For the past 24 years, Nancy Wallace has been the go-to person for music-related questions at Christian Soldier bookstore.

From ordering popular selections and stocking new releases to steering customers to the right accompaniment choice, the music buyer has enjoyed being part of the community's repertoire over the years.

She started directing choirs when she was 14 and has appreciated meeting others through the store.

"I'd see people's enthusiasm and love for music, because that's mine," she said. "They'll come in and say, 'I need this' or 'I want something like this.'

"Sometimes I feel like Nancy Drew; I've got to figure it out."

From a parishioner who sings every Sunday in church to the bride seeking the perfect song, the store amped up a few years ago beyond sheet music to creating a "burn bar" for its patrons. The technology translates to choosing the right song and "burning" it onto a CD.

"They have thousands of songs on there (the computer) -- you can look them up. There might be five different versions," Ms. Wallace said. "They can listen to them, choose the one they like and we burn it in the store.

"I think the nicest thing about it is you can walk out of the store with it that day."

The playlist is vast, she explained -- from acappella to Elvis, big band to alternative, hip hop, holiday, choral and classical.

"You can also look up songs by categories -- a wedding, funeral, Mother's Day, Father's Day -- I have had people come in and sit for hours," Ms. Wallace said. "We like to teach you how to do this on the computer because then you can come in anytime and do it."

The burn bar also allows patrons to select songs they like and make their own CD, sort of like an updated version of the mix tape.

"You can pick a category, pick an art, choose the songs you want, add them to your cart and pay by the song," she explained.

Cost for each song can be anywhere from 99 cents to $1.59.

The burn bar has been a hit for not only customers but for the store, she said.

"We are actually fifth in the country, for the number we have sold for that month,' she said. "Christian stores have these burn bars.

"When we sell anything, the information goes to Tennessee and they do a total. We average 1,500 a month."

Beyond shoring up to customers' playlists, though, she has found herself in unique positions to help others.

"I had a woman come in who said, 'I don't know if you can help me or not but I need a song to play for my husband's funeral. He had just died of cancer," she said. "And my husband had just died of cancer. I shared that with her.

"I was able to pray with her and say, 'You're not alone.' We were there to hold each other up. She not only got her song but she was able to leave with a happier heart."

That is a poignant anecdote, she noted.

There have been happier ones.

Like the brides who come in, starry-eyed and poised to choose a memorable song for their special day.

Ms. Wallace had her own love story, 33 years with Jim Wallace before he passed away 13 years ago.

"My husband and I used to come in here (the store) and decorate once a month," she said. "That was our Sunday afternoon. I really enjoyed that."

She has many wonderful memories of her time at the Christian bookstore, but recently decided to retire to spend more time with her two daughters, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

The departure from the store is bittersweet, though.

"I'm going to miss the people that I see all the time, the music reps," she said. "Some of them have been extremely enjoyable. One in particular was like a sister to me. She'd call me at home and pray with me."

The customers have also become friends, she said. Loyal and supportive, she added.

"We meet people. They may not even believe like you do and that doesn't matter," she said. "What matters is that you serve the same God. You're trying to meet the need so that they can grow in Christ.

"You know that if they come in here, if you have got a problem, I will pray for you."

The atmosphere in the store, which plays peaceful music, is designed to be a refuge and an uplifting place for those who enter there, she said.

Harold Herring, store owner for the past four years, sung Ms. Wallace's praises.

"I have never had to be concerned about the music department being run properly and with excellence," he said. "I never question her because she goes above and beyond."

As for Ms. Wallace's plans for retirement, she joked that she is creating a bucket list.

"I have a granddaughter, age 11, who wants to go skydiving," she said. "I did that when I was a teenager.

"I haven't gone up in a hot air balloon but my aunt said, never give up -- she went up in one when she was 80!"