A downtown Neosho bookstore has opened its doors once again, just in time for the Christmas season, while it's adjoining space will soon serve a new purpose.

A downtown Neosho bookstore has opened its doors once again, just in time for the Christmas season, while it's adjoining space will soon serve a new purpose.

Joyful Journeys Christian bookstore, formerly owned by Gary and Jane Massey and joined with Jon's Pharmacy, closed its doors along with the pharmacy on Oct. 25, as part of a mass purchase by Walgreens of several USA Drug owned pharmacies throughout the mid-South.

As of Wednesday, Joyful Journeys has opened again, and a ministry will soon be moving in next door.

Jeremie Bridges, director of The Canopy Ministry, currently located at 112 E. Spring St., said the ministry is under a lease agreement to purchase the Jon's Pharmacy building, which includes the Christian bookstore.

While the ministry itself will not be opening in the space until sometime next year, Joyful Journeys is already up and running again, and based on the response it garnered Wednesday, is back by popular demand.

However, unlike before the closure, the bookstore now operates as a non-profit. The store is still operated under the same manager, Marilyn Daniel.

Bridges said all profits made from the store will be put back into the Neosho community to help those in need.

"One hundred percent of the profits from the business are going to go to the poor in the community," Bridges said. "It's going to be kind of a long-term project in a sense that we have to turn a profit with the business and it might take us six months to a year to realize that. But, once we do, starting out we'll do things like supporting the different ministries in town that are already ministering to the poor."

Bridges said the ministry hopes to eventually use those profits to open a soup kitchen or meet additional needs in Neosho.

"We don't want to reinvent the wheel, if there's already a good foundation in the community we want to just be a support to that," Bridges said.

The Masseys opened Joyful Journeys in 2006.

Gary Massey said he has heard from several Neosho residents who wanted to keep the bookstore open, and is thrilled that The Canopy has allowed the store to continue.

"With the closing of the pharmacy we were very concerned that the bookstore would end up being closed as well," Massey said. "We're very excited that The Canopy has taken over the ownership of that to ensure that that ministry continues in the community."

The bookstore had previously operated as a regular retail store.

Bridges said the bookstore will be open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. year-round, and from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturdays during the major holiday seasons, such as Christmas and Easter.
Bridges said the decision to stay in the downtown area of Neosho was also important to The Canopy.

"Downtown has its own feel and we see a lot of people on a daily basis, especially at the Canopy, who come in and are just in various forms of need," Bridges said, noting that Crosslines, the Help Center and several local churches are also doing a great job addressing those needs. "We just see in the economic times we're in and the way things are looking, that there's going to be more need and so we just want to provide another resource."

He said the bookstore will be operated as a non-denominational outreach.