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Newton bookstore transferred to local ownership


Mennonite Publishing Network
September 15, 2006

Newton, Kan.—On September 15, the Provident Bookstore at 724 Main Street in Newton, Kansas was sold by Mennonite Publishing Network (MPN) to a local investor group. The store will be closed for two weeks for renovations. A grand re-opening is scheduled for early October.

In consultations with church and business leaders in December 2005 and in February 2006, MPN executive director Ron Rempel discussed plans to either close or sell the Newton store, which has required subsidization over the past five years.

He also said that MPN, as the publishing ministry of Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada, is seeking to focus on its core mission of publishing books and resources with an Anabaptist perspective. MPN publications, except for dated curriculum and periodicals, will continue to be available through the store.

In the consultations, Newton leaders indicated that the closure of the store would be a loss to the community. They formed a steering committee co-chaired by Dewayne Pauls and Virgil Penner representing the community and Chamber of Commerce and Ted Stuckey representing Mennonite Church USA to explore options and vision for local ownership. An investor group chaired by Lois J. Friesen has purchased the store inventory and other assets.

Rachel Friesen will provide management oversight for the store, which will be renamed Faith and Life Bookstore, LLC. Rachel commented “that as we learn from each customer, this store will grow and change. We want the store to more clearly reflect and represent their interest and concerns.”

For further information, contact:

Ron Rempel, executive director, Mennonite Publishing Network,,1-800-631-6535

Lois Friesen, chairperson, Faith and Life Bookstore, LLC, 1-316-283-2210