Published July 2, 2009
Before competing in the national High School Bible Drill competition, Kristen Harris, 17, calmed her nerves by reciting one of the scriptures she had memorized during another year of Bible drill.
“‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’ That’s Joshua 1:9. I use it everyday,” said Harris, a member of First Church, Jonesboro.
“I was very nervous when we started [the national competition]. The first five calls were the scariest because you get out there and everyone you’re up against is very good. Toward the end, people were dropping out. I thought I was going to be next.”
But she wasn’t the next one to go. Harris took second place in the national competition.
It was her first trip to the nationals that was held this year at First Baptist Church in Covington, La., along with the Student Speakers Competition and Youth Bible Drill.
High school Bible drillers memorize 22 passages of scripture. Some are several verses in length or even a whole chapter. They also are able to locate these verses along with any book or scripture in the Bible within eight seconds.
The Georgia Youth Speakers Competition and Bible Drill are sponsored by the GBC through Discipleship and Family Ministries. An annual training retreat and the state competition is held in Georgia every year. These activities are possible because of your gifts through the Cooperative Program. For more information, see the website dfm.gabaptist.org or contact Maria Brannen at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (770) 936-5272 or (800) RING-GBC.
You and your church may send your Cooperative Program gifts to:
Youth Bible drillers learn 30 verses. They are able to locate these verses as well as any book of the Bible or scripture verse in eight seconds.
Harris had a perfect score and won her spot at second through bonus points. Bonus points are given for stepping out first after finding the Bible verse.
For the Student Speakers Competition, speakers write and recite from memory a four-to-six-minute speech. The topic can be from a list provided by Georgia Baptist Discipleship Ministries or it can be an original idea. Judging is based on 50 percent content and composition and 50 percent delivery.
“Two churches really stood out this year,” said Maria Brannen, GBC consultant for Discipleship Ministries. “Morningside in Valdosta had the winners for both state speakers and Bible drill. I can’t remember this ever happening – both winners coming from one church. Also, the Satterfield family from Pine Grove won runner-up in state speakers competition and in youth Bible drill.”
Karen North, mother of State Speakers Competition winner Ethan North, is the children’s Bible drill leader at Morningside Church in Valdosta.
“We’ve been doing this for 12 years, but we’ve never had a state winner that I recall,” North said. Both Ethan North and Caleb Bowden, Youth Bible Drill winner, were from Morningside Church.
Having two state winners was great for the church, but it’s not the goal for the program, Karen North said.
“Bible drill is hiding God’s word in their hearts. That’s what the Bible tells us to do and that’s our goal,” she said.
That’s what Roy Satterfield believes as well. Satterfield’s son, Eric, was runner-up in the State Speakers Competition and his daughter, Laura, was runner-up in Youth Bible Drill. Currently, five of Satterfield’s nine children are participating in Bible drill or the speaker’s competition at their church Pine Grove in Gillsville.
“Bible drill builds a foundation. As children, if they learn that memorizing scripture is fun and not a chore, they’re happy to do it,” he said.
“Sometimes it’s convicting to me watching my children learn their scriptures.”
Participants advance according to their scores. For Bible drillers, anyone who scores 180 or higher advances to the associational drill; at the association anyone who scores 225 or higher advances to the regional drill; at region participants must score 270 or higher to advance to the state drill. At the state drill, the top scorer in each area – youth and high school – advance to nationals. Kristen Harris, First Church, Jonesboro, took second place in the national competition. Georgia state winners were: Youth Bible Drill winner Caleb Bowden, Morningside Church, Valdosta; Youth Bible Drill runner-up Laura Satterfield, Pine Grove Church, Gillsville; High School Bible Drill winner Kristen Harris; High School Bible Drill runner-up Danielle Burdette, Zenith Road Church, Roberta.
Student Speakers Competition winners were Ethan North, Morningside Church, Valdosta; and runner-up Eric Satterfield, Pine Grove Church, Gillsville.
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