Salt Lake City, Brigham City and Cedar City will all play host to an interdenominational "March for Jesus" as part of a worldwide event uniting Christians in praise and prayer.
More than 5,000 people are expected to march in Salt Lake City on Saturday, June 25, beginning at 9 a.m. at the City and County Building, 400 S. State. Marchers are asked to arrive at 8 a.m. for registration, prayer and organizing. The march will run from 9 to 11 a.m., following a route west on 400 South to Main Street, then north to 100 South, east to State Street and then south to return to the point of origin.The Rev. Vaughn Milliron of MasterPeace Ministries, which is organizing the event, said this is the march's second year. Last year, some 3,000 people participated in Salt Lake City. This year, with Brigham City and Cedar City added to the list of participants, Utahns in every part of the state should have the opportunity to participate.
"Since true Christianity is not a religion but a relationship with Christ, the invitation is for anyone who would like to come and march for Jesus to come. Many LDS people are interested and will be participating. I hope that rather than highlighting the different religious groups, that distinctions instead will fade into the background as Jesus himself comes forth and we see the united body of Christ in this gathering," Milliron said.
When the event began eight years ago, the focus was on "taking the walls off the church" in terms of emphasis on "wider meaning and understanding just letting the world see what Christians do," Milliron said. "I think this year part of that meaning in Utah is getting rid of the walls in the church so we become a church undivided."
Organizers are billing the event as "the largest gathering of people who love God in the history of the world" with marches in hundreds of cities worldwide. Milliron said sponsors have even purchased airplane and cruise accommodations for the celebration so that as the sun circles the Earth, praise and worship will be taking place at some point during the 24-hour period.
In Salt Lake City, a pre-prayer rally worship and music begins at the City and County Building at 10 a.m. with a statewide prayer rally from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Participants will include a choir with 24 praise leaders from churches throughout the valley, accompanied by an interdenominational worship band. Representatives of different denominations have been asked to lead prayer at different points during the service, praying for revival and prayer around the world.
Milliron said more than 60 different congregations "and another couple of dozen para-church ministries" are all participating. Several sound trucks will be employed to provide music for marchers. The city's "Old Salty" tourist train will be available to transport the elderly, pregnant women and others for whom the walk might not be feasible, he said.
A concert featuring Peter Sham-brook and Bret Pemelton will cap the festivities at 7:30 p.m. at Salt Lake Christian Fellowship, 615 E. 9800 South. Tickets are $5 and are available at Christian bookstores.
For information on any of the marches, call 575-2122.