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Christian book store coming to downtown Greencastle

March 21, 2003|by RICHARD BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - The owners of Morning Star: A Perfect Gift, a new business at 57 E. Baltimore St., might want to consider changing its name to the Moveable Christian Book Store.

The store, which opens unofficially at the end of this month, will be in its third location since Carl and Mary Margaret Bittle opened it in Beltsville, Md., 18 years ago.

It stayed there for three years before the couple moved it to the square in downtown Thurmont. It had its longest run there - 15 years - before the move this month to Greencastle.

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The name of the store has never been changed, Mary Margaret said.

"The Bible says Christ is the bright morning star and He is the perfect gift," she said. "The Lord keeps leading us to new towns."

Mary Margaret grew up in Silver Spring, Md. Her husband is from Littlestown, Pa. Their church, Calvary Fellowship of Cumberland Valley, opened in Greencastle in April 2001. Early services were held in the Rescue Hose Co. No. 1 fire hall. The congregation has since moved to the former Trinity Evangelical

Lutheran Church at 145 E. Baltimore St. It leases the church building.

The congregation, which started with 10 members, including the Bittles, now has about 50 members, she said.

Since the Bittles began attending the church from their home in Thurmont, their next logical step was to move their store to Greencastle, they said.

"We felt that God was calling us to Greencastle," Mary Margaret said. "The people here have been very encouraging and welcoming. We're excited about moving the store here."

The couple has been busy in recent weeks renovating the store, formerly occupied by a bridal shop, the Hitching Post, to fit the needs of their business. The grand opening is set for April 25.

The couple will work in the store themselves. Mary Margaret said she and her husband do not plan to move to Greencastle since most of their family ties are in Thurmont.

The store's inventory centers on Bibles, the Bittles' primary product, Mary Margaret said. It also sells Christian books, videos and music, some apparel, jewelry and gifts.

A main feature, one of the first that customers will see when they come in the door, is the children's section up front.

The store features a homeschool headquarters where homeschoolers can buy academic and other supplies. It also sells supplies to area churches.

"This is a family-oriented store," Mary Margaret said.

Hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and Friday.

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