Faithlife, a church technology company based in Washington state, has acquired Wordsearch Bible Software, a digital library used widely by Christian pastors across the U.S., from LifeWay Christian Resources.
As a result of the acquisition, Wordsearch will become a part of Logos Bible Software, a digital Bible study platform operated by Faithlife. Seven Wordsearch employees will also be transferring to Faithlife.
Faithlife announced its acquisition of Wordsearch in a Sept. 21 press release that said in part: “Beginning immediately, Wordsearch customers will receive Logos-compatible editions of most of the titles they own in their Wordsearch library, as well as a comparable version of Logos, at no charge."
In an interview with The Christian Post, Bill Craig, LifeWay’s senior vice president of publishing, explained the decision to sell Wordsearch to Faithlife.
“We recognized that while Wordsearch has been a tremendous tool for LifeWay and LifeWay customers, it takes a significant investment to continue to develop it as a technology tool,” he said. “During the COVID season, we’re making choices about where to make strategic investments. We believe that while Wordsearch has been a tremendous asset for Lifeway, Logos and Faithlife are in a much better position to protect the investment of our customers and their digital libraries in the future.”
“We’ve had a tremendous relationship with our Wordsearch customers and our employees who have been Wordsearch employees for the last 10 years, for the last decade or so since Lifeway has owned Wordsearch,” he added. “We’re pleased that Logos is prepared to care for and take care of our Wordsearch customers with the really excellent tool that Logos Bible Software is.”
Phil Gons, vice president of Faithlife’s Bible study products, told CP that his company was excited about the opportunity to acquire Wordsearch. “It was becoming clear that the kind of Wordsearch platform in terms of technology wasn’t really progressing and advancing. It was kind of reaching an end of life,” he said.
“We saw the acquisition as a great opportunity for us to give these folks a new home in a platform that is well supported (and) has lots of investment in technology,” he said. “It’s a way for us to provide a great home to these longtime Bible software users.”
Gons told CP that Wordsearch’s transition to Logos, which has “multiple phases,” will take several months to complete. "The first phase was mostly complete at closing and announcement, and that’s where we migrated users’ existing Wordsearch libraries that already have the corresponding title in the Logos library. … That was mostly done at the closing and announcement time,” he said.
“Wordsearch had a number of titles in their catalogs that we don’t yet have in our Logos catalog. ... We’ve been in the process of creating Logos versions of those new titles,” he added. “Our hope is to have that mostly wrapped up by the end of the year.
"There’s a third component of the migration process, and that’s where we will be migrating Wordsearch users’ created content … the content that they created like notes, highlights, verse lists, and other kinds of user-created content.”
Gons believes the acquisition will allow both LifeWay and Faithlife to focus on the areas they have developed expertise in over time. “LifeWay is focusing really on their core competency and what they do really, really well which is create great materials for people,” including Sunday school curriculum. “They’re a content producer and they do really, really well at that."
“We can focus on building out technology and they can deliver content through our platform,” he said.
Gons said he's “excited about the many prospects that are opened up now that we’ve got this deeper relationship with them to serve the church together.”
For more information on Wordsearch’s transition from LifeWay to Logos, including a list of frequently asked questions, consult the Logos website.