Chosen Books cofounding publisher and bestselling author Elizabeth Sherrill died May 20. She was 95. She and her husband, the late John Sherrill, launched the publishing house, focusing on charismatic, spirit-led titles, in 1970 with another couple, Guideposts magazine editor Len LeSourd and author Catherine Marshall LeSourd. When John suggested becoming publishers, Elizabeth's response was "Why Not? It would be an adventure."
Their first title became a bestseller —The Hiding Place, written by the Sherrills together with Corrie ten Bloom, a Dutch Christian who was sent to a Nazi prison camp for hiding Jews during the Holocaust. Released in 1971, sales of The Hiding Place have surpassed 3.5 million copies. A graphic format adaption of the book is planned for April 2024.
The couple were also long-time editors for Guideposts magazine and the co-authors of such bestselling works as The Cross and the Switchblade with David Anderson and God’s Smuggler with Brother Andrew. Chosen also published Chuck Colson's Born Again: What Really Happened to the Watergate Hatchetman. In her lifetime, Sherrill produced more than 30 books and 2,000 articles, according to a release from Baker Publishing Group, which acquired Chosen in 1992. In Christianity Today's 2006 list of the top 50 books that have shaped evangelicals the Sherrills are called “the most influential Christian authors you know nothing about.”
Chosen Books "dramatically elevated the profile and the impact of Christian publishing," Jeff Crosby, president and CEO of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, told PW. "Elizabeth's gifts as a manuscript stylist, editor, and publisher were enormous. She knew how to tell a story with power and with an economy of words, and the books she touched were brought to a mass market audience. I was privileged to chair ECPA's recognition committee the year it awarded her and, posthumously, John Sherrill with our Kenneth N. Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018. And as a bookseller in the 1980s, I marveled at the way the books she touched and inspired readers toward belief."