By Kurt J. Kolka

LEWISTON — On June 10, a new business opened up in Northern Michigan, Beginning to End Christian Bookstore. 

The retail business was opened by Autumn Brown of Lewiston, a 1995 graduate of Johannesburg-Lewiston High School. It features a wide assortment of Bibles, Christian books and gifts. She also sells used books and can order other books of any genre for individuals, churches and organizations.

“Today, books need to be budgeted,” says Autumn. She says she keeps used books because not everyone can invest fifteen dollars or more on a book.

Autumn says this bookstore is just another step in learning to trust God. Although this step has been quite a bit scarier than some previous ones.

Autumn grew up in the area and attended the First United Church of Christ in Gaylord as a child. Later, as a teen, she walked away from church as many do.

At age 22, she felt something was missing in her life. So, she explored various other religions, but none of them filled the empty void in her life. Then, she picked up the Bible and began reading that. She suddenly felt “home again.”

Soon she received an email about online courses offered at Liberty University. After doing some research, she decided to enroll. And in the end, she received a Bachelor of Sciences in Biblical Studies with a minor in Christian Counseling. Autumn hadn’t planned on using the counseling degree as a profession, but felt it would be useful whenever she worked with other people.

Instead she worked at First Federal Bank for several years. It was during this time she began to notice something else missing. This time it wasn’t about her (she thought), but about the Lewiston community. She and her friend, Jodi Gordon, began talking about what else the town needed. 

In 2018, Autumn came up with the idea of a Christian bookstore. First, she talked with others in the community about it. Everyone seemed to be onboard with the idea. So, she contacted the American Booksellers Association to explore what needed to be done to start a bookstore.

Surprisingly everything came together quickly. That is when it became scary.

“It was terrifying,” says Autumn. She suddenly realized what it meant. In order to make this idea into reality, she had to trust God by leaving her job of several years. That meant Autumn leaving her place of greatest earthly security.

With Christian friends praying for her and holding her accountable for meeting her deadlines to establish a business, she stepped out in faith.

“I wanted this to be a place of peace and it has been,” Autumn says. “People have told me. People have walked through the door and left feeling more peaceful. I pray over the store daily.”

Whether working with customers to find a book or visiting other retail owners to find out how they are doing, Autumn is a natural. She calls it “bridge building.” Relationships are her strong point.

“I want to use whatever God has given me to help people.”

Beginning to End is located at 2971 Kneeland St. in downtown Lewiston.

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Kurt J. Kolka grew up in the small community of Grayling, Mich., near the forested AuSable River. After majoring in English at college, he began a career in writing and newspapers spanning more than two decades. In his spare time he creates a Christian comic strip, The Cardinal, which has a 28-year history of publication. He has also authored a book, “Bullying is No Laughing Matter” (Front Edge Publications, Ann Arbor, Mich., 2014) and is working on his first novel. Kurt and his wife Diane have been married for more than 25 years and have one daughter, Rebekah, and an overprotective dog, Alli. Of life, Kurt says, “Life is never dull with God at the steering wheel, but, man, does He have a lead foot!” More about Kurt and his musings may be found at www.betweenthepines.org.

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