The year was 1931, and in a farmhouse in Grandville, Michigan, brothers Pat and Bernie Zondervan were quietly making publishing history. They started by purchasing and reselling some remaindered book from Harper & Brothers, then quickly moved into a publishing operation of their own, which, thanks to faith, industriousness, business savvy, and the right people, prospered in the midst of the Depression. It has been flourishing ever since. What began as Pat and Bernies vision has become todays premier Christian communications company, meeting the needs of people across the world with resources that glorify Jesus Christ and promote biblical principles. This is the story of how it all happened. The House of Zondervan is a fascinating, richly human look at the people and the relationships, the faith and the labor, the struggles and heartbreaks as well as the triumphs, the accomplishments of yesterday and the challenges and opportunities of today, that both make up our heritage and point toward our future. Here are authors who have shaped the face of evangelicalism and helped people across the world experience the power and grace of Gods kingdom. Here too are editors and marketers who have brought to light some of Christianitys most gifted and important voices. And here are leaders who have not only defined the course of our company but embodied its character and instilled it in those they have led. The story of Zondervan is also the story of its enterprises past and presenta story of retail stores; record and music publishing; bestselling Bibles and Bible translations such as the New International Version; rich and diverse partnerships; constantly shifting relationships in the publishing and bookselling industry; and innovations in marketing, research, product development, and author care that have earned us our place at the vanguard of Christian communications. Above all, the history of Zondervan is the story of lives reached and transformed by the grace and power of God. And it is a testimony to Jesus Christ, the Lord we love and serve, who has been faithful to us as we have strived to be faithful to him. Welcome to The House of Zondervan. We hope you enjoy your stay!
Jim Ruark has been in journalism and publishing for more than 50 years, more than 41 of them as an editor with Zondervan. He is a graduate of Gordon College (B.A., English and literature) and attended Calvin Theological Seminary. He has contributed to several books on publishing and editing and is author of The House of Zondervan, the history of the publishing company's first 75 years.