After almost 38 years at Evangelical Bookshop, Belfast, John Grier has handed over leadership of its ministry to Colin Campbell. Colin is the fifth manager since the shop was started by John’s father, W. J. Grier, in 1926.
John has seen many reasons to thank God for his goodness. Church leaders report that they received the sense of direction for their ministry from the advice of the staff and the trustees’ principled stocking policy, the goal of which is to sell only books in line with the great Reformed confessions.
Churches have regularly requested Bibles for new converts, and sometimes 50 or more after gospel missions. Central Belfast is peaceful and buzzing, so that many tourists visit for advice or directions, and receive a gift of John Blanchard’s Ultimate Questions in their own language.
From all over Ireland, churches that did not exist 40 years ago are emailing orders for Bibles, books and Go Teach materials. The work of the gypsy evangelists who call at the shop thrills the heart of all who hear of their 38 churches in Britain and Ireland.
The arrival of translations of the Bible such as the 1979 New International Version, New King James Version and English Standard Version, has eased communication with the younger generation.
Computer stock control and ordering, a website and the use of Facebook have moved bookselling forward into the 21st century.
There has never been a greater wealth of Christian literature, as many others have built on the work begun by the Banner of Truth in publishing Reformed and Puritan classics, and modern books by authors influenced by them.
John says, ‘The shop has given me choice fellowship with marvellous Christians from many denominations, and with many excellent committed colleagues. I’ll miss the ministry immensely, but rejoice that it’s being continued in capable hands’.