writing. The following WestBow Press authors and books were present at ICRS:
The Pole by Peron Jones
Christian Bible Challenge by Jerry Adams
60 Minutes of Wisdom by Derek Grier
Get Your Hopes Up!!! by Patti Reeser
The Beating of My Hearts by Brian L. Fowler MD
Dying to Control by Leon R. Hayduchok
Living with the Book: John by Phillip and Linda Charlton
The Agony and Ecstasy of the Bipolar Mind by Joy Paz
The Whole Armor of God by Merry Sonshine
WOW! What a powerful platform! Is this an annual event? It’s no coincidence that I’m considering Westbow Press to publish my first book.