By Tim Leeds
Maranatha Christian Supply re-opened Tuesday, April 3, in its new location in Havre's Holiday Village Shopping Center.
"The timing just seemed to be right," Cindy Marshall said about the move. She owns the store with her husband, Butch Marshall, who is a teacher at KG schools.
She said they were approached with some business proposals by Fred Griffith, senior vice president for acquisitions and development for Security National Properties, the owner of the mall. Marshall said when they looked at the location, with more space, better
visibility and more parking, they decided it would be a good move, although they hadn't planned on making a move like that. She said the new location makes a big difference, even with virtually the same selection of merchandise.
"I know this is what we had in the (old) store," she said. "Even to me it looks different."
The store is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in its new location, next to the Sears store in the east wing of the shopping center.
Marshall said a friend of theirs, a retired teacher from KG schools, did some extensive remodeling of the location, with her husband helping when he had time. She said they should have a new sign up in a week or two, and plan a grand opening in the next month or so. She said they plan to add some more merchandise in the future, and might start doing selection of the month specials, such as book-of-the-month or music-of-the-month.
Maranatha stocks a variety of merchandise, from books and music to cards, bibles, crucifixes and gifts.
"Just a lot of wonderful stuff out there," Marshall said.
She said a lot of people have a misconception about what Maranatha stocks. The Christian industry has a wide range of quality merchandise in different areas, Marshall said.
The store has a large selection of books, some with direct Christian themes, others by Christian authors in areas without a specifically Christian theme. The selection ranges from books for children and youths to adult books, fiction, nonfiction including consolation, humor, family, Christian living, health and special needs, finance, time management and activity books. Marshall said they try to keep the current bestsellers and what people are looking for in stock.
The store also has puzzles and videos both for sale and rental. There are candles, which Marshall says are extremely high quality. She said they have the highest perfume content available, and all have a scripture reading on them.
"Just something extra to have a scripture, something inspirational," Marshall said.
There is also a variety of gift items at the store, including electronic bibles; bumper stickers; framed art; pins, rings, charms and necklaces and more.
Marshall said they try to stock a good selection of music as well, with more than just traditional Christian music. She said they want young people to know there is good music out there in the styles they like without having anti-Christian messages.
The Marshalls purchased the business, which has been open since 1974, in February 1999. Marshall said they were looking for more than just making a living when they bought the store, and have not been disappointed.
"(We wanted) not just a business, but to have a ministry," she said. " (Up here) we hope to have more people see us and expand our ministry."