Bible Drills competition held at First Baptist

Published 12:39 am Saturday, April 17, 2010

Children throughout the state of Alabama are getting a better learning of their Bible through a program called Bible Drills.

On Thursday, the District 8 Bible Drills competition was held at First Baptist Church of Demopolis, bringing students from Selma and Livingston and other places throughout the region. The district is made up of Baptist associations from around the region.

Students in grades 4 through 7 competed to be the quickest to find Bible verses, the best at reciting Bible verses and to show their knowledge of Bible passages and books of the Bible.

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Moderator Steve Stephens would call out a Bible verse or passage, and the participants would look up the verse. They are given 8 to 10 seconds to find the verse and then take a step up when they have found it. Stephens would then call on one of those who stepped up to recite the verse.

Another competition had the participants tell which books of the Bible came before and after a given book. Participants also had to find a noted passage, like the Parable of the Good Samaritan or God’s covenant to Abraham.

“I have worked with Bible Drills for over 10 years,” said Stephens, a state missionary with the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions who served as the moderator for the district competition. “This time of the year, I take time to do district Bible drills to see what the children have learned. It’s just a joy to see them because I know they have worked hard!”

Ethan Sakon was the only competitor in the youth division, made up of grades 7 through 12. He went through his competition by himself and did well. He will advance to the state Bible Drills competition at Taylor Road Baptist Church in Montgomery on April 24 at 1 p.m.

“There will be somewhere around 60 youth who have made perfect scores in their district drill who are eligible to come to the state drill,” Stephens said.

Sakon is the son of Fred and Lisa Sakon and is in the seventh grade.

“I’ve been doing this for four years now,” he said. “This was my first year in the youth division. I’m a little nervous!”

Those in the children’s division (grades 4 through 6) have 10 seconds to find each challenge, while those in the youth division (grades 7 through 12) have eight seconds. Participants in the children’s division do not advance past the district competition.

“It’s interesting,” Stephens said. “If a pastor gets up and says to open your Bible to a scripture, children who have gone to Bible Drills will open their Bible. Those who haven’t won’t even try. It’s fun to watch them open their Bible when the preacher calls it out, because they know that they can find it about as fast as he can.

“It also is valuable when you start talking about things like the Parable of the Good Samaritan, to be able to know where in the Bible it is. There are about 40 passages of the Bible that we tend to talk about over and over again. They know where those are when they are called out or when somebody mentions it. You see them perk up, and they want to participate more.”

Local participants in the children’s division of Bible Skills included William Douglas of Fairhaven Baptist Church in Demopolis, Leah George of Fairhaven Baptist, Alison Polk of Fairhaven, Cheyenne Martin of First Baptist Church of Demopolis and Evan Cross of Fairhaven Baptist.