03/22/2019
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By Erin Smith

A bookstore is an endeavor of loving care and a thirst for knowledge. For one Bladen County store owner, it has also been a labor of love. Faith Partners Christian Supply on West Broad Street in Elizabethtown is preparing to celebrate their 30th year in business.

Mildred Jackson said the store first opened it doors on September 19, 1987. She said the idea formed when worked in management and was a supervisor for more than 47 people. She said one day she and another supervisor were talking and she told the supervisor that one day she was going to have a job she loved.

Jackson said as time went on, she had a revelation. “The Lord spoke to me and said, why not a Christian bookstore? I said, ‘Lord, where?’ and He said, ‘Elizabethtown’,” said Jackson.

She said as she shared her revelation with a friend, she was initially discouraged from setting up her store in Elizabethtown. “I was told it wouldn’t be successful, so I put off doing it,” said Jackson.

She said some time passed and she took a vacation where she contracted pneumonia. While she was out of work recovering from her illness, she began to purchase supplies for the bookstore. Jackson said at one point her living room was filled with items she had purchased for the store.

The store has actually been housed in three locations in Elizabethtown, said Jackson. For one year it was across the street from the Bladen County Courthouse in the former Hallmark store location. Then Jackson said it moved further down Broad Street before she moved into the current location at 117 West Broad Street.

“It has been in this sport ever since,” said Jackson. She said there have been times when operating the store has been a challenge. Jackson said each time she felt discouraged, something would happen to lift her spirits.

Jackson recounted how a couple of years ago, things were looking dire. She said a couple came into the store and the gentleman told her he owned a Christian bookstore in Virginia. Jackson said a few weeks later the man returned with a load of books, music, and some Lions of Judah Chairs he gave to her.  Jackson said this generosity gave her some relief and all of the chairs immediately sold.

She said the success of the store is, “Because it was a call from God. God has kept me. I thank God for my landlord.”

She said her landlord is Mr. Taylor and his daughters have worked with her to allow the store to remain in its current location. “I thank God for them. I thank God for the customers.” said Jackson.

She said she has customers form throughout Bladen County and surrounding areas.

Her advice for someone just beginning a business: “If God calls you, he will never call you to do something He won’t prepare you for.  The will of God will never lead you where the grace of God won’t keep you.”

Jackson said she loves what she does. She says she has met a lot of people through the store.

“It’s been a faith walk, but I love it and I’ve met some good people in Elizabethtown,” said Jackson.

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