Ministries emerge from pandemic with hope
'All our plans were wrecked, but God still used it.”…
By Feb. 1, publisher and bookstore 21st Century Christian will be out of its location on 12th Avenue South in Nashville, Tenn. — where it’s been since 1965 — and into a new spot in the Green Hills area.
It’s a bittersweet move for the company, which is associated with Churches of Christ.
“We love it here,” said CEO Matthew McInteer. “This 12 South area of Nashville has been our home. … We’ve now been here for over 60 years on one side or the other of this street. And so it has been home to me for my whole life — my father for most of his as far as workplace — so there’s a lot of history in these buildings right here, but we’re excited about where we’ll be.”
The new space at 4108 Hillsboro Pike — about three miles down the road — used to be a Tuesday Morning. McInteer said the three-story building, which will be shared with a bank and other stores, will offer a little more space and will be able to house the business’ bookstore, publishing operations and most of its warehouse in one place.
As for the old building, McInteer said it’s been sold to a developer and will likely be torn down.
21st Century had plans to move before the COVID-19 pandemic that fell apart and had to be restarted a few times.
“Trying to plan for the future was kind of tricky as we went into survival mode as churches shut down for a while,” McInteer said. “And then as we’re coming out of it, this is probably our best fit going forward.”
But even now, the moving process has been a challenge.
“When you’ve been in a place for 60 years or so, there’s a lot to clear out and get situated,” McInteer said.
Still, he said the business is trying to make the process seamless for customers, who can still place orders and have them shipped the same day in most cases. And the walk-in retail side of the store is still open — though some of the inventory is boxed up.
Beyond the move, 21st Century is planning a new, updated catalogue and national Churches of Christ directory. A directory update was originally planned for last year, but McInteer said the surveys were postponed to avoid inaccurate data during the pandemic.
The company is also working on a new website that McInteer hopes will provide a smoother process for customers and is continuing to publish Bible class curriculum and Bible study materials.
Overall, the CEO thinks 21st Century is in good shape.
“If you had asked me in the middle of 2020, I would have been pretty concerned,” he said. “We did make some moves, and this physical move is part of that in terms of shoring up the long-term financial stability. And I think at this point, we feel really good about where we are.”
Subscribe today to receive more inspiring articles like this one delivered straight to your inbox twice a month.
Your donation helps us not only keep our quality of journalism high, but helps us continue to reach more people in the Churches of Christ community.