53-hour sermon? Pastor attempts to break world record

Zach Zehnder is hoping to become a part of history after attempting to give the longest speech ever.

This past weekend, the Florida-based pastor spoke for 53 hours and 18 minutes in an attempt to break the current Guinness World Record.

Zehnder told FoxNews.com his passion to spread God’s message was his motivation to beat the previous record. “If I could do that for 53 hours in a row, I actually feel really blessed to do that.”

He says Guinness has confirmed the attempt and will verify the record after his team submits the evidence to the organization.

When deciding what to preach on, the pastor had to be creative on how best to fill the time.

“I went back to my basics and when I normally write a sermon I come up with a goal. So the goal I came up with was to announce God’s ridiculous commitment to his people, even when we give up, he doesn’t give up on us,” said Zehnder.


With his outline, he planned 50 sermons that would take roughly an hour each. He worked sequentially through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.

“Out of the 50 I had decent material for probably 35 of them. The others I would have to start from scratch. The preparation and getting everything organized and ready honestly was probably the hardest part for me, even harder than the actual speech,” said Zehnder.

During the attempt, the church had at least ten spectators there at all times, along with two independent witnesses to verify the pastor was following the rules stipulated by Guinness World Records.

“The witnesses would serve a 4-hour time period, which is a hard ask to get people who were not connected with the church to sit through a preacher for 4 hours especially in the wee hours of the morning.” Zehnder added.

Guinness World Records allows the speaker to take a five minute break for every attempted hour. He says the hardest point came 24 hours into his speech.

“I stockpiled enough time to be able to take a power nap and I did, but when I woke up I was little lightheaded and dizzy … but I had a medical team that forced me with a big breakfast that morning … once I regained strength, it really wasn’t too bad after that.”

Aside the record-breaking attempt, the church used this opportunity to raise more than $100,000 for the local nonprofit Powerhouse Recovery, an organization offering free alcohol and drug-addiction treatment services.

“We are hoping to change some guys’ lives that need a second chance,” said Zehnder.

To find out more, check out www.longestspeechever.com