Previously in the Mayfield Messenger on the weekend of Dec. 11-12, 2021 — The Good News Shoppe was featured as one of the communities ‘Tis the season to shop local’ picks, showcasing their wide array of religious gifts. Much like The Bloom Company, another feature that December weekend, The Good News Shoppe’s story didn’t make it far past publishing due to the tornado on Dec. 10 that left the city of Mayfield in disaster. Not only that, the building that housed The Good News Shoppe was also destroyed.
On Dec. 11, The Good News Shoppe posted to their Facebook page, “It’s with a heavy heart that I must share that we lost the Good News Shoppe during the storm last night. We are heartbroken and devastated, but are thankful that no one was there when it took place,” said Leisha Doran, owner. “Please keep the community in your prayers as Mayfield is unrecognizable. Praying for everyone. Love you guys.”
Not only this, Doran wrapped the first post with a verse a lot of community members are holding close during this time. “When we win we will praise him, when we lose we will praise him. In all things I will still praise him.”
The Dorans took over ownership of The Good News Shoppe in 2018.
“We have two boys named Avery, who is 8, and Drake, who is 3. We have lived in Graves all our life and feel like God led us to the Good News Shoppe,” said Doran.
In addition to Doran and her husband Ben, there are four other employees that keep The Good News Shoppe.
“Kay Rudd was a previous owner that still works with GNS one day a week. Debbie Gilbert has also been with the store for about 21 years. MaryAnn Richard has been with the store for about four years and works a couple days a week,” said Doran. “Ty Rudd is one of our college students that helps a few days a week and has been with GNS for about a year. I couldn’t do it without these wonderful people. They are knowledgeable, loving, and genuinely care about people. We are blessed to have them.”
The store has grown since opening in 1979, developing from being a Bible bookstore to adding inspirational and bereavement gifts. The shoppe was the idea of three friends — Gay Willett, Mabel Higdon, and Carol Jones. Ollie Lee bought out Jones’ part the year after opening.
On the night of the storm, Doran was at her parents house. “At the time we did not have power or cell service so we had no idea what had happened. My husband is a deputy and he was out as well and I could not get in contact with him either,” said Doran. “My phone was in the window and I finally got a text saying that the courthouse and FNB had been destroyed. My heart sank because I knew that meant The Good News Shoppe was probably gone as well.”
Though, the items inside the shoppe, nor the building itself was Doran’s first thought.
“The first thing that went through my mind was if Debbie was out of the building. I knew it wasn’t unheard of for her to be there,” said Doran. “I got in touch with Debbie and she was at Trace Creek at their play. Thankfully she was safe, and everyone else was safe as well.”
Later in the night, Doran started getting text messages informing her that the store had been destroyed, and a picture had been posted on Facebook. “I was heartbroken by the news and it was a total shock. I was heartbroken for so many as it touched the whole community. My prayers are with everyone that has lost loved ones or that have been affected by this storm,” she said.
In shock, the team at The Good News Shoppe didn’t know what to do or say. Doran’s family, friends, and the community stepped up to help during this difficult time.
“I showed up to the store ready to start salvaging anything we could and we were greeted with family, friends, staff, church family, and people I didn’t even know. It was such a humbling experience. It was hard to complain when you had the love of God working through all of these people,” said Doran. “The community stepped up, not only for me, but for so many others. I am forever grateful and hope in some way I will be able to pass it on to others what has been given to me.”
When the team walked into the destruction there was a tag hanging on the wall, once attached to a sweatshirt. “The shirts were gone, but it was the only thing left on the wall. It said, “I WILL NOT BE SHAKEN.” It was such a powerful message and so true,” said Doran. “I’ve learned through this experience that God is right there with us and that this is just something we will grow from and not be shaken.”
Not only was a tag of hope still hanging, Doran was surprised to find another discovery.
“One of the most interesting things that happened from the store was how some items seemed almost untouched. The Bibles were still in their place just like you would have come into the store ready to pick up a Bible,” said Doran. “Most of them were damaged, but relatively untouched. I totally believe that God wanted everyone to know That God’s Word still stands. We felt that since the Bibles weren’t in salable condition we donated them to two churches to hand out to families when they came in for supplies. It’s our prayer that we were able to plant a seed especially during a time that is so tragic for so many,” said Doran.
On the night of Dec. 22, community members and volunteers from near and far joined together and sang by candle light, ‘Light The Fire In My Heart Again,’ mourning what they had lost — yet beginning a journey of healing together.
“I’ve learned that Mayfield is what a community should be. I knew that before the tornado based on the support that we got from our community, but it’s at a different level now. Mayfield cares, our community cares, our leaders care,” said Doran. “It’s amazing how many people have come into our town to help from all over the world, our own people that have stepped up and worked so much to help our great little town. I know everyone is so grateful.”
Currently, The Good News Shoppe is working moving to a new location at the Mayfield Plaza. The landlord is hopeful that renovations to the space will be completed in the next couple months.
The GNS is almost 43 years old, and the Dorans pray they will have many more years with their community.
“I don’t feel like our story is over yet, and we are just fixing to start the next chapter. We are excited for what God has planned for us and am excited for the future,” said Doran. “We may come back different and in a new place, but one thing is for sure — the love of God will be there.”