Lifeway and its former president Thom Rainer agree to 'amicable resolution'

(Photo: Lifeway)

LifeWay Christian Resources and its former president Thom Rainer have reached an "amicable resolution" in their dispute over a book deal. 

The publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention started legal proceedings against Rainer after he signed a multi-book deal with rival, Tyndale House Publishers. 

LifeWay claimed that the deal was in breach of its severance agreement with Rainer following his retirement from the organisation last year. 

The severance agreement included a non-compete clause preventing Rainer from business associations with LifeWay's rivals until 31 October 2021. 

Rainer said he had been granted a release from that clause last year and had "assumed all was well" until he received notice of the legal proceedings last week. 

The decision to take legal action against Rainer was divisive even within LifeWay, with board member Jimmy Scroggins writing to chairman Todd Fannin "formally requesting for Todd to please withdraw our legal action."

Following talks on Tuesday, Rainer and LifeWay have now settled their dispute. 

Under the settlement reached, Rainer "has agreed to honor the transition agreement, including the non-compete clause." 

This means that he also will not move forward with his Tyndale deal for the timebeing, which, the statement said, "was a violation of his non-compete agreement." 

"Our prayer has always been that this could be resolved between LifeWay and Dr Rainer amicably," said Fannin. 

"We're thankful Dr Rainer agreed to honor his word and commitment to LifeWay, which has been our goal from the beginning. The trustees and Dr Rainer are looking forward to putting this behind us."