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Bible reading and Day of Prayer to go forward

Photo Provided Marve and Linda Dalton play music during the National Day of Prayer of 2020. The event was livestreamed, but for 2021 the participants will be back in front of the courthouse.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — The Belmont County Bible Reading Task Force will be back reading scriptures in front of the courthouse, starting at noon April 29 and concluding at 7 p.m. May 5, before the National Day of Prayer at 11:30 a.m. May 6.

Linda Jordan, one of the organizers, said participants are overjoyed about the prospect of resuming to an outside gathering.

“Last year, we were able to hold the event, but due to COVID we had to hold it in a totally different way,” she said. “We were limited by the group gathering mandate.

“We asked the readers to do their scheduled reading at the place of their choice,” she added, “and while some of them still chose to read in front of the courthouse, many of them streamed their reading live on Facebook, and then others simply read from the privacy of their own home, which was all great. We were able to do it, but it was kind of different that way, and we were also able to hold the National Day of Prayer.”

Last year’s event was hosted at the Harbor of Hope Church and streamed live on Facebook.

“This year, the task force, we’re very excited to again be able to hold it right in front of the courthouse, and we will be following social distancing guidelines, and we’d like to invite the public to join us as we pray for this great, great nation,” Jordan said.

She said the public is invited to visit the Belmont County Public Bible Reading Facebook page or call Steve Roten at 740-359-3183.

“He’s been involved with the task force for many years now,” Jordan said.

The May 6 scheduled speaker will be U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio. Pastors from around Belmont County will also lead prayers. Music will be provided by local performer Jo Ann Copeland.

Jordan said people who had signed up to read last year were being contacted to see if they are still interested, and prospective readers are also able to contact the task force through its Facebook site.

“Everyone I’ve talked to about it is very excited and happy to do it,” Jordan said. “Everyone I’ve spoken to about it is excited to be back face-to-face. As a matter of fact, there are still people who are saying they don’t see why we didn’t have it up there last year. … We were following the governor’s mandates.”

Jordan said all precautions will be taken and a high turnout is expected for the readings and the day itself.

“I’ve had people contact me already, wanting to read. I look forward to a bigger turnout this year,” she said.

The theme this year will be 2 Corinthians 3:17: “Lord, pour out Your love, life and liberty.”

Bible reading times are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. April 30 and May 1, noon to 10 p.m. May 2, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. May 3 and May 4, and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 5.

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