Family Christian Stores, the largest Christian retail chain in the U.S., has appointed Charles Bengochea as president and CEO, effective June 30. Bengochea succeeds Cliff Bartow, who is retiring after 11 years at the helm. The appointment was announced by Rick Jackson, chairman of the board.
Bengochea is joining FCS from The Original Honeybaked Ham Company, where he is currently president and CEO. Prior to that, he was controller of the Fountain Business Division at Coca-Cola. In 1995 he became director of retail operations at Honeybaked Ham; he was named president in 2003 and CEO in 2006.
Family Christian was acquired by Jackson, in partnership with fellow Atlanta businessmen Mike Kendrick and Larry Powell, in November 2012.They reorganized the company as a nonprofit and pledged 100% of its profits to charities aiding widows and orphans in the U.S. and abroad. In the statement announcing Bengochea’s appointment, Jackson called Family Christian "a ministry" and said it is “the first of its kind in the country.”
Family Christian currently has some 270 physical stores in 261 cities. It also streams Christian content to mobile devices through its iDisciple app, which provides “access to more than 85,000 pieces of digital Christian content from 185 leading authors, speakers, and ministries.”