Victory Tabernacle sending two teams to national Bible competition

Several members of Victory Tabernacle’s award-winning Bible quiz teams posed in front of their first-place state trophies inside the chapel Sunday afternoon. Pictured are senior team members (from left) Larry Tartt, assistant coach; Chrystal Kendrix, captain; Brianna Waterson; Michaela Kendrix; and Wendy Baylock, coach (not pictured are members Marissa Gibson, Katie Riggs and Emilee Hubbard). (Leader photo/TED YOAKUM)

Several members of Victory Tabernacle’s award-winning Bible quiz teams posed in front of their first-place state trophies inside the chapel Sunday afternoon. Pictured are senior team members (from left) Larry Tartt, assistant coach; Chrystal Kendrix, captain; Brianna Waterson; Michaela Kendrix; and Wendy Baylock, coach (not pictured are members Marissa Gibson, Katie Riggs and Emilee Hubbard). (Leader photo/TED YOAKUM)

Even after a five-year hiatus, Victory Tabernacle demonstrated earlier this month that when it comes to the written word of God, its youngest members still know their stuff.

The Dowagiac church’s junior and senior Bible quiz teams recently brought home the top prizes in their respective divisions during the Michigan Impact Bible Quiz tournament, which took place May 6-7 in Cadillac.

As first place winners, both teams will move on to the national competition to face quizzers from Pentecostal Church of God churches throughout the country, with the event taking place June 21-24 in Phoenix, Arizona.

The upcoming trip will mark the first time that members from Victory Tabernacle have visited the national stage since 2009, when teams from the church took home first place. In fact, it’s the first pair of teams assembled by the church since 2010.

“We came back like we never left,” said Wendy Baylock, the coach of the senior quiz team.

The rules of the IBQ competition call for children, split into teams of three, to compete head-to-head against one another,  with teams racing to score more points than the other by correctly answering questions about the Bible. To score points, children must quote different passages correctly from the Scriptures — within a 30 second window — after they buzz in to answer, Baylock said.

“They have to get the answer correct, right down to the last word,” she said. “If time runs out before you get the last word out, you get the question marked incorrect.”

The questions are made appropriate to each of the three age brackets (primary, ages 5-8; juniors, 9-12; and senior, 13-19) participating.

Baylock and junior team coach Wendy Kendrix spent the last several months getting their teams ready for the state competition, spending two days a week at the church going through and memorizing the hundreds of different questions in the official IBQ question booklet, they said. In addition, the children spent many evenings preparing for the competition on their own, at home.

“Our goal isn’t for the kids to feel like they need to ‘win win win,’” Kendrix said. “It’s for them to learn the Bible. This is a tool for them to do so.”

Several of the members of the senior team have competed in prior competitions as juniors (including assistant coaches of the teams, DJ and Larry Tartt). For the younger ones, though, this is their first participating in such a high stakes event, including Kendrix’s daughter, Lexi.

“I like memorizing the answers, especially the really long ones,” Lexi said about what she likes most about the competition.

The weight of the teams’ accomplishments so far is not lost on the coaches, especially for Kendrix, who has been coaching since 1998 and was once even a member of a state-winning team when she was 12, she said.

Seeing and prepping her own children for the events has been especially rewarding for her, Kendrix said.

“As a parent, seeing them do so well makes you very emotional and so proud,” she said.

The teams will be hosting a car wash and bake sale on Saturday, May 28, at the Sister Lakes Fire Department to help raise the $6,000 they need for the trip to nationals.

Business

Cassopolis hosts Cass County Leadership Summit

Business

Owners of vintage farm tractors invited to Under the Harvest Moon

Business

Edwardsburg welcomes new construction business

Cassopolis

Cassopolis organization to host walk honoring National Suicide Prevention Month

Business

PHOTO STORY: A-Mazing Acres opens for season

Buchanan

Niles teen builds Eagle Scout project on McCoy Creek Trail

Business

New short-term rental property group to offer guests ‘curated’ Dowagiac experience

Cass County

Two women injured in La Grange Township crash

News

Niles hosts town hall between community, law enforcement

Berrien County

Berrien County Commissioners respond to mask mandate

Berrien County

Local talent development leader honored by Michigan Works! Association

Dowagiac

SMC attracts more than $4 million in grants

Business

Downtown Niles to welcome new dance studio

Berrien County

MEC accepting applications for Strengthening Schools Grant program

Dowagiac

Dowagiac City Council, Cass County Transit Authority renew Transit Operating Agreement

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 976,505 cases, 20,535 deaths

Breaking News

Dowagiac police arrest suspect in Monday hit and run crash

News

Niles City Council approves social district permits

Business

Niles muralist brightening downtown

Buchanan

Buchanan commissioners decline to pay annual dues to Greater Niles Chamber of Commerce

Berrien County

Man arrested after standoff in Niles

Cass County

Police investigating Porter Township crash

Berrien County

Former Niles marijuana business partner pleads guilty to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct

Cass County

Dowagiac police investigate hit-and-run crash