Happy Anniversary Redemption Press!
It’s been one successful year since Redemption Press established itself as the premier Christian self-publishing service, filling a void for Christian authors worldwide with unique and attentive services led by Athena Dean Holtz.
This last month has been full of so many anniversary dates, my head is still spinning! From the one year anniversary of the closing of WinePress, to the one year anniversary of my return to Christian self-publishing in the founding of Redemption Press, to the beginning of my providential fairy-tale romance with Pastor Ross Holtz, and realization that my name would soon become Athena Dean Holtz.
Just one year ago the passion in my heart to help authors was reignited when I was asked to return to Washington to help the displaced WinePress authors. My long-time friend, Jessica Gambill, helped me birth the idea of offering publishing services to Christian authors with honesty and integrity, built on a new business model that wasn’t simply a cash cow for the publisher. The idea was to be value driven, with an author centric bevy of benefits that would serve to empower Christian authors with trusted advice and guidance. Now that was an idea I could get excited about!
With our first year completed in the black, with no angel investors or deep pockets bankrolling the business, we are expecting continued growth and an increase in reach in 2015. Significant strategic partnerships with Columbia Evangelical Seminary, Northwest Christian Writers’ Association, Christian Women in Media Association, and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association along with an exciting new radio show called “Everything Publishing” on Voice America radio makes Redemption Press poised to effectively partner with Christian writers—beginners and veterans—both unpublished and multi-published—to a new level of finding their voice and connecting with their audience.
It’s all amazingly exciting, that is true. But while we celebrate at Redemption Press with our one year anniversary, plenty of lies, libel and ridiculousness remain online regarding me personally, and my professional career.
Just Google search “Athena Dean Holtz” and you’ll see what I mean. Let me set things straight once and for all.
On April 1, 2010, I turned the ownership of WinePress Publishing over to Sound Doctrine, the “church” I’d been part of since 1999. It was definitely my decision, but it was a poor one, and one made while deception was rampant in my spiritual life, leaving me vulnerable to manipulation and the belief that I would lose my salvation if I did not follow the teachings of this group.
In November of 2011, after being threatened with a lawsuit by the pastors of the “church”, I finally walked away from 12 years of spiritual abuse that left me emotionally, relationally, financially and spiritually bankrupt. With the help of my family as well as financial, legal and publishing professionals, I came to the understanding that I had become the victim of extreme fraud, manipulation and brainwashing by a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
As a part of my healing, I began to blog about my journey breaking free from this deception on Not Afraid to Tell My Story where I recounted the gradual takeover of my mind and heart, in the Name of Jesus, as well as the hijacking of my company, by a con-artist by the name of Timothy Shelby Williams. I documented excessive personal salaries at the expense of authors, employees, printers and editors, the use of Hitler-style mind control, and scriptures used out of context to shame people with concerns into silence.
The result of my willingness to stand up for the truth and tell my story was an onslaught of propaganda, half-truths, out of context statements, and outright lies.
Tim Williams created an entire website in totality to discredit my story. The site is filled with yellow journalism in an attempt to create a smoke screen. The obvious goal of the site is to deflect the fact that rampant consumer fraud and financial indiscretions were committed under his leadership and at his direction, leaving some 300 authors who were in process with their books devastated with no recourse, not to mention another 1500 authors who could no longer access their own books.
Suffice it to say, moving back to Washington to establish Redemption Press as an alternative to the high priced publishing services offered by many other Christian self-publishing companies was an act of penance on my part in many ways.
It was the least I could do to try to help the authors who were affected by the closure of WinePress.
Truly, Redemption Press is an example of beauty for ashes, now a thriving and reputable Christian self-publisher, helping pastors, missionaries, ministry leaders, and Christian writers make a difference with the message they’ve been given. And I remain committed to the passion God has given me in offering publishing services of value, custom designed to meet the actual needs of each author, with a spirit of excellence. At the same time, as a pastor’s wife, author, speaker, radio personality, and blogger, I continue to share my amazing journey to demonstrate God’s faithfulness to all who will listen.