Pastor Zach finished at 12:21, completing with 52 hours! Thank you for all your support
— LongestSpeechEver (@LongestSpeech) November 9, 2014
Zack Zehnder of theCross Church in Mount Dora broke the world record for giving the longest speech Sunday, finishing his speech with 52 hours.
The 31-year-old pastor started the speech Friday at 7 AM and completed his speech at 12:21 PM Sunday.
Zehnder originally set his goal at 50 hours, just an hour and a half longer than the previous World Record. According to the rules laid out by the Guinness Book of World Records, Zehnder was allowed to take breaks, up to five minutes, every hour.
The previous record was held by Vickrant Mahajan with a 48-hour and 31-minute speech given from Sept. 19 to Sept. 21 of this year.
Zehnder told the Leesburg Daily Commercial that the record-breaking speech is a creative way to spread God’s word.
“Following after God, we’re going to do things in this world that are gonna look crazy an they’re gonna stick out in this world,” Zehnder said. “That’s just the way it goes. We may even preach for 50 hours to show the world we can do it.”
A fourth generation pastor with a master’s degree in divinity from Concordia Seminary, Zehnder began “theCross” in Mount Dora three years ago.
In the process of breaking the world record, the pastor raised money for a new addiction recovery program that is part of Hand in Hand Lake County, an organization in which Zehnder is President.
“The program will address all issues of addiction whether they be alcohol, drugs, sex, or just plain life issues.” reports the Longest Speech Ever website. “The money we raise in this event will go directly towards that cause.”
Zehnder’s speech was broadcast online and set up donations through the website in order to reach their goal of $100,000. The Leesburg Daily Commercial reported Friday that the event had raised $72,266. The final donation amount is unknown.