Recently The New York Times reported that a Lakeland, Fla. megachurch delivered leather bond bibles to staff members in the Capitol building.
The 43-member group from First Baptist Church at the Mall set out to deliver 5,000 Bibles in an effort dubbed Project Light. The group visited 435 offices in three buildings to deliver the specially made Tyndall Bibles called “The Decision Maker.”
“When we walked through those doors, we were only representing Jesus,” Jay Dennis, pastor of the 8,000-member church, told the Times. “We were not there to lobby.”
This is the third year the group has handed out Bibles and they noted significant changes. In 2000 only one office refused the Bibles. In 2002 three offices declined them. This year, despite the Bibles not conflicting with any ethical or legal guidelines for accepting gifts, 19 offices refused to receive the Bibles. Dennis noted that none of those 19 offices could be categorized as either Republican or Democrat.
The pastor said one of the most encouraging responses came from the office staff of Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., who despite being known for his liberal positions welcomed the group with open arms. Overall Dennis said the trip was very encouraging and that all 5,000 Bibles were distributed.
The group said that in addition to staff members in the Capitol they were also able to distribute the Bibles to the janitorial staff, the cafeteria staff and a group of teenagers touring the building.
“The only things eternal are the Bible and people,” Dennis said. “We never waste our time when we invest in giving people the Bible.”