A new campaign by the National Bible Association to encourage Bible reading highlights the influence the Holy Book had on slave abolitionist William Wilberforce and other freedom heroes.
As part of the campaign, NBA will collaborate with The Better Hour Gatherings to launch 2000 billboards nationwide reading, "William Wilberforce Fought for Justice. His Guide? The Bible. It can help you!"
The Better Hour Gatherings is a group dedicated to educating people on Wilberforce's crusade for the 1807 abolition of the slave trade, his leadership and inspiring them to better society.
"William, an avid Bible reader, was inspired by the Bible to take efforts to end slave trade. The campaign brings two great things together," said Rachael A. Lechliter, program director of NBA, according to The Bulletin in Philadelphia.
The campaign seeks to show the Bible's profound influence on many who change, and have changed, the world, according to NBA.
NBA announced the campaign on at a news conference on Wednesday during Black History Month.
"In our passion to encourage Bible reading, we are highlighting the monumental influence the world's greatest book has had on freedom's heroes, like William Wilberforce, but also Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Abraham Lincoln and many who fight, and have fought, for freedom and justice," said NBA chairman Gilbert A. Robinson.
"All of these forces and legacies are deeply rooted in the Bible," commented Eric Metaxas, author of Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery, which is associated with the movie on Wilberforce's abolition efforts.
Metaxas was among the leaders, who were strongly familiar the work of Wilberforce and King, to endorse the campaign at the news conference. He was joined by Chuck Stetson, founder of The Better Hour Gatherings, and Martin Luther King III, son of the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
The young King said the Bible was "powerful force" in his father's life work.
"He knew the Bible extremely well and used it as the principle basis for his ministry and his mission for civil rights and equal justice," said King.
At a news conference Thursday, King recalled that as a child his father would set aside time for Bible reading and prayer at the family's Sunday morning breakfasts. King and his siblings would also have to recite their Bible verse for the week.
"My personal love of the Bible is part of the personal legacy he and my mother left me and our family," said King.
The National Bible Association also encourages Bible reading during it's signature event, National Bible Week, which takes place annually during the week of Thanksgiving.