March for Jesus draws hundreds to the streets of Bemidji
More than 600 community members set aside denominational and political differences and united with a march to celebrate Jesus on Sunday, June 5, beyond the walls of a church and into the streets of Bemidji.
BEMIDJI — More than 600 community members set aside denominational and political differences and united with a march to celebrate Jesus on Sunday, June 5, beyond the walls of a church and into the streets of Bemidji.
To start off the day, participants gathered at JW Elementary School for a picnic at noon. Beginning at 1 p.m., participants lined up and proceeded across several city blocks on Minnesota Avenue, along Third Street and eventually ended the march at Paul Bunyan Park, followed by music and prayer.
“I have goosebumps,” said pastor and event organizer Tim Pomp overlooking the hundreds of participants who came to march. “It doesn’t matter what church you go to, the only thing that matters today is Jesus — that's why I love this so much.”
As a global event, The March for Jesus took place in cities all across the U.S. and in various countries around the world on Sunday. According to Pomp, Bemidji is one of two communities in Minnesota that participate. This year, the theme of the march was “Jesus Is Love,” drawn from 1 John 4:10.
“It is a national organization, but only two cities in Minnesota do this, here and in the Twin Cities. It just shows how many people like to come together for Jesus,” he said in reference to the large turnout.
Local pastors and leaders Stan Nelson, Devin Barrett, Paul Rose and Justin Hoover, led the participants in praise and prayer for the community of Bemidji, the state, the country and beyond.
“I came here because I love Jesus and I love surrounding myself with people who love Jesus,” said march participant Val Ras. “It’s emotional to see all the people that come together with the same goal and feelings in mind, it's so empowering and encouraging.”
The March for Jesus originally began as a series of church-led marches in London, England, in the 1980s. The marches quickly spread to the U.S. after attracting hundreds of thousands of marchers. The First Nationwide March for Jesus was held in 1992.
According to Pomp, the March for Jesus in Bemidji was first held in the 1990s. After collaborating with multiple local churches and leaders throughout the years, the event has gotten bigger each year.