UCF members share the Bible with others on campus


After nine hours of the 72-hour Bible reading marathon, members of United Christian Fellowship had read nine books of the Old Testament. The marathon lasts from Sept. 25 at 8 p.m. to Sept. 28 at 8 p.m., in front of Bowman’s Den.

Sarah Ladd

UK United Christian Fellowship students are reading the entire Bible aloud on campus for the tenth year.

The Bible Reading Marathon is an annual event hosted by UCF, a 40-year-old campus ministry. The organization is part of a three-church network in the area: Lexington Christian Fellowship, Trinity Christian Fellowship and Jessamine Christian Fellowship.

For 72 hours every fall, students cycle through scripture passages. Teams of two alternate 15-minute intervals of reading for one hour at a time. During the three-day period, there are always at least two students at the tent around the clock. This year, around 50 students are participating in the marathon.

Amber Schmoll graduated two years ago, but she returns every year to participate in the marathon. She started reading in her freshmen year, six years ago.

“I think this is so important because we get to share God’s word on campus,” Schmoll said. “Many disagree on what the Bible means, but we can all unite over the content. This such a simple way to share the word.”  

In Schmoll’s six years of reading in the marathon, she feels like the reception on campus has changed. In the last few years, she said, more people have come to the tent and expressed interest in the program.

Daniel Koehn is enjoying his third year reading in the marathon. He is a UK School of Music alumnus and said he feels the marathon is important for students today.

“I think it’s so wonderful that the scripture is read in its entirety on campus,” Koehn said.

He said that the students passing by get to hear bits and pieces of the Bible all day, and he feels this is a great way to balance academics with spiritual education.

“The Founding Fathers of our nation were much more biblically literate than we are today,” Koehn said. “By reading the scriptures, we help to preserve part of our heritage and roots.”

“We believe that God’s word has power,” Alijah Green, UCF student president, said.

He said that different religions offer different interpretations of the scripture, but the actual words are something everyone can gain from.

Green said the goal of the marathon is to not preach at people, but to simply share what the word actually says.

“The most honest thing we could do to stay true to the Bible is just read it,” he said. “We don’t want to add or take away from the word. We just want to share it.”

Green said it has taken 68-70 hours to get through the whole Bible in previous years. The remaining two hours are spent going back over parts of Psalms or Romans.

The 72-hour marathon will end Thursday, Sept. 28 at 8 p.m. The marathon will conclude with a unified reading of Revelations 22. Reader sign-up is still open for both students and non-students at http://www.ucfky.com/