Arkansas students demonstrate their Bible skills at state Bible Drill competition

This past Saturday, April 10, a small group of parents and siblings sat socially distanced in the chapel at the Arkansas Baptist State Convention to support the students who participated at the state level in Bible Drill competition. Up until 2020, this culmination of months of work to memorize and practice finding Scripture passages then participating in church and regional drills was attended by large groups of supporters from each participant’s home church. Last year’s state competition was cancelled along with many of the church and regional events earlier this year. Unfortunately, this led to a smaller field of contenders than in past years in the youth and high school age groups and another cancellation of the children’s competition at the state level.  

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High school participant and winner, Xandra Jetton, earned a perfect score while confidently quoting lengthy passages of Scripture after quickly finding them in her Bible. She is eligible to participate in the National Invitational Tournament in June at Dallas Baptist University. Jetton is a member of Osage Baptist Church in Alpena and is in the eleventh grade. She has participated in Bible Drill competition for the past eight years and went to the national tournament as a youth winner previously.  

Rhonnie Jetton, an eighth grader from Osage Baptist Church, won the youth competition on Saturday earning eligibility to participate in Dallas in June to make it a family trip with her sister. A group of five participants from four different churches deftly handled their Bibles to find and quote Scripture passages while competing in the youth division.  

Additional students who participated in Saturday’s competition were Caleb Herweck from First Baptist Church in DeQueen, Abi Hicks from First Baptist Church in Foreman, and Tait Allen and Jace Dye from First Baptist Church in Pea Ridge.   

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Every student who participates in Bible Drill at any level is a winner because he or she has learned to “hide God’s Word” in their hearts. Leah Jo Wilson, state coordinator, noted that staying in routine is important while preparing for competition and was made difficult this past year due to churches being unable to meet due to the pandemic. Wilson also stressed that parental involvement and encouragement is vital for students to succeed. 

Bible Drill is a discipleship tool for teaching children and youth God’s Word. Children and students develop strong scripture memory skills while learning the books of the Bible and key biblical passages. The program is designed to allow children and youth to enjoy learning the Bible in the midst of low-pressure competition.   

Bible Drill is made up of three cycles of verses and key passages that rotate over a three-year period. competition is broken into three age categories: Children’s Drill (4th-6th grade), Youth Drill (7th-9th grade), and High School (10th-12th grade). Younger children can learn the Bible content and compete in the church drill, but only participants 4th grade and up are eligible to compete in the regional and state drills. 

If your church would like to know more about Bible Drill, go to for information.

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