Bible reading marathon celebrates first amendment freedom

Published 11:00 pm Monday, April 29, 2013


Dolisca Steed reads the Bible Monday morning during the 7th Annual Pike County Bible Reading Marathon.

Most pedestrians who crossed the square in downtown Troy Monday morning paused briefly as Dolisca Steed read from the Holy Bible.

Steed was a volunteer reader for the 7th Annual Pike County Bible Reading Marathon that began at 6 p.m. Sunday with a Prayer Walk around the square.

“I volunteered to read the year after my husband’s death. I found comfort in reading the Bible publicly,” Steed said. “When I’m reading God’s Word, I have a sense of peace. I feel closer to God.”

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Ken Baggett, director of missions for the sponsoring Salem-Troy Baptist Association, said the marathon is a way to be faithful to God’s word and to honor it.

“And God’s Word will not return void,” he said.

The Bible Reading Marathon is held annually on the first Thursday in May in conjunction with the National Day of Prayer and will conclude at noon Thursday with a prayer service at the Gazebo.

Baggett said the purpose of the marathon is to have a public reading of the Bible from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21.

“We are exercising publicly a freedom that we have as Americans,” he said. “By reading the Bible publicly we are witnessing to God’s word and celebrating our First Amendment freedom.”

The Bible Reading Marathon is a non-denominational event and everyone is invited to participate. Readers for the 90-hour marathon volunteer to read in 15-minute time slots.

“We still have time slots to fill and encourage anyone who would like the read from God’s Holy Word to join us,” Baggett said.

Volunteer readers can choose the available times that are most convenient by calling 566-1538 or by stopping at the tent on square.

Baggett said the most available slots are during the late night and early morning hours but times are available throughout the day.

The Bible Reading Marathon is a time of preparation for the National Day of Prayer service at noon on Thursday. Dr. Rick Lance, executive director of the Alabama Baptist Convention will be the featured speaker.

Everyone is encouraged to make plans to participate in this special prayer service at the gazebo and join people in throughout the nation in a time of collective prayer.