Archive for April, 2012

J. Walter Hackman, 88, formerly of Allentown, passed away April 21, in Souderton Mennonite Homes.  He was the husband of Ruth (Yoder) Hackman. They were married on June 10, 1944. He was the son of the late Joseph W. and Katie (Derstine) Hackman. He attended school in the Souderton School District and graduated from Eastern Mennonite High School in 1941. He was a salesman all his working life, even as a child, selling vegetables, pretzels, etc. from a push cart door-to-door in Souderton and Telford. He learned the butchering trade at various Philadelphia markets.

In 1947, he started BOOKSTORE TO YOUR DOOR, a truck stocked with Books, Bibles, Music and Gifts. This was the forerunner of what is now known as Hackman’s Bible Book Store in Whitehall. He was well known for his knowledge in selling Bibles, not only locally, but publishers were also aware of his experience and sought his advice.

From 1968-1970 he was President of Christian Booksellers Association, an international organization.  Also, in 1968 he received the Christian Bookstore of the Year Award. The Hackman’s were avid campers and for forty years they enjoyed a trailer in the Poconos at Spruce Lake Retreat with their children and grandchildren.  Three times they camped across the country. He was an expert at maneuvering his motorhome, even to Alaska. He loved fishing.

He was an active member of Allentown Mennonite Church for many years, starting the church’s first Vacation Bible School in a tent along with a camp program for city children. He conducted monthly prison services for 35 years at Lehigh County Prison. More recently he was a member of Swamp Mennonite Church.

Survivors: Wife, four daughters, and one son; Rose, wife of Glenn Martin, Barto; Rebecca, Wife of John Hess of Jonestown; Jenny, wife of David Fitting, Allentown; Joseph, Husband of Marcia Hackman, Emmaus; Libby, wife of Matthew Bauman, Quakertown. 11 Grandchildren: Lisa Stoltzfus, Rodney Martin, Shawn Hess, Andrew Fitting, Kevin Fitting, Joe Hackman, Elizabeth Kennel, Brian Hackman, Jason Bauman, Kyle Bauman, Jon Bauman.  6 Great grandchildren: Alex Rodriguez, Matthew Martin, Ryan Martin, Caleb Stoltzfus, Brandon Stoltzfus, Ila Hackman. In addition to family he is survived by two sisters, Verna Moyer and Dorothy Martin. He was preceded in death by Granddaughter Kim Rodriguez, Great Granddaughter Elizabeth Rose Stoltzfus, one sister Susan Moyer and two brothers, Linford and Wilmer.


Thurs April 26, 11 a.m., Swamp Mennonite Church.

2125 Rosedale Rd. Quakertown


Wed, April 25 6-8 p.m., Souderton Mennonite Home,

207 West Summit Street Souderton, PA 18964

Thurs, April 26 9-10:30 a.m. Swamp Mennonite Church


Swamp Mennonite Cemetery


Memorial Contributions:

The Gideon’s International, P.O. Box 3381, Allentown, PA 18106

Good Shepherd Home, 601 Saint John St, Allentown, PA 18103


Jeffrey A. Naugle Funeral and Cremation Service will be handling the arrangements.  www.janauglefcs.com


Read Full Post »

The Hackman family has recently had some sad news; J. Walter Hackman has passed away to be with our Lord and Savior.  We ask you to please pray for the family at this time while we all remember the great man J. Walter Hackman and the spiritual legacy he left behind.

In the beginning….

“We moved up to Allentown to take over a small mission,” says J. Walter Hackman, who co-founded Hackman’s Bible Book Store with his wife, Ruth.  That was in 1947 when Hackman was a meat cutter in Philadelphia.  “A friend say, ‘why don’t you sell something for the soul instead of the stomach?,’ and that’s how we started selling books and Bibles,” he remembers fondly.

