Believer's Christian Books and Gifts ready to expand

By Greg Miller
STAR STAFF
gmiller@starhq.com

   Bill and Kathy Isaacs opened Believer's Christian Books and Gifts on Nov. 1, 1997.
   About one year later, the store expanded. The store expanded again the following year.
   "Now, we need to expand again," Kathy Isaacs said.
   Believer's Christian Books and Gifts is operated more as a ministry than a business, according to Isaacs. "There are people that we minister to," Isaacs said. "People come in looking for spiritual help a lot. We've prayed for people and listen to people. They will come to you and tell you their problems and want you to pray for them. That happens quite a bit. We have a good subject to talk about. We get to talk about Jesus."
   Isaacs and her mother, Arliss Campbell, the store's manager, pray for people who are sick, "people that's been through hard times, like when the flood came. They want you to pray for their church, which may be having a hard time.
   "Sometimes, a minister may be stepping out into a new ministry and they ask us to pray for them because they know they're getting ready to step out. We've seen a lot of young preachers come out from their churches. A lot come in and have their own churches now that we knew when they started."
   Helping to meet the community's spiritual needs became more important to Isaacs after the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on America. "People are thinking more about their family ties and what's important in life," she said. "Our Bible sales went up a lot because I think people were thankful for the way they get to live. It brought people together as families."
   The Sept. 11 events, Isaacs said, serve as "a reminder of how blessed we are, where our real strength comes from, and where to look to. I don't think it's so much that all of these people were living wrong and now they're living right. I think it's more of a wakeup call."
   The greatest reward of operating a Christian bookstore is "helping others," Campbell said.
   The atmosphere is also a great fringe benefit, according to Isaacs. "We're always uplifted," she said.
   Another benefit is "meeting the needs of the people, especially with teaching materials, special orders and gifts. People come in and buy gifts for the pastors and music directors. We gift wrap free and engrave Bibles free, so we really feel we're a ministry as far as getting the products that people need.
   "We've gotten more into music than I thought I would," Isaacs said. "That's been a big thing, along with Vacation Bible School supplies and meeting churches' needs with bulletins.
   "Books is not our major thing. It's more church supplies, Bibles, music, soundtracks (more than 2,000 in stock). They order their Easter cantatas and Christmas plays from us. And we can meet the needs of any of the choirs."
   Dr. Billy Graham, David Jeremiah, T.D. Jakes, Max Lucado, and Joyce Meyer are among the more popular selling authors, according to Isaacs.
   Believer's Christian Books and Gifts is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. For more information, call 542-2098 or e-mail isaacs@onemain.com.