“Feel connected with God” is the slogan on Hackman’s Bible Bookstore’s website, and for decades that’s what the store has been helping others to do. But on April 30, Joe and Marcia Hackman will close the doors to Hackman’s Bible Bookstore, citing the overwhelming pressure of online competition and a declining market of church-goers.

“We’ve been in business for [70] years,” says Joe. “My dad started with a ‘Bookstore to Your Door,’ which was a truck that he used to sell his wares from place to place.” Roughly 40 years ago, Joe started his apprenticeship at the family store in Allentown, Pennsylvania. “At 13 I started ringing the cash register. Then I went to college to become a teacher. I taught for two years, got married, and came back to the business as the manager. I did that for about 10 years before I bought the store from my dad, J. Walter Hackman, a former CBA president.”

The 20,000 square-foot store has been a light in the Whitehall, Pennsylvania community, having employed up to 27 people at one time. “We once had a very large business,” says Hackman, “but success now is to break even.” During the store closing, the Hackmans are helping the remaining nine employees find new opportunities.

While selling the business or keeping it in the family are not viable options for the Hackmans, Joe is negotiating with a Christian product distributor on a licensing agreement for catalog orders, while selling off store inventory.

The Hackmans made the announcement about the store closing in a Facebook post. “As the Lord opened the door for our first store, we believe he is now leading us toward retirement and closing our doors,” they said. “We offer a truly heartfelt thank you to everyone who helped to make our work at Hackman’s enjoyable, meaningful and God-honoring.”