Dellinger’s Christian Bookstore
By Doug Harrell
This article is kinda like writing a eulogy for a funeral of a good friend, only this time it is for the closing of a business in Spruce Pine that has touched the lives of so many Christians in Mitchell County and many of the surrounding counties, Dellinger’s Christian Book Store. This business has served the community, churches, and Christians throughout the area since 1974 when Jewel went in business with a person that was then their pastor. In 1978 Linda, her sister-in-law bought out that half of the business and the two sisters-in-law went into what was to be a career that would last the remainder of their working lives. I personally worked closely with them and their business for the ten years that I owned and published Blue Ridge Christian News and was always blessed by the relationship.
The business originally started in the building across the corner from DT’s at the corner of Crystal Street and Lower Street and moved to several different locations in Spruce Pine before purchasing and moving into their current location in May of 1986. Jewel made the comment that she told Linda when they moved there she was never going to move again, this was it and where they would stay the remainder of their years in business.
One of the most thankful things that both Linda and Jewel talked about during the time we were visiting and discussing this article was how thankful they both were for the kinds of customers they had been blessed with over the years. The comment was made several times that the customers that came into their business were Christians and the vast majority, acted as such and had been such a blessing. The fact is that there was hardly ever anyone that came in with a chip on their shoulder, but they often had repeat customers that were summer residences that would come in and tell them that they could not wait to get back to get the warm smiles and hello’s they were welcomed with when they walked in the door.
Another thing that had touched both of the ladies was the fact that they were able to help those in need of guidance, pray at times with those that were hurting and rejoice with those that were rejoicing. They felt like their business was more than a business, that they also had a ministry that touched lives in many different ways.
When asked about being able to work together for such a long time and remain close, the comment was made that communication had always been the key. That there were times that they saw things differently but that they had always been able to talk through the issues, whatever they were.
When they felt the time had come to sell out and close the store several different people were interested in the building. They commented to me that they felt as if God had inhabited the building for years and they wanted His presence to continue to be present for whatever use the building was to be used for. They were very selective with the sale. No doubt they could have gotten more money by going another direction but decided upon what that they felt the Lord would be happy with.
We regret the closing of any business, but it is especially tough to see businesses that promoted and supported the entire Christian community in the way that Dellinger’s has over the past forty-six years! We want to thank you for your faithfulness, smiles, prayers, and love that your business has provided for this little community over the years. May your days continue to be blessed and may the smiles and love for Christ continue to radiate from your faces in the coming years. Thank you, Jewel and Linda Dellinger, for your many years of service from all of us that you have both meant so much to. May God bless you both in a mighty way.
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