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Dightman’s Bible Book Center
was founded in May of 1959 when Don and Margaret Dightman purchased Hemminger’s Bible Book Center at 740 Broadway in downtown Tacoma. That store doubled in size during the first few years of operation. Then in 1969 as downtown was experiencing the demise of its major anchors, and the Tacoma Mall was fast becoming the retail center of the city, Dightman’s made a move to the Lincoln Business district.

The new store was formerly a billiards hall. It had cigarette burns in the carpet and bullet holes in the windows. It was exciting to see it transformed into a Christian Bookstore and the neighborhood was happy to welcome us. During the 26 years that we were at that location, the store expanded out the front and back of the building and built a second story office and breakroom addition. Dightman’s also purchased the old shuttered bakery on the corner to create a parking lot. Some of the fun events at that location were hosting Carman and Hal Lindsey as well as many other artists and authors.

In 1981, Don Dightman was suddenly called to glory, suffering a major heart attack while playing racquetball with college students. Don had been an active bicycle enthusiast for many years, often taking the youth of First Presbyterian Church on bicycle trips to the church conference grounds and even riding to the ocean and back for several years with groups of kids!

Dightman’s was operated by several managers with the guidance of Margaret Dightman until 1993 when daughter, Donna was able to leave her teaching career and step back into the business where she had worked part time through her junior high, senior high and college years. This was another transition time for Dightman’s as the Lincoln Business district transformed into the International District and was no longer perceived as a safe location for the Christian bookstore.

In 1995, the move was made to the Super Store on the corner of 38th and Cedar streets. This large location allowed us to have a deli, a conference room and more floor space. Open mic on Thursday nights and concerts on Friday nights became very popular with the Christian community and the business grew substantially for several years. Unfortunately, the lease payments also increased substantially. When the 38th street freeway overpass was demolished and gone for 10 months, it created havoc for customers trying to reach Dightman’s. When the overpass finally opened, the startling events of 9-11, 2001 created chaos with the airline industry, the dot.com business and the economy in general. With decreased sales, Dightman’s could no longer afford to stay at that location.

In February of 2002, we made the difficult decision to downsize and move across 38th street into Michaels Plaza. The move was hard and disappointing for all the Christian business groups that had enjoyed meeting in the Glory Room of the big store. But we were able to benefit from the lower lease and managed to keep the store in business. Things were tight in the smaller space and we were very grateful to be able to knock out a wall in 2012 and expand into the space next door.

The added gift gallery is greatly loved by the Christian community. The laser engraving area has also been a big hit with Dightman’s shoppers. We still have a large book section and one of the largest Bible departments that you will find anywhere. Our customer service is highly rated and our vendor sales representatives tell us that Dightman’s is one of the nicest and best stocked Christian stores in the country.

Dightman’s truly is a treasure that this community values. Yet, in this time with Amazon and other internet sellers out to undercut brick and mortar stores, business is a challenge. Thousands of Christian stores have closed across the United States. Our book and gift vendors have downsized and consolidated and some have gone bankrupt. With the rise in the minimum wage in Tacoma, Dightman’s has been forced to run with a smaller staff and trim our opening and closing times. Our future lies in the faithfulness of our loyal customers. We need your continued business and we need our customers and the churches of Tacoma to continue to tell friends about Dightman’s. Word of mouth is the best advertising.

Thank you for taking the time to read this! We want you to know that you are appreciated. We look forward to serving you in the future. We want to be here to be here as an anchor for Christians as we watch this world quickly transforming away from our Godly heritage. We will stay faithful as long as God allows. Your support is appreciated!

The Dightman's Team:

At Dightman's we have a friendly staff of Good Christian People.
You'll find us warm and inviting and are ready to serve whenever you come into the store.


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Sarah Young Jesus Always Oct 4, 2016

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