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Larry Downs Joins Nelson Spanish Publishing Unit

Nov 29, 2004

Larry Downs, a 1986 Grace College graduate, has left his job as president of Editorial Unilit to become vice president of Caribe-Betania Editores, the Spanish publishing imprint of Thomas Nelson.

Caribe-Betania is a Spanish publishing industry leader providing books based in core Christian values. The Spanish book market generates approximately $1.5 billion in annual sales with the Christian sector representing $45 million to $50 million of that total.

Editorial Unilit is a Miami-based publisher of Spanish Christian books. Downs became its president in 2003.

“Larry’s many years of successful experience in nearly every facet of Spanish Christian publishing will take Caribe’s publishing program to new heights,” said Tod Shuttleworth, vice president and publisher of Caribe. “Larry’s relationships will improve Caribe’s ability to understand consumer needs and improve our service to the industry.” Downs will relocate to Nashville from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Downs, who was raised in Peru, South America by missionary parents, was featured in the Summer, 2001 issue of “Grace Magazine,” published by the alumni office. Downs was introduced to his future wife, Ruth Wedertz, by Grace Brethren Pastor Paul Mutchler. He later became involved in the Fort Lauderdale Grace Brethren Church, singing in the choir, working in the singles group, discipling, serving as an elder, and being the point man on two pastor search teams, according to Mutchler.

Editorial Caribe was birthed in Costa Rica in 1949 with the support of the Latinoamericana Mission. Its mission: to publish literary works that would serve as tools to better study the Bible, as well as works that would aid in Christian growth. The company primarily published Bibles and Reference products and used a fish as its logo. In 1991, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Inc., the largest Bible publishing house in the English-speaking world, established in 1798, acquired Editorial Caribe.

Editorial Betania started in the 1970s as a ministry of Bethany Fellowship. In 1992, it also became part of Thomas Nelson Publishers, Inc. Other product categories like inspiration, leadership, etc., were published under the Betania imprint. Its logo consists of the letters EB, depicting a butterfly.

As a result of the two acquisitions, Thomas Nelson merged the two companies into one and called it Caribe-Betania Editores. In addition to publishing books by the best American and Latin American authors, it has published important works in Spanish such as Nelson’s Illustrated Dictionary of the Bible, Vine’s Expository Dictionary of the Old and New Testaments, Caribe’s Electronic Library, the Spirit-Filled Life Bible, Women of Destiny Bible, the Life Application Bible, and the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.