History of Bible Reading Marathons
John Hash, founder of Bible Pathway Ministries, loved to spread the Word of
God. He initiated the first Bible Reading Marathon (BRM) on the Mount of Olives
in Jerusalem on January 1, 1990. “It is such a great time to let the testimony
of God’s Word reach out to a world that is continually questioning and looking
for answers to life’s problems. It’s an opportunity for many to join in
speaking out for the Lord,” said Hash.
That same year the International
Bible Reading Association was chartered and marathons spread quickly throughout
the world – Russia, New Zealand and India to name a few countries.
In May 1990, a BRM was held on the
steps of our nation’s Capitol and has been an annual event, marking its silver
anniversary in 2015. Since 1993, the majority of the State of Ohio’s 88
counties have held annual marathons.
Georgia’s first BRM was organized
by the Cochran-Bleckley County Ministerial Alliance in 2004. Marathons, like
God’s Spirit are spreading. Upson County started their annual marathon in 2013
after Dwain W. Penn urged the local association over several years to consider
the event. Mrs. Jerri Tuck from Cochran met with the Upson County Ministerial
Association in January 2013 and within three months the event was organized and
held. Just days before the marathon was to begin, the reading schedule was far
from being filled. However, God blessed as individuals walked up during the
event and asked to be allowed to read anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.
Penn, a resident of Pike County
for over 20 years and preacher at a rural church near Concord, wanted to
initiate a BRM in the county. His first obstacle was the local library refusing
him to use its meeting room for a Christian event – the planning of the
marathon. Only recently did Penn read in the local paper about the Prayer Power
of Georgia group, led by Ben Maxedon. Almost immediately, the Spirit urged Penn
to step out in faith, have his church purchase a generic BRM banner (indicating
no sponsorship) and fill out a request with the county to use the south portico
of the courthouse in Zebulon. From there, God would do the rest.
The 2015 Pike County Bible Reading Marathon
The first annual Pike County Bible
Reading Marathon is scheduled for September 7 – 13, Monday through Sunday. The
Hebrew New Year, Rosh Hashanah, will occur just a few days after the marathon
closes. Since 1985, Dwain W. Penn has had a tender heart for the nation of
Israel and all things Judaic, the fertile genesis of Christianity. Yes,
September 7 is Labor Day, but Penn is convinced that a few local volunteers will
be led to help fill those first seven hours. Hours for the
3 p.m. to 10 p.m., Monday, September 7;
7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday,
September 8 – 12;
and 2 p.m. – 10 p.m., Sunday, September 13
for a total of 90 hours.
All versions of the Holy Bible may
be read at the marathon. Use of the Amplified Version may create slight
problems with the material that is to be read each hour. If a reader finishes
reading early, he or she may read on until the time is up. The next reader will
simply back up and start, using the scheduled text. At the end of each day, the
last reader(s) must stay until they finished the text for that hour and day.
Bilingual Christians may use a foreign language Bible. It all comes down to
being God’s Word, whether it’s read in French, German, Italian, Spanish, etc or
English. The Word will not return void!
To make the marathon successful,
clubs, organizations, individuals, pastors, deacons, elders, Sunday school
teachers and churches need to volunteer and accept from one to a few hours to
readers and to fill in open time slots as needed. Once a individual experiences
the anointing of reading God’s Word in public, he or she will want to
return later to help make the marathon schedule and event a success. Employees
working in the Zebulon area are welcome to stop by before or after work and read
for 15 minutes as space is available.
Volunteer readers and marathon supervisors may contact Penn at 770-567-4113
after inspecting the schedule by the link found below. [Penn
doesn’t have internet at home, so keeping the online schedule updated during
this inaugural year may be a challenge.]
is donating a portable PA system and a small table for use with the marathon.
The following items may be
needed: A portable podium or music stand*, a microphone stand*, and three folding chairs.
Donations to cover this year’s expenses and carry over for the 2016 marathon may
be sent to New Hebron Baptist Church, P. O. Box 101, Concord, Georgia, 30206.
Write “Bible marathon” in the check’s memo line.
Visitors are welcome anytime
during the marathon. Stop by to say "hello."