JOPLIN, Mo. — For seven decades, For All Bible has been the go-to shop for not only bibles, but fellowship.
“A mixture of tremendous sadness, shock, unbelief … all these emotions just mixed up together,” is how co-owner of For All Bible, Christ Leiter, describes this month.
“My wife’s mother, Margaret Fullerton, started this store in 1948. She was raised in this store. Customers tell stories of seeing her in a little bassinet as a baby in the store,” says Leiter.
The family-owned Christian business will soon close its doors for good.
And with it, a supportive customer base and community for Chris and Carla Leiter.
“And she’ll see people come in and they’ll go into tears and she’ll go into tears and you know it’s just a whole gauntlet of emotions,” tells Leiter of his wife and their beloved customers.
The two have both witnessed hundreds of lives change because of scripture.
Leiter says they’ll “see people come in searching, we’ll see people searching and concerned for a family member or friend and they’ll pick up something here or pick up a bible for them. And they’ll come a few weeks later, months later, maybe years later, and say guess what happened! … we’ve seen it over and over and over again. Too many times to remember, but we remember them all.”
As business began to decline years back, the couple set an end goal for the business, 70 years.
And now the 70-year mark is just about here.
Though this chapter is closing, the Leiters say the most important one will always remain open.
“It doesn’t matter what’s going on out here in the world,” says Leiter, “As long as I have that rock formation that’s got my back and I can just lean against that rock that is the Bible, I can get through anything and that’s what the Bible is to us.”
For All is located at 505 North Rangeline Road in Joplin.
The store will be open until they sell every item, most of which is now on clearance.