Bookstore Owner's Vision Stirs Whole Community
Today, many Christian bookstores are closing for lack of interest, but the Millennium Bible Book store in Cincinnati, Ohio is different.
Owner Walt Cormican has used Chick tracts and a bold street ministry to keep it a significant part of the community. Working closely with his church, Berean Baptist Church, and a local church, Morningstar Baptist, Walt uses the bookstore to support Charlie Henry's outreaches, from parades, to bus kids, to the homeless, and a "march for Jesus" that they do periodically at a busy intersection in town.
Walt sows the gospel seed widely convinced that the fruit will show up in heaven, even if it is not greatly visible here.
Walt is ever alert to find others who have a heart for souls. Dexter Bailey is one of those. A native of Chili and Argentina, he played professional basketball and was saved after reading a Chick tract. Dexter remembers the void in his heart while a student athlete in Argentina and Chile. The death of his brother and another funeral in his senior year of college only peaked his concern about life after death. He even sampled the Bible occasionally but didn't understand it.
One weekend at a friend's house, he saw "several cartoon type booklets on a coffee table." After reading This Was Your Life, "I knew that I was a guilty sinner on my way to hell. So without hesitation I knelt and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. That same day I read The Next Step," Dexter remembers.
He has continued using them as a witnessing tool before and after moving to the U.S.
When Charlie Henry learned that Dexter spoke Spanish, he asked him to help reach a local Latin community. Using Spanish tracts, they developed enough interest to dedicate one of the church buses to pick up kids in that neighborhood. As usual with other churches who run bus ministries, Chick tracts work well by handing them to the kids when they get on the bus, so they are reading quietly during the ride.
Dexter also led the owner of a local Pizza place to Christ and now free Chick tracts are available at all three cash registers and on the serving tables.
Enough people in Walt's church have caught the vision to help in "tracting" parades and other community events as well as local parks. Charlie Henry has a pickup and "gospel trailer" used as a home base and preaching platform for the events.
The Annual "March for Jesus" is held at a busy intersection where about 50,000 cars a day go by. Bookstore customers, church members and children and youth groups line all four corners of the intersection holding scripture signs and slipping tracts into hands extended from the car windows.
When someone like Walt has a vision, God sends others to join and soon a whole community is touched with the gospel. In street ministry, people often do not get the complete message of the gospel. As this church has found, signs, banners, street preaching and one-on-one witnessing all contribute to advancing the gospel. But when a no-nonsense gospel tract is put in their hands, you can be confident you have delivered a message they can act upon.