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Family Christian was the worlds largest Christian-focused retailer, and was located in the United States. As of 2012, the retail chain had approximately 281 stores in 261 cities. The retail chain offered a variety of Christian-themed merchandise, especially books, Bibles, gifts and music. The company was founded in 1931 by two young brothers who were first generation Americans at the start of The Great Depression. From their family farmhouse in Grandville, Michigan. Pat and Bernie Zondervan launched Zondervan Publishing House as a company committed to spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ through publishing and eventually Christian resources and products as well. Until 1993, the chain was part of Zondervan, the Christian publishing company that owns the copyright to the New International Version of the Bible. The two companies share the same office complex in Western Michigan. Family Christian Stores had increased its size through acquisitions, including Joshuas Christian Stores and Shepherd Shoppe. In 2012, the management team and a group of Atlanta-based Christian businessmen purchased the company from the private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners which was the majority owner since 1999. The new owners pledged that 100% of store profits would go towards ministries serving widows and orphans.