Our Mission: To Inspire the World with the Life-Changing Message of the Bible.
Faithfulness to the Bible and love for Jesus Christ are the bedrock values behind every book Barbour’s staff produces. From a 70,000-square-foot facility in Uhrichsville, Ohio, Barbour produces more than 200 frontlist titles per year. Those books, coupled with more than 1,000 stock titles, are part of Barbour’s mission to provide retailers and consumers around the globe with affordable and accessible Christian products for all.
Mass-appeal nonfiction titles such as the Bible Promise Book® (a series with more than 12 million copies sold), devotionals for men and women, children's products, and practical journals (including the popular Prayer Map series) form the core of our publishing activities. But we also offer a growing line of Bibles—plain text, devotional, study, and children’s—in the King James, New Life, and New American Standard versions, in addition to Barbour’s own new Simplified KJV. In fiction, Barbour publishes some three dozen titles annually, including stories from New York Times bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter, who leads an exciting lineup of inspirational romance, historical fiction, and suspense writers. At Barbour, you’ll even find Bible studies, scripture-based puzzle books, and an extensive line of Spanish-language products!
How It All Started
Since our beginning as “Book Bargains” in 1981, much has happened to transform this company from a small remainder seller into a prominent Christian publisher. When our founder Hugh Barbour began buying and reselling other publishers’ excess stock, he was introducing a new concept to Christian bookstores. Soon, though, the new company began publishing its own titles, beginning with the classic allegory The Pilgrim’s Progress in 1984.
With a new name—Barbour & Company—publishing operations continued with two books that Hugh said “really put us on the map”: Oswald Chambers’ beloved devotional My Utmost for His Highest and Barbour’s first original title, The Bible Promise Book. Millions of copies later, the latter remains one of Barbour’s bestselling backlist titles.
The Barbour mission, publishing popular books at value prices, was unique in Christian retailing, and it quickly took hold in Christian bookstores around the country. Through the 1990s, the company experienced phenomenal growth in its product line and sales, and officially changed its name to Barbour Publishing, Inc. The new millennium brought almost dizzying change to the company, with new products, facilities expansion, and new ownership.
After a remarkable 47-year career in Christian publishing (a career honored by the 1999 Lifetime Achievement Award of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association), Hugh Barbour decided to retire. The company he had built into a thriving business was acquired by Tim Martins, who served as president and CEO.
Through years of both prosperity and challenge, Tim led Barbour for over 16 years. During his tenure, Barbour became one of the top Christian book publishers in the United States.
A New Future: Employee Owned
In 2017, Barbour Publishing, Inc. became a 100 percent employee-owned company. “A sale to an ESOP allows the company and its employees to continue to operate and grow the business,” Martins said. “The ESOP just presented all the right opportunities, I think, for our employees to make the company sing as we go forward.”
As one of a handful of employee-owned publishing houses, Barbour is focused on building an ownership culture within the organization and cultivating and training the next generation of leaders. The Barbour team is committed to integrity, creativity, and quality as we pursue our mission: to inspire the world with the life-changing message of the Bible. We accomplish that mission by following our vision statement: to pursue innovative ways to bring readers the best biblically-centered content where they live, shop, play, and gather.