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Community to take part in Bible marathon

The Salem-Troy Baptist Association invites the people of God to participate in the Bible Reading Marathon, which begins on Sunday, May 3 and concludes on Thursday, May 7, the National Day of Prayer.

The event will begin at 5 p.m. May 3 at the Gazebo on the square in downtown Troy with special music by the Sheppard and Wilkerson families. The Bible Reading Marathon will begin at 6 p.m. with Genesis 1:1.

Averyt Walker, director of mission Salem-Troy Baptist Association, said his experience has been that the Bible Reading Marathon is a special time personally for those who read. “According to the scripture God says, ‘When my word goes forth, it will not return unto me void,” Walker said. “As Christians we believe that it is important to read the world of God aloud, not just for us as individuals, but for our nation.

“Contrary to what President Obama said, we are a Christian nation. We believe in ‘one nation under God’ and we are privileged be able to practice our beliefs freely and exercise them in a peaceful way.”

Walker said Christians believe that God’s word is fruitful and needs to be heard.

“God’s word may not be the solution but it is a help for the problems that we suffer in our economy and the ills of our society,” he said. “Even when God’s word is being read and there is no one to listen, the time is especially meaning for the reader. When it’s just you and God’s word and God’s creations around you, it is a special time that can’t be described. Everyone who has read during the Bible Reading Marathon has said that it is a very special and meaningful time for them personally.” Linda Adams, Salem-Troy Baptist Association administrative assistant, said everyone is invited to attend the opening of the Bible Reading Marathon on Sunday, May 3. “We have several churches that are planning to attend the opening as their Sunday night service and several that plan to come on Wednesday night to either read or listen,” Adams said. “This is our third Bible Reading Marathon but it’s the 20th year for the Bible Reading Marathon at our nation’s capitol building.”

The Bible Reading Marathon is an annual event of the International Bible Reading Association.

The Salem-Troy Baptist Association takes the lead in hosting the event but churches, organizations and other groups and individuals from around the area participate. “We are scheduling reading times now and encourage those who wish to participate to call and reserve a time,” Adams said. “Readings are 15 minutes in length and you can read one time or several times and there is no minimum age limit. Last year, we had a reader who was either seven or eight years old. We want anyone who wants to read to be a part of this very special event.”

Adams said the hardest times to fill are the hours between midnight and 5 a.m.

“The first year, we had Troy University students who reserved a large block of time between those hours,” she said. “They came as a group and stayed together.” Some churches are reserving a block of time, as are several organizations.

“We need 360 readers for the 90-hour marathon,” Adams said. “However, the last two years, we have completed reading the entire Bible somewhere after midnight on Wednesday. Then we started with the Gospel of Matthew and continued reading the New Testament until the noon hour on Thursday. “

“We will conclude the 2009 Bible Reading Marathon at noon on Thursday, May 7, with the National Day of Prayer ceremony that includes words of encouragement and prayer.”

To reserve a time to read, call 566-1538 or e-mail salemtroybapt@bellsouth.net or stop by the Salem-Troy Baptist Association office at 317 Ray Ave. in Troy.