South Carolina Capital Bible Reading Marathon to take place April 28-May 2

Tony and his wife Deborah Summerlin at South Carolina State House.On April 28-May 2, starting at 3 p.m., the South Carolina Bible Reading Marathon will take place on the south steps of the South Carolina State Capitol building in Columbia. For 90 hours, the Bible will be read out loud for state representatives and the public to hear and participate in reading. And His Word will not return to Him empty (Isaiah 55:11).

The Capital Bible Reading Marathon was founded by John Hash, who had a vision for God’s Word to be publicly read out loud without commentary and politics. Hash had participated in a Bible reading marathon in 1989 on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, which inspired him to host an event in the United States. The first Bible Reading Marathon took place in Washington D.C., in 1990. What began in Washington, D.C., now takes place in seven state capitals, including South Carolina.

Today, Seedline International, a nonprofit organization that produces, transports, and distributes the Word of God around the world, is directing the event. The event begins with an opening ceremony, followed by 360 15-minute time slots of Bible reading. Individuals can sign up for multiple 15-minute slots online at People from all different backgrounds, ages, and races are welcome to read the Bible. A table with 104 different translations of the Bible is available for use.

Families are also encouraged to show up with their children and help them read. Volunteers with Seedline International will read during any time slots that do not get filled, but the more involvement the better. Help is needed to work the tables and read the Word.

“And we need South Carolinians to be the helpers,” said Deborah Summerlin, a South Carolina Bible Reading Marathon coordinator.

“What we want is people to understand the value and the power of God’s Word,” said Tony Summerlin, a South Carolina coordinator for the event. Summerlin said that often Christians go to church, tithe, and are involved in Sunday school, but they do not get outside of their four walls. The Bible Reading Marathon is an opportunity for congregations to get outside of the building.

During the event, there is not only an opportunity to read the Bible, but also an opportunity to witness, explained Summerlin. Jesus did not just die for Southern Baptists. He died for the world, said Summerlin (1 John 2:2). The invitation is to all. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

This event gets the Word out to the public and reminds States to return to Christian principles. But the main focal point is simply the Word of God. Readers are not allowed to comment or protest. Instead, participants simply read His Word. This keeps with the vision of Hash, who desired God’s Word to be the priority for the entire event.

Through this event, the Summerlins desire that people see the value of God’s Word. First, His Word will not return empty to God, but will accomplish His purpose (see Isaiah 55:11). And second, God exalts His Word above His name (Psalm 138:2).

“It’s all about Him. And it’s all about His Word. And we never want to lose focus of the fact that this whole Bible reading marathon is to read God’s Word out loud,” said Summerlin.

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