Cokesbury bookstore comes to seminary
By Katie Scarvey
A Cokesbury store may not make everyone stand up and take notice, but it’s big news in religious circles.
Cokesbury is the retail division of The United Methodist Publishing House, a publisher and distributor to The United Methodist Church and the greater Christian community. Cokesbury bills itself as providing “resources for the Christian journey.”
Cokesbury’s chain of stores includes 71 outlets across the country.
The new Cokesbury store is on the campus of Hood Theological Seminary. It occupies about 900 square feet. The store site previously housed an Augsburg Fortress, a bookstore connected with the the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
The new store was dedicated on Sept. 18, although it opened for business in August.
Robbie Combs manages the store. A full-time employee, he has two part-time associates who work with him. Combs has a history with Cokesbury, working in the Charlotte store for about 10 years.
Although those connected with the seminary are obviously familiar with the store, Combs would like to see the bookstore became a destination for the community at large.
“We’re in the process of trying to get the word out,” Combs says.
The store serves as a typical college bookstore, supplying students with textbooks, but it also carries many resources for congregations and church professionals.
“The students are thrilled,” Combs says, “especially those serving churches. They can get their basic supplies without going to Charlotte or Greensboro.”
Combs notes that the Salisbury store is the sixth Cokesbury retail outlet in the state.
“We’re catching up with Texas,” he says, which has seven or eight stores.
Besides books, the store also sells choir and clergy robes, as well as paraments. Communion supplies, from wafers to communion cups, are available.
Offerings also include Sunday school materials for all ages, music, church supplies, Bibles, and in-depth Bible study and research materials. There are pastoral care books that address care issues like domestic violence and chemical dependence, as well as sections of Christian fiction and children’s books.
There are Christmas items as well, including nativity scenes, greeting cards and ornaments.
While Cokesbury is connected with the United Methodist Church, it serves many denominations, Combs points out, including the Presbyterian Church, Disciples of Christ and United Church of Christ.
Combs says that he’s enjoying his first bookstore management job. He is also on track, he says, to become a deacon in the Methodist Church.
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The store will host an open house from Wed., Nov 18 to Saturday, Nov. 21.
The store will offer refreshments and offer a 25 percent discount on most items.
The store is located on 1810 Lutheran Synod Drive on the campus of Hood Theological Seminary. Call 704-638-2244 for more information.
Store hours are from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.