Joseph "Joey" Paul, a veteran of Christian Publishing who most recently served as executive editor at Thomas Nelson, died on February 6. He was 79.

Paul began his career in Christian publishing in 1988, when Word Inc. promoted him from director of its film and video division to v-p of World Books. In his new role at Word, Paul reported to publisher Kip Jordan and worked with such authors as James Dobson, Billy Graham, Anne Graham Lotz, and Josh McDowell.

In 2001, Paul left Word and joined Integrity Publishers, the books division of Integrity Inc. led by Byron Williamson, as v-p of editorial. There, Paul worked with such authors as David Jeremiah, Max Lucado, Beth Moore, and Sarah Young, author of the multi-million copy bestseller Jesus Calling.

"Throughout his career in Christian publishing, Joey Paul was known as a person who took his faith seriously," said Williamson, "working so creatively with a broad list of best-selling authors, whose books sold millions of copies around the globe."

When Integrity was bought by Thomas Nelson in 2006, Paul joined nelson as v-p of editorial and acquisitions. He would later depart in 2008 to join the Nashville-based FaithWords, a division of Hachette Book Group, as executive editor. At FaithWords, he worked with Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen, among other authors.

"Over those 50 years that our work with Christian publishing overlapped, Joey and I worked together with many authors and books, and many others working in Christian publishing. I knew him as a loyal, devoted, and dedicated teammate," added Rolf Zettersten, former publisher FaithWords and Hachette Nashville. "He loved golf, fishing, and a robust Cabernet. Our relationship became much more than as professional colleagues, we became close personal friends as well. My thoughts and prayers his wife Sharon until she and Joey are reunited in eternity."

In 2017, Paul returned to Nelson, by then a division of HarperCollins Christian Publishing (HCCP), as an executive editor.

"With over 46 years of industry experience when he returned to Nelson, Joey was an invaluable asset not only to the editorial process, but to our business as a whole," said David Moberg, former senior-vp and publisher of HCCP.

"HarperCollins Christian Publishing mourns the passing of Joey Paul, whose work helped to shape the Christian publishing landscape of the past several decades," said Mark Schoenwald, current CEO and President of HCCP. "Joey was a masterful editor, acquiring and shaping remarkable books over his more than 50-year career in Christian Publishing. His work impacted and enriched millions of lives."

Paul is survived by his wife Sharon, son Jeffrey, daughters Kimberly and Kristen, sisters Susan and Sylvia, and seven grandchildren.