By the time he retired in August of 2020, Pastor Jim McMurry says he had a couple of rooms stacked floor to ceiling with books - and it was time to sort them out!
“I got a piece of software called Book Buddy and organizing my books for the first time in my life,” says Pastor McMurry, “I told my church family, ‘You can have whatever books you want out of my office. I’m just giving them away, you’re welcome to them.’” But after about a month, Pastor McMurry found himself with even more books than he had started with! “People started bringing me their books, too, so I wasn’t solving my problem!” he told me.
Pastor McMurry is no stranger to coming up with interesting ways to build relationships with his community and church family. He was once featured in our Oregon Adventist Stories series and shared about how to minister by being an Uber driver! Always one for creative ministry, Pastor McMurry began to see an opportunity and a calling with all these books. After borrowing a few library book trolleys from his church, Pastor McMurry began taking his book collection around to local churches for free book giveaways. “Eventually I had a Pathfinder trailer all rigged up so I could fit them all in!” he said.
“I didn’t even start keeping stats until way after I started, but I’ve given away 8,826 books since I started counting in the spring of 2021!” In his book carts, Pastor McMurry has 4,700 to give away and many more that he still has to process. He says he’s never sold his books before - but this week has been partnering with the ABC to sell them for $2/inch!
“It gives me joy that I can get materials into the hands of people that I know are going to get a blessing from them,” Pastor McMurry said. “The thing that thrills my heart the most is when people tell me they’ve been looking for a book for years and couldn’t find it until then. One man told me that his father had been learning a new language by reading the Bible in it, and he had been looking for a German Bible for a long time.” That very Sabbath Pastor McMurry had put one in his collection to take with him, and the man was so excited and grateful to find it!
Pastor McMurry has so many books to share at the camp meeting book sale that he has to rotate the stock every day, so make sure to come back each day to explore the new options that are available!