FIRST Garvagh Presbyterian Church organised a major Bible exhibition in their church hall in September to mark the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible.
The event attracted a big attendance of people, both from the surrounding area and further afield, and it featured many old and rare Bibles and other exhibits reflecting the King James period.
Visitors to the exhibition found a great many items to interest them, as all of the material was thoughtfully presented in a way that people of all ages could enjoy. Such was the popularity of the event, the intended two-day exhibition was extended to a third day.
It was also planned that the event would benefit families in China. The poverty of many rural people there normally prevents them from owning a Bible, but the Bible Society in Northern Ireland is able to provide bales of printing paper to the Amity Printing Press in Nanjing in South-East China, from each of which 630 subsidised Bibles can be printed.
The people who attended the First Garvagh event were very generous in their donations to the ‘Bibles for China’ appeal. As a result, a magnificent £4,500 was presented by Rev Mark Donald and Wilbert Patterson, the Exhibition Co-ordinator, on behalf of the congregation, to John Doherty of the Bible Society.
It will meet the cost of printing almost 6,000 Chinese Bibles for distribution throughout the country. In return, BSNI presented the congregation with an inscribed Mandarin–English twin text Bible, which had been printed by the Amity Printing Press in Nanjing, as a permanent reminder of the event at First Garvagh and of the generosity of a great many people.
Rev Mark Donald paid tribute to the hard work of so many in the congregation over more than a year in order to make the exhibition such a success.
“I hope that this celebration of the King James Bible will have helped people to appreciate the wonderful legacy that past generations have provided for us in preserving and bringing Scripture to our time, so that we might be blessed by it”.