Christian Novelties Abound For Faithful


The little shop on the corner at the Twin Pines Center, Oasis Christian Books & Gifts will have a new owner a week from today, and she's no stranger to this specialized business.

Store manager and employee for the past 15 years, Bettie Clark becomes new owner July 1.


Bettie Clark, left, is a familiar face at Oasis Christian Books & Gifts. She has worked at the store for 15 years and managed it for owner Denny Katsigiannis, right, for the last two years. Now Clark owns the store, taking over officially July 1.

The 23-year Payson resident said the Christian bookstore is her first attempt at running her own business.

"I was prompted to buy the store after managing it," Clark said. "And I feel I am following God's direction for my life in making the purchase."

Clark is the seventh owner of the little shop, which has been a fixture in the community for more than two decades.

Even with its long stay in the Rim country, the store has a nomadic past.

Clark tracked the history of the store. She said it was started in November 1983 by Erin Gibson and was called Main Street Mission Christian Bookstore.

"There had been a Christian fellowship on Friday nights in the store site and when the business began, Gibson just left the sign in place," Clark said.

In the summer of 1986 Mary Reese bought it and changed the name to The Bible Shop, which Clark said it should still be called in her opinion.

A couple years later, owner Teresa Purtee moved the store to a larger location on Main Street.

Linda Chambers, also the owner of the Pizza Factory at the time, purchased the bookstore in 1991. She moved the shop to the Payson Village to be closer to her restaurant

In 1994, Alana Wallace took possession of the store, and changed its name to Oasis Christian Books & Gifts. Wallace is responsible for moving the shop to its present site in the Twin Pines Center.

Denny Katsigiannis, the shop's last owner, took over in November 2000.

In spite of all the changes, Clark said the store's merchandise will remain the same.

"Regular customers can expect to find the same selection and service," Clark said.

The inventory -- Bibles, audio books, religious references and texts, music, cards and gifts -- has all expanded over the years. Clark intends to maintain that healthy selection, including a small assortment of Bibles in the original Greek and Spanish texts.

Clark said she can special order Bibles, bound or on tape, and free gift wrapping is available.

Parents are welcome to bring their children in the shop to enjoy the large selection of juvenile books. And while parents shop, youngsters can wait in the large video viewing area.

Clark and Katsigiannis will have "A Change of Ownership Sale" Friday and Saturday, July 1 and 2.

All merchandise will be marked down 10 percent along with hourly drawings, balloons for children, refreshments and more, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. -- the shop's regular hours.

The Oasis Christian Books & Gifts is at 512 S. Beeline Highway. For more information, call (928) 474-4713.

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