Christian book store closing after sales drop
by James Phillips
Sep 03, 2012 | 6155 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jim Odom stands inside Berean Christian Resource Center in Jasper. The store, owned by the Odom family since 2000, is closing at the end of the month. Photo by: James Phillips
Jim Odom stands inside Berean Christian Resource Center in Jasper. The store, owned by the Odom family since 2000, is closing at the end of the month. Photo by: James Phillips
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A staple of Jasper’s Parkland Shopping Center will be closing its doors by the end of the month.

Berean Christian Resource Center is currently holding a “going out of business sale” with plans to wrap up its business before Oct. 1. Jim Odom, one of the store’s owners, said the closing is happening for a combination of reasons.

“Between the down economy and the technology hurdles, we just couldn’t get enough local support to stay open,” Odom said.

Odom said 90 area churches have accounts with the store, but in recent months only 12 to 18 churches were supporting the store with their business.

“We can’t afford to keep it open any more,” he said.

As long as five years ago, Odom said he has thought the store wouldn’t survive.

“I saw the writing on the wall five years ago, but we’ve been able to make it,” he said. “When the tornadoes hit last year, this entire area was in a total upheaval, and we nearly went out of business then. Two months ago, we finally made the decision to do this and close the doors.”

Odom and his family (parents, Steve and Ginger Odom, and sister, Elizabeth Montgomery) have owned the store since 2000, and he said the closing is full of mixed emotions.

“It’s weird. Owning a Christian book store, I’ve seen the best of the best that Christianity in Walker County has to offer, but I’ve also seen the worst of the worst, people who wouldn’t know Jesus if he slapped them in the face, and some of those folks are preachers,” Odom said.

The relationships he’s built are the most important thing Odom will take from his experience with Berean, he said.

“I’ve met some absolutely wonderful people that I never would have met had it not been for this place,” Odom said.

With the store closing, Odom said there has been some uncertainty around the family.

“It’s been stressful,” he said. “Out of all of us my mom handles the stress the best. The other day, Dad asked her how she handles things so well and she just said she has learned to put things in their proper place and deals with them as they happen. I think that is what all of us are doing.”

Odom said he has a peace about the closing, despite the fact that he doesn’t have a regular job to go to when the store does close.

“There is a comfort and peace that I have, because I know God will provide,” he said. “I haven’t hardly taken a paycheck from the store since April, and He’s already provided for me. He’s provided music gigs and other ways for me to make money, and I’ve survived. I have faith he will continue to do that.”

The store is currently offering 40 percent off all merchandise. Odom said that percentage will slowly rise by the end of the month.

“We appreciate the support that we’ve had over the years,” Odom said.

For more information on the store, call 205-221-5858.