|Outdoor music events draw crowds at minister’s store|
|Written by Christine D. Johnson|
|Thursday, 03 April 2014 10:42 AM America/New_York|
Residents of one Southeastern Ohio town have a new place to enjoy each other’s company and purchase faith-building products—Psalm 121 Discount Books & Gifts. Started in mid-2013, Psalm 121 was part of the revitalization of Logan’s downtown.
The owners, semi-retired United Methodist minister Randy Hardman and his wife, Frankie, who worked in banking for years, have served small churches in the area. Together with employee Jessica Enderle, they now bring a hometown feel to their 1,200-square-foot store that offers books, Bibles, gifts and children’s products, including educational toys.
When Dr. Hardman, known as “Pastor Randy,” reduced his time at the church, the Hardmans considered how they might best spend their time.
“The Old Testament talks about putting out a fleece and let God’s Word comes back to you, and so Frankie and I decided we wouldn’t talk about it for a week and just listen to what people said,” he told Christian Retailing. “So, as we were about our business, we came back a week later and said, ‘Well, what did we hear?’ Both of us had heard more than a dozen times from other people that Logan needed a Christian bookstore, so we said, ‘OK, God, that’s what it’ll be.’ ”
The building they chose was just being built early last year, but they both felt it was the right location. Neighbor businesses include food establishments such as a pizzeria and a bakery as well as a hardware store.
“Downtown is beginning to blossom and re-grow,” Hardman said. “We’re getting new businesses in. We were one of the first ones. We started this new growth here this last year, and so we’re seeing a real vitalization going on.”
Along with hosting a children’s time with teachers reading to about 30 youngsters and allowing bake sales and car washes to benefit churches, the store started a music-on-the-patio night. Having invited local artists to perform once a month, the schedule soon got booked up and later it was changed to a once-a-week event, held outdoors, weather permitting.
“We went from August clear to as cold as we could stand,” Hardman said. “Our poor artists were standing out there frozen trying to sing. This year we’re already basically booked up for the whole season starting right after Easter running clear to the fair time. People are real interested in it.”
The artists also sell their CDs through the store.
The Hardmans think it is part of their calling to strengthen local ministries. One important way they accomplish this is through the tithe.
“Any time a church comes in and buys, we give 10% back to the church as our tithing for them coming to us,” Hardman said.
Learn more about the new store at psalm121bookstore.com.