90-hour Capitol Bible Reading Marathon kicks off Saturday after pandemic postponement

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, participating in the National Bible Reading Marathon, Washington, D.C., April 29, 2019.
Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, participating in the National Bible Reading Marathon, Washington, D.C., April 29, 2019. | Louie Gohmert Facebook page

The 31st annual Bible Reading Marathon in the nation’s capital will kick off Saturday as speakers begin reading from Genesis through Revelation in 90 hours just a block away from the U.S. Capitol. 

This year’s Scripture reading marathon will kick off at 2 p.m and will last through next Wednesday at 10 a.m.

The annual reading marathon, which was first held in 1990, normally takes place on the West Terrace of the U.S. Capitol in the springtime every year. 

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Keith Davidson, the founder of Seedline International, an Indiana-based ministry that has facilitated the event since 2019, said that the coronavirus pandemic upended the spring plans and forced organizers to reschedule for later in the summer. 

In an interview with The Christian Post, Davidson explained that because “they’re getting ready for the inauguration,” the West Terrace is not available for the marathon this year.

This year, the Bible will be read from the Faith & Liberty building located on Second Street in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood across the street to the U.S. Supreme Court building. 

“We are on Capitol Hill basically, we’re just not on [U.S. Capitol] property. … Actually, the Supreme Court [building] is right in front of us,” Davidson explained.

Seedline International has “a team of 20 or so" that will be present for the marathon.

“They’ll rotate off and on and then other folks come in and rotate off and on," the group's director said. "They have times that they sign up for.”

In addition to the team from Seedline International, other prominent figures in the faith community have been invited to participate in the Bible Reading Marathon.

Last year, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, was one of the readers. This year, Davidson said that he sent an invitation to U.S. Senate Chaplain Rev. Barry Black to participate this year.

“Last year, we had almost 500 readers,” Davidson recalled. “This year, it’s probably going to be around 300 because of COVID.”

In addition to offering people the opportunity to read the word of God in Washington D.C., the organizers of the reading marathon are giving people who cannot make it to the capital city the opportunity to participate as well.

“Something that we’re doing new this year because of COVID, we’re … offering the option for virtual reading from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.”

He said that among those who plan to read virtually are a missionary from Mexico as well as a missionary and his family in South Korea.

Davidson predicts that “25% of the readers are going to be virtual this year.”

“We didn’t want to exclude anybody because of COVID,” he stressed.

As the nation grapples with the coronavirus pandemic and racial unrest, Davidson believes that it is more important than ever to turn to the Bible. 

“This read, especially this year, is needed across our country. I think our nation’s hope lies in the word of God,” he proclaimed. “I think the Bible is our foundation and can give us that duration and give us hope to get back to where … America once was.”

As for next year’s D.C. Bible Reading Marathon, Davidson hopes they will be able to hold it again in the spring at the West Terrace. 

“Of course, nobody knows what COVID’s going to do but if things go back to as normal as possible … we have our permits secured for next year,” he announced.

Those hoping to tune into this year’s Bible Reading Marathon can visit or Seedline International’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

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