When you think of downtown Bellingham, what comes to mind? Probably our abundance of breweries, cozy coffee shops, unique retail stores, right? What about Bible software? Yes, you read that right–Bible software. Our downtown is home to the most advanced Bible software company in the world, Faithlife. Formerly known as Logos Bible Software, Faithlife has over 10 brands under its umbrella, ranging from Bible study apps to worship presentation to mobile education seminary classes. Over 400 employees take up 4 buildings in downtown, and I can attest to the fact that they are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Before joining the Partnership I worked there for almost 2 years, and am still good friends with most of my former coworkers. A fast-paced environment, Faithlife is all about innovation and growing to create new products to better serve churches, universities, and regular people wanting to study the Bible. Something else Faithlife is all about? Serving downtown Bellingham. They were the title sponsor of this year’s Bite of Bellingham, have donated multiple times to our organization, and have helped spread the word about our events. Faithlife holds a special place in my heart, and I’m excited to help you get to know them and their CEO Bob Pritchett a little better.
Photo from Bellingham Herald
Logos (now Faithlife) didn’t originally start here. Why the move to downtown Bellingham?
We started in Kirkland, then moved to Oak Harbor for family reasons. As the business grew we realized we needed to be in a larger community, and we chose downtown Bellingham to have access to restaurants, coffee shops, and an active area.
Since you started in 1992, it’s been Logos Bible Software. Why the switch to Faithlife?
Logos Bible Software is still our flagship product, but we’re now offering a variety of tools, products, and web sites that are all connected by a single user account — your Faithlife account. It just made sense to eliminate the product/company confusion and ‘Faithlife’ encompasses everything we’re doing.
There are over 10 brands under the Faithlife umbrella: Bible Study Magazine, Verbum, Proclaim, and Noet to name a few. Is there one you have a particular soft spot for?
I love them all! It’s been fun growing and learning about new businesses and product categories, but Logos Bible Software is still where my heart is. It’s an incredible tool.
Faithlife has been a huge supporter of the Partnership. Faithlife donated to the Partnership, sponsored this year’s Bite of Bellingham, and you personally have sat on our board and were a judge for the Bite. Why do you feel that the Partnership is so important for downtown Bellingham?
Downtown is the heart of the community, and it (and all of Bellingham) succeeds when we are working together. It’s the critical mass of people, businesses, and ideas in one place that gives Bellingham its energy and momentum. The Partnership plays an important role in hosting events, connecting downtown stakeholders, and representing downtown to the rest of the community.
Faithlife at the Bite.
Faithlife’s leadership team consists of you, your brother Dan, and your father Dale. Even though it’s a 400+ person company, you still have a family-business feel. Is this intentional?
I think the family feel comes from a lot of people who like each other working together, and the fact that so many early team members are still with us 10 or more years later.
Even though it’s not a ministry, Faithlife creates technology to help students, pastors, and laypeople study the Bible. What inspired you to go into this specific field?
It’s fun building a product people actually use and like, and which makes a difference in people’s lives. The Bible is the best-selling book of all time, and the most influential. It’s vitally important to more than a billion people. We offer tools and resources to study God’s Word; how could you pick a better job than that?
You used to work at Microsoft. How have you seen that experience influence your management and leadership style?
I learned a lot in my time at Microsoft, and I think we absorbed some of the good things about their culture (as I experienced it twenty years ago), including a willingness to argue in order to refine an idea and a respect for the right answer regardless of the age or rank of its contributor.
What’s coming up next for Faithlife?
We’ll continue to improve our online and mobile offerings.
And finally, what are some of your favorite spots downtown?
I spend a lot of time in The Woods Coffee in the Flatiron Building, and Ciao Thyme is my favorite place to take a guest for lunch.