Within his Mennonite denomination, Hackman felt the call to service and moved, with Ruth, to Allentown.  While living in a third floor apartment on Sixth Street, Walter carried a basket door-to-door selling books and Bibles.  He eventually had a bread truck outfitted as a mobile bookstore.  With that truck, he covered a 70-mile radius from home, and that’s when Hackman’s Bible Book Store was born.

“I’d approach a home carrying a basket that had three tiers to it,” Walter says.  “On the top tier, I had non-religious items; in the middle, I had books, and on the bottom, I had Bibles.  As I approached, I knew what would be in the customer’s mind: ‘We don’t want any books today.’ But in my mind was, ‘What do you need today?’

This is actually a key insight into what has built Hackman’s to its present stature.  Walter’s focus, from the very beginning, was on the customers and on providing the customers with what they needed at that particular time in their lives.  Most often, that involved inspirational books and Bibles that had the ability to change people’s lives.

“‘As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he'” Walter quotes. “We tried to provide that right thinking through the books we sold and the Bibles we sold and the products we sold.”

The first bricks-and-mortar Hackman’s Bible Book Store was on Sixth Street in Allentown, right next to the mission they had come to foster.

“It started very slowly,” says Ruth.  “The bill for rent was $35, and a big day was $16.50 at the time.  And we were also paying someone to be in the store!”

All five of the Hackman’s children worked in the store as they grew up.  The store grew too.  “The Lord blesses with sweat,” says Walter.

With a full family effort, Hackman’s relocated to St. John Street, and then after 17 years in that location, moved to an even bigger store on MacArthur Road, where it stayed for another 17 years before the store moved to its current location at 1341 Mickley Rd. in Whitehall, now owned by Joe and Marcia Hackman.

We ask everyone to please share their stories about how J.Walter Hackman has touched their lives, and fond remembrances of him.  Please leave them in the comments section below.

Read Full Post »

Earth day is coming up, and we wanted to remind everyone that this is a great time of the year to plant a tree or even your own vegetable garden.  A garden is a great family activity, and a way to get exercise and spend time outdoors.  Not only that, but you can then eat delicious, home-grown produce.  The wonderful tastes and colors of naturally grown fruits and vegetables were created by God, and nourish the body and the soul.  Earth day is also a great time to do crafts with kid’s such as making a pine-cone bird feeder.

For delicious, healthy ways to use the produce in your new garden, Dr. Scott Stoll has some great information and recipes here.  We’d love to hear how you celebrate the Earth and all of God’s wonderful creations!

Keep in mind that we have some events coming up at the store.  On April 20 at 7pm  is Ian Holme’s CD release concert and birthday party.  Everyone is invited, and we’re hoping to have a nice crowd.  You can check out Ian Holme’s and even download some of his music at http://ianholmesmusic.com/.

On April 28 at 9 AM is Christian Education Workshop with Velvet Lozada.  All Christian educators are invited to this free conference.  We have also cancelled our Courageous events this month.  Remember you can keep up on all the latest news on our Facebook page.

Read Full Post »

We hope everyone had a happy Easter and was able to stop in to see the chicks.  They were adorable, as always, and the kids loved them!  We were also able to get a picture of some of last year’s chicks- they grow up so fast!


We also had a lot of fun with the kid’s coloring contest, and with our online contests.  Congratulations to the winner’s of the gift cards and the Easter lamb.

We have some exciting events coming up at Hackman’s this month.  You can find all our events listed on our “events” tab on our Facebook page.

Give the store a call to register for “Courageous- Taking it Further” with Dick Parks and David Russiano on April 17 and April 24.

We also have Ian Holme’s CD release concert and birthday party on April 20; everyone is invited!  And for the Christian educators out there, we have a Christian Education workshop with Velvet Lozada on April 28.

We would love to know what kind of topics you would love to read about on our blog.  Leave us some suggestions as a comment, and if we choose yours, you will get an honorable mention and a small gift from us.

Read Full Post »