HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Last week, Lifeway Christian Resource announced it will close all of its 170 stores this year. A similar business in Athens, CEI Bookstore, says just because Lifeway is closing doesn’t mean there’s not a need for Christian book stores.
“Downtown Athens is alive and growing, and CEI is also,” said Kerri Calvert, a 10-year veteran staff member of CEI Books.
CEI Bookstore in downtown Athens has been serving customers, churches, and individuals since the 1950s. And they ship worldwide through their popular website, truthbooks.com. And of course, the company’s goal and mission are so much more than just selling books.
“It’s a Christian bookstore but it is a nonprofit, all the dollars that come in that are extra, go directly back into publishing new materials,” Calvert said.
They provide Bibles, guides, homeschooling products, literature for adults and children, as well as home designs and decorations.
Staff and customers at CEI say the news of Lifeway stores closing is sad, but there’s definitely still a need for a Christian resource store, and they’re here to provide that.
“I think it’s needed more today than ever, with everything going on in our world, we need more Christian stores,” said Joan Jones, a new CEI customer.
That need is supported by this small-town bookstore making a worldwide impact in faith— and they say it’s here to stay.