Thursday, March 18

Coffee Shop/Internet Cafe Comes to Town

Coffee Shop Ribbon Cutting Ceremony,
Pictured left to right:

Tim Skinner (Library Director), Dave Heffron (Town Councilman), Tyler Jones (Store Manager), Jimmy Jones (CCI Founder),
Ken Clark (CCI President)

A Wi-Fi Coffee Shop came to town on a dreamy Spring day. We'd all been waiting for it, some of us more impatiently than others, and about fifty of us turned out for the ribbon cutting ceremony.

"My life looked a lot like these old buildings before Jesus made a difference," began Jimmy Jones, President and Founder of Christ Central Ministries and Founder of Christ Central Institute. Jones told how the initial plans called for housing the library on the main campus across town, but the downward economy prevented that from happening. Then these run-down buildings became available and God seemed to lead the college in a different direction. Jones compared his restored life in Christ to the restoration that was done with these buildings, adding that "a lot of people need the same encouragement, just as we worked with these buildings." Christ Central walks the talk. While their buildings are restored with top quality work, it is the broken lives of people that they are most interested in restoring.
The ribbon cutting ceremony for Christ Central's Research Library and Expressions Coffee Shop began with a prayer by Pastor Leroy Dodson and introduction by President Ken Clark. Clark explained the work that has been done in preparation for today's grand opening, years of going through the donated collections, cataloging 80,000 - 90,000 volumes and removing the duplicates. Clark also mentioned that the upstairs has been furnished as a men's dorm for students and faculty.

Founder Jimmy Jones then spoke, followed by Tim Skinner, the Research Library's Director. Skinner comes to us with three Master's Degrees and having worked previously at three Bible Colleges. (The first time I met Skinner, he was riding through town on his bicycle in his tweed coat and his top hat. I knew right then he would fit in this little town perfectly.) Skinner expressed his heart's desire to help students learn to navigate a research library properly.
Dave Heffron took the podium on behalf of Mayor Mike Miller, out due to illness. Heffron told how the town had mixed feelings when told of CCI's plans to build the coffee shop and library at this location. Feelings of disbelief coupled with excitement. Disbelief that these buildings could be restored, that a wi-fi coffee shop and a considerable research library could come to such a small town and excitement that if anyone could do it, CCI could. The town, said Heffron, is excited to have a place for people to socialize and relax, to sit and talk and use their laptops.

The final speaker for the day, in flip-flops and looking very cool, appealing to the young adults in our community, was store manager Tyler Jones. (the first time I met Tyler he was eating a hot dog on my back patio) Jones thanked us all for coming out and encouraged us to return with friends and laptops. He described the menu of beverages and sandwiches, the availability of 3 computers for public use, and the wi-fi internet service for those with a laptop. I later had the opportunity to ask Tyler what his favorite beverage is: Cafe Fraze'. "It's candy-like," he said, "coffee...sugar....a li'l chocolate..."
He had me with "chocolate." It was fabulous.
The coffee shop opens for good on Saturday, March 20, 2010, 8:30 a.m. The library opens the same day, 10:00 a.m. Expressions Coffee Shop is located at #112 Park Ave and the Research Library is at #110 Park Ave. They are snuggled between Wagener Feed and Kwik Karry and they are across the street from Town Hall.


Jen said...

Glad we decided to have lunch there today! It was great!

Poof said...

Me, too. The chicken teriyaki wrap is awesome. Tonight I'm having the decaff coffee and I'm surprised how yummy it is. Lately decaff hasn't tasted too good to me. Thanks for a great day, Jen!