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Posted: September 16, 2009 12:00 a.m.

Buy local...JITA Marketplace

Photo by Gabriel Khouli/

Wendy Connor is an ordained minister, an author and a publisher, so she's well versed in the world of Christian literature. She finds that a lot of religious literature is based on beliefs and traditions that overtime have been shaped more by men than by the Bible. Those beliefs and traditions lead to artificial separations between Christians like denominations.

That's why Connor opened the JITA Marketplace, a Christian bookstore which she said carries unique books that you won't find in other stores. The books in her store are scripturally based guides to living or personal, spiritual stories that speak to the reader.

"I don't deal with traditional beliefs, but rather on Biblical literature and spiritual literature," Connor said. "I've been called to tear down religious barriers because religion is simply man's set of beliefs and traditions. Most of those traditions are man-made so I ignore them."

JITA stands for Jesus Is the Answer, and Connor said she came up with the name when she first became saved herself and began asking a lot of questions. As she searched for those answers she realized that Jesus was the answer to everything.

The marketplace opened in June, and was an extension of Connor's two-year-old JITA Publishing business and her ministry. Everything Connor does is an effort to spread God's word and help people learn to understand the Bible for themselves and become closer to God.

Connor's assortment of unique books includes her own personal efforts and the books of several local authors. Since she opened, she said she's received at least one or two calls a week from local authors who want to get their work published, or get their already published work in the store. If Connor connects with the book, she agrees to publish or sell it and will even provide the author with free personalized business cards for advertising.

Connor believes that God still speaks to and through people, and she searches for those people and those stories.

"I believe God still has something to say to us. I ask them to tell me their experience with God because those books are powerful, life-changing books," she said

Connor said she doesn't care if the person is an experienced or well-know author, she just cares about the content. JITA has a lot of children's books because knows children have questions and the sooner they can get those answers from the Bible, the better. Bible comic books have been a popular read among children.

She even carries Christian-themed health books, which draw on Scripture for examples of healthy foods and healthy living. If there is a book she doesn't have, she is willing to make special orders to accommodate the customer.

All of Connor's profits are invested back into the store, because it's the ministry she's interested in, not the money. She invites people to come in and talk with her, and is planning on hosting a weekly, one-hour discussion once the new year rolls around.


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