First Baptist Church (FBC) of Marshalltown has announced that it, along with 17 other churches, will place 12,000 Bibles in 12,000 homes on Saturday, April 11.
Following a series of violent crimes in the city, Gerald Robison, pastor of First Baptist Church, suggested the idea during a pastors’ meeting earlier this year. He envisioned his congregation carrying out the mission, but other pastors immediately expressed interest and were eager to get involved.
“What made the other churches want to join so quickly is that our prayer time had recently focused on what appeared to be a dark cloud of gloom hovering over our community,” Robison said in a press release on Wednesday.
“There had been a murder, an attempted murder, arson and a shooting death in our area,” he explained further. “With all the bad news around us, the pastors had been praying over the town and we saw this project as a way of delivering hope.”
The project was soon named “Hope 4 You—Hope 4 Iowa.”
The pastors continue to meet together about the effort, mapping out the city and planning a strategy for the distribution. And while the project required raising $18,000 to purchase the thousands of Bibles, Robison said that anonymous donors came forward to cover the exact amount needed to carry out the mission.
In addition to distributing 10,000 English New Testaments, 1,500 Spanish Bibles and 100 Burmese Bibles will be freely given as well to ensure that everyone has a copy of the word of God in their language. 500 large print English Bibles were also ordered for those who may be visually challenged.
The congregations plan to distribute the Bibles this Saturday during a three-hour time frame, with hundreds of Christians volunteering to go door-to-door with the gifted copies.
“We agree on the important things—-and the most important is that we all agree Jesus is the source of real hope. And we want to share that with others who may need it the most,” Robison said of the diverse churches taking part in the effort. “And so, the local congregations, all willing, eager, faithful and ready to share, have worked hard to make ‘Hope 4 You—Hope 4 Iowa’ a reality.”
“It is the prayer of the pastors and members of the 17 participating local churches and the hundreds of volunteers that together, as believers in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, they will bring the message of hope found in Jesus Christ to every household in Marshalltown,” he said.