PIQUA — The Piqua Association of Churches’ annual church fair at the Miami Valley Centre Mall brought a display of nearly 500 Bibles to attendees to browse through over the weekend, giving them the opportunity to learn more about the history of the ancient texts.
“I consider this an educational display,” said Don Wells, a former Piqua resident and former pastor of Piqua Baptist Church. Wells traveled from Indiana to bring his collection of 482 Bibles divided into 31 different categories to the church fair.
The collection included different languages, texts, editions of the Bible, and more. Wells’ collection also included a number of family Bibles, study Bibles, and Bibles over 100 years old.
“My oldest Bible was printed in 1600 in London,” Wells said about a large Geneva Bible in his collection.
Wells’ has been amassing Bibles for over 50 years, and it was a collection that began by chance while he was in college. In a class about different Christian denominations, his professor encouraged students to go out into the community to learn about the different churches in the community, and one church was getting rid of a couple of old pulpit Bibles in the 1960s.
“That started it all,” Wells said.
The collection also includes a pocket-size New Testament that Wells’ great-grandfather’s carried during the Civil War.
Wells also had a display showing the different translations of the Bible, including one with the Hebrew texts of the Old Testament and another highlighting the New Testament’s different translations from the original Greek to Latin to English.
In addition to the Bible display, the church fair filled booths down the center aisle of the mall, representing numerous local churches and religious organizations.
“I’m very pleased with how things are going,” said Paul Green, the president of the Piqua Association of Churches. Green said that he saw a number of people interacting with the various churches and groups represented at the church fair.
“It’s been really enjoyable,” he said.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org