Victory Tabernacle sending two teams to national Bible competition
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.
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