FAIRMONT — A local ministry is hoping to set some Guinness World Records in this year’s Holy Week with a marathon reading of the Bible.
At this week’s Fairmont City Council meeting, representatives of Tree of Life Ministries of West Virginia told council members about their plans to host a “Holy Week Marathon.”
Bennie Kyle, armor-bearer for the ministry, said the marathon will be held from Palm Sunday on April 5 through Easter Sunday on April 12 at Pierpont Community & Technical College.
Plans calls for a total of 1,168 men, women and children from all walks of life to read in an attempt to establish Guinness World Records for the number of people reading the Holy Bible and the most hours of continued reading of the Bible.
According to a news release for the event, each reader will read one chapter of the 1,168 chapters in the Bible.
One person will read at a time, with the reading rotated on a three-microphone rotation.
This reading will continue non-stop for seven days. Kyle said the reaction to the event has been good.
“We’ve been getting very positive support everywhere we go,” he said.
He said the ministry is “a third of the way there” in getting the 1,168 readers, and people are welcome to be readers.
According to the news release, people can get additional information or sign up to read or volunteer by downloading an app at the Google Play Store under “Holy Week Marathon,” going to treeoflifeministriesofwv.com or calling (681) 404-7743 and speaking to the staff.
Kyle’s daughter, Ti’ara E. Kyle of Morgantown, president of the ministry, said she has been working on the marathon for five years, having started when she was 18 years old.
The ministry was formed just for the event.
“I love doing stuff for God,” Kyle said. “I’m trying to get everyone together and do something we love on the most special holiday.”
Kyle said she got the idea for the marathon because she thought “it would be nice to come together and read the Bible.”
Noting the variety of readers, Bennie Kyle said they include Sen. Joe Manchin, a 96-year-old woman, a 12-year-old child, several homeless people and several people fighting drug addiction.
He said some people at the city council meeting, including some council members, expressed an interest, and they’re hoping to get police and firefighters involved.
Ti’ara said she hopes to get the girls basketball team at WVU on board, as well.
People are invited to watch the reading, and it will be streamed on the ministry’s website.
Council member Tom Mainella said he is one of the council members volunteering to read.
“I think it’s a fine thing,” he said.