Left to right: Caleb Herweck, Aubrey Lee, Faith McKinney
Upon hearing that final word, state Bible Drill contenders on Saturday, April 15, at the Arkansas Baptist State Convention quickly opened their Bibles. They had eight seconds to find the designated passage, step forward and give the appropriate response, whether that be naming books of the Bible or reciting verses.
Participating in Bible Drill for the first time this year was high schooler Faith McKinney of Grandview Baptist Church in Berryville. She was also the only contender in the high school category.
“I love just reading the Bible. Before, I struggled to pick up my Bible, but this experience has helped me to finally really read my Bible and memorize these verses. I just really enjoy it,” McKinney said.
McKinney will represent Arkansas at the national competition in Fort Worth, Texas, in June.
Joining her will be Aubrey Lee, also of Grandview Baptist Church, who will be representing Arkansas in the youth category at nationals. Lee, now in the ninth grade, has been involved with Bible Drill since the third grade.
“I enjoy just being able to memorize the verses and have them,” Lee said. “My little sister does (Bible Drill) and when she says her verses, I still know all of them that I did in the children’s drill. They’ll stick with me forever.”
Caleb Herweck of First Baptist Church in De Queen placed second in the youth category. In total, there were six contenders competing on Saturday.
Ninth grader Jasmine Smith of Temple Baptist Church in Searcy was another competing in Bible Drill for the first year.
“Our church heard about it and the whole family wanted to do it,” Smith said. “I enjoy trying to find the specific verses in the eight seconds and I enjoy flipping through the books.”
Janie Curtis of Grandview Baptist has been coaching Bible Drill participants for more than 20 years. She said students learn the verses and they stay with them forever.
“Once they learn them, they learn to apply them in their lives,” Curtis said.
Arkansas Baptist State Convention Children’s Specialist Emily Smith described Bible Drill as a “great program.”
“We’re in a digital age now, so it’s always encouraging to see the kids be able to take their physical Bible and flip through and be able to find where the book of Psalms is or Matthew or Revelations. It’s teaching them to learn the books of the Bible and learn that concept, but it is also Scripture memorization,” Smith said.
Students have a set number of key Scripture passages they must memorize throughout the year, which they then must find and recall when they get to competition levels.
“It’s teaching them to be in God’s Word, but it is also teaching them to learn God’s Word,” Smith said. “It’s a great program to get kids involved in God’s Word, learning God’s Word and applying God’s Word in their life.”
For more information about Bible Drill and how to get involved, visit absc.org/bibledrill.