SHARING THE WORD: Bible reading marathon begins downtown

Published 8:28 pm Monday, April 29, 2019

The 2019 Bible Reading Marathon got underway Sunday afternoon on the Square in downtown Troy with assurance from Ken Baggett, Director of Missions Salem-Troy Baptist Association, that the Word of God will not return void.

The Bible will be read aloud publicly from Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21.

The Bible Reading Marathon will end at noon on Thursday  with the National Day of Prayer service.

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Prior to beginning the reading of the scriptures on Sunday there was an hour of music and prayer, beginning at 6 p.m.

Michael Jay Hughes of Goshen, the St. John Baptist Church Choir, led by Robby Sheppard, and Tim and Kathy Dowdy of Luverne provided the entertainment.

A large crowd gathered for the opening of the annual non-denominational Bible Reading Marathon hosted by the Salem-Troy Baptist Association.

“Several local churches decided to forego Sunday night services in order to attend the opening of the Bible Reading Marathon,” Baggett said. “Ten pastors were said to be in attendance.”

Following the entertainment, everyone was invited to participate in “Prayer Around the Square.”

Baggett said the prayer walk is an opportunity for the community to be involved in the Bible Reading Marathon and to pray for leaders from the local community to those in Washington D.C.

“There were prayer groups on each corner of the square and some people prayed as they walked around the square,” Baggett said. “‘Prayer Around the Square’ sets the tone for the reading of the Bible aloud throughout the days and nights of the marathon.”

Maebeth Gibson and Ann McMillian were among those who read from the Old Testament on Monday morning.

Gibson, laughingly, said she struggled with some of the words, especially the names, but she reads each year because she loves the Lord.

“God’s message needs to be heard and I try to spread it every way I know how,” Gibson said. “My church, Old Lebanon, participates every year but this year it’s going to be harder because we are having revival. At the opening of the revival last night, the message was about being in a rut about religion and how we should get out of that rut and open our mouths and tell others about the Lord. The Bible Reading Marathon gives us that opportunity.”

Ann McMillian is a long-time participate in the annual Bible reading.

“Once I got started, it would be hard to say no,” she said. “Even the difficulty in pronouncing the names does not deter me. I believe that once God’s word is read it will not come back void.”

Linda Adams, association administrator, said there are opportunities for readers both day and night. The individual reading blocks are 15 minutes but larger blocks of time may be reserved for families and groups. Call 344-1050 to set up a reading time or visit the registration tent near the gazebo on the square in downtown Troy.