Annual Bible Marathon a Big Success on Capitol Hill

(Wikimedia Commons)

The 31st annual U.S. Capitol Bible Reading Marathon ended Wednesday after more than 400 readers read in 15 different languages from Genesis through Revelation in 90 continuous hours on Capitol Hill. The youngest reader was 10 and the oldest 85 years old.

The reading marathon began on Sept. 12. It traditionally takes place on the West Terrace of the U.S. Capitol, begins in May and ends on the National Day of Prayer service.

However, this year, Faith and Liberty hosted and facilitated the event in its Ministry Center across from the Supreme Court building with readers participating in person and virtually. Seedline International brought in a team that provided incredible technical infrastructure to facilitate the Bible Reading Marathon. As a result, more than 54,000 viewers watched the event.

Participants included U.S. House of Representatives Jody Hice, Doug LaMalfa, Louie Gohmert, Vicky Hartzler, Jeff Duncan, Cathy McMorris Rodgers and U.S. Senator James Lankford. A Chinese church brought over 25 readers who read in Mandarin, Cantonese and Korean.

Missionaries from South Korea read virtually, and multiple churches reserved hours and took turns reading from their hometown. Residents of the House of Ruth Transitional Living Center read for two hours. The founder of the center started a Bible reading marathon in the prison years ago with 53 readers, and many of them became Christians as a result.

The U.S. Capitol Bible Reading Marathon was established in 1990 by Dr. John Hash and Dr. Corinthia Boone. Vonette Bright, the co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, served as the co-chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force and Chairman Emeritus of America's National Prayer Committee. Bright helped facilitate the vision for the U.S. Capitol Bible Reading Marathon and encouraged Dr. Boone to hold the event around the time of the National Day of Prayer.

In 1990, Boone took a group of 30 pastors and went on the West Lawn of the Capitol. Each reader would hold a carnation as he read God's Word and then passed the flower to the next participant.

Boone, 85, participated in this year's opening and closing ceremonies.

"It is a privilege to participate in the reading of God's Word as it flows throughout Capitol Hill, especially during this time as the nation grapples with uncertainty and unrest," Faith and Liberty Vice President Peggy Nienaber said. "The Bible is the foundation of America, and within those pages, we find the only answer for hope for this nation."

Faith and Liberty is an evangelistic ministry, taking the gospel of Jesus Christ to the nation's top elected and appointed officials. Faith and Liberty accomplishes its mission through building personal relationships with individuals serving in government, distributing Scripture and informative materials and staging special events such as panel discussions, Bible studies, news conferences, seminars, prayer and worship, and building strong alliances with like-minded individuals, groups, religious communities, churches and institutions.

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