20th Annual March for Jesus set for Saturday
Almost 20 years ago, Verma Fobbs, with the help of Jiggs Stowe, Joe Cullen, David King and many others, started “March for Jesus,” a community-wide event that includes a parade, a meal and the gathering of people for the sole purpose of celebrating their love for Jesus Christ. Verma Fobbs, a Hamilton Hospital employee and long-time Olney resident, said she was struck with the inspiration and motivation for this event for several reasons.
“It started with a burning in my heart to see people come together, to see all men united for the sake of Christ,” she said. “Seeing how we’re living in a sin-cursing world made us want to change, and I felt like God was leading me to help make that change.”
Fobbs said that potential for change influenced her perspective on how the event could make a difference in the community.
“We are marching for this and for that, but if we were marching for Jesus, we wouldn’t have to march for anything else,” she said.
The 20th annual March for Jesus event is on Saturday, October 6. The parade line-up will begin at 9 a.m. The parade will begin at 10 a.m. and travel through downtown Olney. Attendees are invited to the Olney Civic Center following the parade at 11 a.m., for a meal and a program to include live praise and worship music and a message from First Baptist Church Youth Minister C.J. Frasier. A bicycle give-a-way will follow the afternoon meal of pulled-pork sandwiches.
To celebrate two decades of the event, a two-hour carnival at Tommy Perkins park will follow the meal and program.
“We are going to have bounce houses, cotton-candy, popcorn and gifts for the kids,” Fobbs said. “[The event] is not so much about them or us – it is about Jesus. But, at the same time, we want the kids to remember it and know that they can have fun in remembering Jesus.”
The event is one that is certainly special to Olney for a variety of reasons, First Baptist Church pastor Chad Edgington said.
“The event is not at a church, and I think that is appealing to people who don’t feel comfortable going to a church, but that come to the civic center to hear the Gospel,” he said. “It is a way we can reach our community with the love of Christ and just share the love of Christ with Olney.”
The gathering of people at this event is crucial and is at the heart of its message, Edgington said.
“We live in the most divided America that’s ever been, and I think the only thing that really changes people’s minds is love and good deeds,” he said. “What the March for Jesus does is give people from all walks of life a chance to come together for the right reasons and see healing.”
The march is also a way to convey the community’s beliefs and message to those in the surrounding areas, Edgington said.
“I think it shows other communities that, when believers can come together and dwell needs of the community.
“One of the reasons I do this is because I’m not ashamed of the Gospel,” Fobbs added. “I don’t mind being bold for Christ, because He was bold for me.”
Fobbs said she plans to continue the event until “Jesus returns” or she “goes to him,” and has a message for those planning on attending.
“Get on your march, get set and let’s grow for Jesus!”
in harmony, it helps other [aspects of life] too,” he said. “It’s hard to find ways you can show up to love your community and to show the love of Christ. This is a way, where you can come and just march down the street and say, ‘I stand for Christ.’ The March for Jesus is really a demonstration of faithfulness to Christ in a unique way, and in a way that is special to Olney.”
Though the march has evolved over the years, Edgington said that, in every season, the event meets the