Pastor: Church opens book store to promote literacy
By Jakeira Gilbert
The grand opening of Philadelphia Bookstore in late June was only the first step of a greater vision that Pastor Terry Price had in store for the Frenchtown community.
The next stage of having the bookstore in the Frenchtown area is to promote reading literacy. The idea has been a long time coming to fruition.
“I had the desire after becoming pastor back in 2008 to bring back the things that helped the church and the community thrive,” Price said.
The bookstore is in the basement of the church, which is located at 840 Dunn Street. Price said the location makes finding any kind of books accessible. The closest library to the Frenchtown area is the Leroy Collins Library at 200 West Park Avenue, and getting there requires navigating heavy traffic on Tennessee Street.
The store is opened Monday to Friday, noon to 6 p.m. The Saturday hours are noon to 2 p.m. Books also can be purchased on Sunday by appointment by calling (850) 222-2700.
Some of the best-selling books are hymnals, discipline books, Sunday school books and vacation bible school books, said Thomasina Landrum, one of the cashiers. Some of the other topics include money and self-help.
Reaching young people is a big part of the literacy concept that Price wants to promote. In part, he hopes the easy access to books will help school-age children develop their test-taking skills.
“What we found out in the community is that many of them are not being successful in the areas of reading and comprehension,” Price said.
Price said he hopes that another residual of his church’s effort will be residents of the area developing businesses to restore the entrepreneurial spirit that is a large part of Frenchtown’s history. Through Philadelphia’s Foundation for Community Change, Price hopes to provide tutors for anyone who needs help developing their reading comprehension skills.
Since its opening, there has been a steady increase in purchases, said Landrum.
And, that’s not just on the account of foot traffic.
“We have a lot of phone orders,” she said. “We will deliver to you so you don’t have to pick them up.”