At the OKC Cokesbury store dedication are, from left, Regional Pastor Thomas Jewell of The Christian Church-Disciples of Christ, Bishop Robert Hayes Jr., and Jeff Barnes of The United Methodist Publishing House.
Surrounded by seeds for Christian growth—Bibles and other books, Communion sets and inspirational gifts—the people bowed their heads to pray as grand opening day began March 14 for the new Cokesbury store in Oklahoma City.
Julie Wise beamed as she sliced party cake after the dedication service. Less than a year ago, she was sorting soggy, ruined products, after a hailstorm collapsed the roof and flooded the store’s previous site.
Cokesbury has relocated to 7005 N. May Ave., a facility it shares with a dental clinic. The new bookstore is open Monday-Saturday and has more floor space.
"We see what has come out of calamity: the beauty," Jeff Barnes said at the dedication. He is executive director of sales for The United Methodist Publishing House (UMPH).
"It has been a tremendous challenge. We do appreciate the support you have shown."
Thomas Jewell said, "Oklahomans know what can be accomplished in the face of natural disaster. Johannes Gutenberg (15th-century inventor of the printing press) could never have imagined a place like this, a selection like this." Rev. Dr. Jewell is regional pastor of The Christian Church-Disciples of Christ, Oklahoma.
Liturgy for the dedication was led by Oklahoma UM Bishop Robert Hayes Jr. "For the spiritual enrichment of all who shall come here in pursuit of knowledge and wisdom, we dedicate this store," he stated.
Cokesbury is the retail division of UMPH, founded in 1789, which publishes for the denomination and the greater Christian community. In Tulsa, the Cokesbury store is in Kingspointe Village Shopping Center, 6024 S. Yale Ave.