Born Again Bookstore celebrated its grand opening at 333 West Broadway on Saturday. Tony and Melissa Anderson are the owners. | Facebook
IDAHO FALLS – Tony and Melissa Anderson have dreamed of opening a Christian bookstore in Idaho Falls for about six years now. This weekend, they finally got their wish.
Born Again Bookstore celebrated its grand opening on Saturday at 333 West Broadway inside the old Hippie Down vape and tobacco shop. Melissa tells EastIdahoNews.com the turnout on opening day was better than she expected.
“It was so busy all day long,” she says. “We had (dozens of) cookies (for customers to take). Not everybody took one but they were all gone.”
The store has a variety of Bibles and Christian-based books for sale. There is also some apparel and other gift items available for purchase. A Biblically-based home school curriculum will be available in the new year.
The inspiration for the store stemmed, in part, from Melissa’s experience homeschooling her kids and not having access to any tangible resources.
“The publishers did a really good job of putting a PDF example of a lesson online so you can look at it, but then you get it and it’s nothing like you were expecting,” Melissa explains. “I just kept saying, ‘I wish I could put my hands on this.’”
Discussions about opening a bookstore was an ongoing conversation over the next several years, but it wasn’t until last year that they finally felt compelled to do something about it.
“My husband really felt it on his heart that God wanted us to open this, that people needed it, that people wanted it and that it was being prayed for. So we started looking into it. We were really scared because we haven’t really planned for this,” she says.
Phone calls to other Christian book stores nationwide for advice and support from complete strangers and others in the community helped calm their fears and assure them they were on the right path.
Melissa recalls a Christian bookseller in Oregon who donated shelves of books for their store in Idaho Falls.
“It was probably over a $1,000 in bookshelves from this gal who just gave them to us,” says Melissa. “A couple from Texas who was staying upstairs in our landlord’s Airbnb … came down and met us and prayed with us and helped us paint the next day. It’s been truly amazing and God has put so many people in our path to (make) this happen.”
Melissa is excited to provide a space where people can “put their hands on things” and get the resources they need to build a closer relationship with Christ.
“If you’re a new believer and you’re looking for a relationship with Christ, it’s a little intimidating to walk into a church because you don’t know what to expect,” Melissa says. “We felt like walking into a retail store might not be as intimidating … and could help people in their walk.”
The couple is excited to be open for business and once the store is established, they’re hoping to feature titles from local Christian authors. They invite you to come and check it out.
“We’re just excited to see what God does with this. We’ve given him our fish and our bread and we want to see what he magnifies it to be,” says Melissa.
Born Again Bookstore will typically be open Thursday and Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hours will vary during the week of Christmas and New Year’s.
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