Kelley honored after 30 years with Christian Book Store

Aided by prayers, Pat Kelley made a chance decision, which ultimately led to work at Christian Book and Gift, where she celebrated 30 years of service Monday.

Kelley was first employed in January 1992 by Jan White, who was the owner of the bookstore at that time along with her husband, Greg. At the time, she was a cashier at the store, which has moved three times since her first day.

“I was informed of the possibility of an opening by a dear friend of mine, Faye Reddish. I made contact with Jan, and an interview was scheduled. On the day of the interview, I met with Jan and Doug Knight, and before the interview, we prayed together. It was at that moment I knew I had found the job I had prayed for. Jan called me the day after the interview to tell me I could begin work on Jan. 17. Little did I know that 30 years later, I would be working with the same business. I am very grateful,” Kelley said.

She enjoys the life-impacting moments she gets to have with the bookstore’s customers. “I have had the great privilege of introducing people to the Lord. We have prayed together, cried together, laughed together, and became family together. The long-term relationships I have made throughout these years are most cherished.”

Kelley reached the 30-year plateau at the store on Monday. She believes that time makes for a big milestone at Christian Service Center Book and Gift.

“It is a testimony of God’s faithfulness. He has blessed me to be involved in His work all these years. I am humbled to be of service for Him and those I have met.”

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Although there have been many changes throughout the years, the bookstore’s mission has remained the same. “We have changed owners, but our mission is to provide spiritual material that will feed the soul of all those who come in. One of the most profound impacts has been the ushering in of the digital age. We have moved from cassette tapes to compact disk to MP3’s and now burn on-demand music and books,” Kelley said.

She has many duties as the current manager of the bookstore and does not have a goal on how many years she wants to achieve. “My primary responsibilities are to keep the store well-stocked with items that help our customers with all they may want or need. I also strive to offer the best customer service possible. I do not know how long I will continue to work for the Christian Service Center Book and Gift, but I pray and trust it will be many years into the future.”

Working at the establishment for 30 years and having the support from everyone along her journey means a lot.

“I feel very blessed to have had the privilege to work in a ‘God-centered’ environment for 30 years. This is a place where many have said they enjoy coming ‘just to let the weigh of the day melt off.’ I would like to say I have been blessed to work with some of the finest people I have ever met. Greg and Jan White, thank you for allowing this journey to begin with you. Sonny and Sally Steele, thank you for your friendship and all you did for my family through the years. Dewayne and Rita Scroggins and Tabitha Stacks, thank you for all your kindness, leadership, and love throughout the years. You all paved the way to where I am today. I love you all,” Kelley said.

She now works with Otis Corbitt, Byram Lambert, and Robin Smith. “I am looking forward to many years together with you all. To all my many coworkers through the years, I love you all. Thank you, Robin, for you are a godsend, and I appreciate all your hard work.”

Christian Service Center Book and Gift is located in the Covington Baptist Association building at 18350 U.S. Highway 84 in Sanford. For more information call 334-222-3711.

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