Local Christian Bookstores Step Up As Family Christian Closes Doors

Written by Ann Byle on . Posted in Local

bakerBaker Book House Two Christian bookstores, Baker Book House and Kregel Parable Christian Stores, are eager to fill the void left by the impending closing of three local Family Christian Stores locations.

Family Christian announced late last month that it would close its nearly 250 stores around the country, almost two years after filing for bankruptcy. It is unknown when the local stores—on 28th Street, Alpine Avenue and 44th Street—will finally shut their doors.

Kregel Parable and Baker Book House are remaining open.

"There has been a lot of confusion about Family Christian closing and we've had more than a few questions from people concerned that we're closing our doors too," said Jeremy Fleming, manager of Kregel Parable, 4014 Chicago Dr. in Grandville. "This is not true and we look forward to serving all our guests, including our new ones."

Baker Book House, 2768 E. Paris Ave. SE, has fielded similar questions. "We're right here," said manager Sue Smith.

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Baker Book House is hosting Discover Baker Book House from March 6-11, culminating in its annual Customer Appreciation Day on March 11. One section of the store will be highlighted each day, with sales in all sections lasting throughout the week.

"Family Christian carried a lot of new releases and big authors; our store carries those too, plus a very deep backlist," said Smith.

She points to Baker Book House's thousands of fiction and nonfiction titles, academic books, wide and varied Bible section, bargain books section and its 90,000 used books. The store recently redid its children's section to add more and varied titles for ages 0-12, a comfortable reading area, and a film viewing area.

Kregel Parable, which carries top Christian books and products, also manages the next-door P. Graham Dunn Art, Home Decor, and Personalized Gifts, which carries popular gift items and specializes in personalized engraving.

Baker Book House will honor all Family Christian coupons but cannot redeem Family Christian gift cards. Kregel Parable will not honor Family Christian coupons, but will provide replacement coupons for its store. Kregel Parable also offers its Kregel Rewards Club, 40% Birthday Club and email program.

"Family Christian's closing gives the independent Christian bookstores an opportunity to step up and be noticed by disappointed Family Christian customers," said Smith of Baker Book House.

Adds Fleming, "Of course our hearts and prayers go out to the many employees who work for Family Christian. We are saddened that there are many communities that will lose their only Christian bookstore."
Author Information
Ann Byle
Ann Byle is a freelance writer and owner of AB Writing Services. She writes for a number of publications including WMCN, Publishers Weekly, CBA Christian Market and Grand Rapids Magazine, and is author or coauthor of several books including The Baker Book House Story, The Call to Care: A Compassionate Response to Caring for Vulnerable Children (2018) and Christian Publishing 101 (2018). She and her husband Ray, a science teacher, have four young adult children.

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