Bible Reading Marathon gives voice to God’s Word

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Josie Manion probably should have been nervous.

But the nine-year-old was as cool as the center seed of a cucumber.

On Monday, Josie was happily waiting her turn to read in the 2018 Bible Reading Marathon that began Sunday night at the gazebo on the square in downtown Troy.

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“I’m excited to get to read,” Josie said. “I want to read because it’s important to read the Bible. That’s God’s Word.”

And, Josie has it just right.

“Isaiah 55:11 says that God’s word shall not return to Him void. We read, knowing that God’s word will have an impact and that it is going to make a difference,” said Linda Adams, Troy-Salem Baptist Association administrator.

The 12th Annual Bible Reading Marathon began at 7 p.m. Sunday and will continue, with the reading of the Bible, from Genesis: 1:1 through Revelation 22:21, until noon on Thursday and officially open the National Day of Prayer service.

Prior to the opening of the Bible Reading Marathon, the choirs from St. John and Antioch Baptist churches entertained with worship and praise music.

“Everyone enjoyed the music and we had a good crowd as we prepared for the Bible Reading Marathon,” said Ken Baggett, director of missions for the Salem-Troy Baptist Association, which spearheads the annual Bible Reading Marathon. “Before we began reading, we had a time of prayer to prepare us for reading and listening. We believe, as the Bible says, that God’s word shall not return to Him void.”
Those in attendance formed prayer groups around the square and prayed for safety and assurance for all of those who will participate in the Bible Reading Marathon.

The Rev. Averyt Walker, pastor of St. John Baptist Church in Tarentum, was the first reader for the 2018 Bible Reading Marathon. However, he read first from Hebrews 4:12: For the Word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Walker said it is right to read God’s Word publicly and with a visible voice and to give an account of what has been heard.

Adams said St. John Baptist Church took a two-hour block of time on Sunday night and individual readers, including those from Antioch Baptist Church got the reading off to a sound start.

“We had several men who swapped out throughout the night,” Adams said. “We are beginning to have more churches and individuals sign up to read.

Tonight from 5:30 until 7 o’clock the Bible will be read in Spanish.

Churches that will be reading in blocks include Southside Baptist Church, First Baptist, Salem Baptist, Antioch Baptist, The Vine, Banks Baptist Church, the Baptist Campus Ministry, Hebron Baptist, Old Lebanon Baptist and Springfield Baptist.

“We have daytime slots and especially need readers for Wednesday night and the late night hours and early morning hours for tonight and Wednesday,” Adams said.

The number to call to reserve a slot is 334-344-0336.

Listeners are welcome at all times.