By JANET KEHRES
Daily Globe Correspondent
RICHLAND COUNTY - Over 150 pastors of various churches in the area met recently at the Bible Walk Museum in Mansfield to declare the year 2019 as the “Year of the Bible.” They are taking a stand against crime, drugs, and immorality.
The clergy are taking ownership of their community. Their belief is the Bible is coming to life beyond belief in the heartland of the Buckeye State. Clergyman from Richland County and the surrounding area are reclaiming the nexus between church and state and proving they are the enigma that can bring social change to this region.
Several pastors where on hand to pray and celebrate the proclamation. State Representative Jerry O'Brien from Family Research Council was present to advocate for the pastors and to give them courage to build solidarity. O'Brien wants the group to give hope, an extended hand and encouragement to those who are struggling in life.
Rev. Steve Brenneman, (Awakening Christian Center), Rev. Jerry Laudermilk, (Ontario Abundant Life Church), Rev. Randy Raynes, (Mansfield Fellowship Baptist Church), and Rev. Mark Cobb, (Mansfield Providence Baptist Church) were the leaders for the event.
The Bible has played an integral part in American history such as during World War I, thousands of American soldiers heading to France and Belgium in 1917 were given pocket Bibles with the forward written by President Woodrow Wilson declaring: The Bible is the Word of Life.”
President Franklin Roosevelt agreed on the week of December 7, 1941 to host celebratory meetings at the White House to commemorate “National Bible Week.” Due to the the attack at Pearl Harbor, the Bible was read on national radio.
The leaders of the event proclaimed “Therefore, as leading clergymen of 150 congregations across North Central Ohio, we formally reaffirm the Bible as being living, active and God-breathed; and demonstrating thru history to be the anvil that has worn many hammers out. Consequently, since Bible illiteracy is plaguing our politically-correct society, since the Bible is being censored by governments and cultural institutions, and since the authority of both the Old and New Testaments Scriptures of the Bible are being subverted by some religious circles, we do proclaim 2019 as the the “Year of the Bible.” Furthermore, we encourage all Ohioans to examine the Bible and to rediscover its priceless and timeless message. In conclusion, we maintain that the following words still resonate in our day:
The grass may wither and the flowers may fall, but the Word of our God endures forever.
The proclamation was signed by 150 pastors.