MANKATO — For nearly 40 years the Lighthouse Christian Book & Gift Shop has been the place where generations have marked baptisms, first communions, graduations and weddings with special gifts.
What most shoppers didn’t know is that the decades of profits from the store all went to building churches in Third World countries, from India to Cuba.
At the end of the month the store, just atop the Madison Avenue hill, will close its doors as it faces the pressures of online retailing that have affected so many brick and mortar businesses.
“It’s bittersweet. I think we’ll be missed,” said owner Cathy Bristol. “Retail has just changed and it’s tough for small family businesses.”
Her son, Matt Bristol, who has long managed the store,…