Congratulations to our 2021 Nationals Winners!

Our 2021 National Invitational Youth and High School Bible Drill and Speakers Tournament was held Friday, June 18th at Dallas Baptist University in Texas. Leala Hutchens, our 2021 State Youth Bible Drill Winner from FBC Cochran, received a perfect score award and tied for 2nd place in the National Youth Bible Drill.

Andrew Wisely (FBC Dallas, Southern Baptist of Texas Convention) won 1st place in Youth Bible Drill. Lillian Felton (FBC, Dallas, Southern Baptist of Texas Convention) won 1st place in High School Bible Drill. Jonathan Perkins (Prestonwood Baptist Church, Southern Baptist of Texas Convention) won 1st place in the Speakers Tournament.

Congratulations to all the State Winners who were a part of the 2021 National Tournament! Georgia will be hosting the 2022 National Youth and High School Bible Drill and Speakers Tournament.

Congratulations to our 2021 State Bible Drill Winners!

Our 2021 State Youth and High School Bible Drill was held on Saturday, May 8th at FBC Cochran. To qualify for the State Youth/High School Drill, drillers had to score 270 points or higher at the Regional Drill. In addition to memorizing the books of the Bible in order and being able to locate books and verses in 8 seconds, Youth Drillers learned 30 verses and our High Schoolers memorized 68 verses including Exodus 20:3-17 (The Ten Commandments).

Leala Hutchens was the State Youth Bible Drill Winner and Rose Reardin was the Youth Bible Drill 2nd place Winner. Both drillers received Perfect Score Awards. Leala and Rose are students are from FBC Cochran.

NenaBeth Mickle was the State High School Winner and MaryCarol Kletcke was the 2nd place Winner. Both drillers received Perfect Score Awards. NenaBeth and MaryCarol are also from FBC Cochran. As the 2021 High School Bible Drill Winner, NenaBeth received the Waldo and Sarah Woodcock $500 College Scholarship.

Congratulations to Jordan Sanvidge (FBC Jackson) and Rachel Frantz (FBC Garden City) for also receiving the Perfect Score Award.

Leala and NenaBeth will be representing Georgia at the 2021 National Invitational Tournament for Bible Drill and Speakers June 17-18 at Dallas Baptist University in Texas.

Teaching Bible Skills to the Next Generation

I will never forget a VBS teacher coming to me several years ago, shocked that the kids in her 4th grade class (most of who with their families were regular attenders of our church) could not locate passages of scripture in their Bibles. She said, “Maria, I had to stop what we were doing in class and teach these kids how to find a book, then a chapter and the verse!” As a parent and a Kids Minister, I feel it is a priority for kids to learn Bible Skills, especially how to locate Bible Books and passages of scripture. This year we are excited to offer an opportunity for Children and Students to develop their Bible Skills through locating Books of the Bible and Scripture passages.

* 2021 Children’s Bible Skills Exhibition – We will offer a Bible Skills Exhibition for 3rd-6th graders at our Regional Bible Drill Locations. This Bible Skills Exhibition includes Book and Scripture Searching Drills only. There will be 12 Book Calls and 12 Scripture Searching Calls. Children will have 10 seconds to locate the book or scripture passage. References for the Scripture Searching Drill will be taken from the current Bible Drill card. Children may qualify for the State Exhibition by receiving a score of 16 or higher at their church level. Children will receive a certificate. This is great for kids who are beginning to learn Bible Skills, new or potential drillers or for churches who were not able to resume their Bible Drill program in 2020-2021 due to COVID. 


2021 Bible Skill Exhibition for Students. – We will offer a Bible Skills Exhibition for 6th-12th graders at our Regional Bible Drill locations. This Bible Skills Exhibition includes Books and Scripture Searching Drills only. There will be 12 Book Calls (2 points each) and 12 Scripture Searching Calls (3 points each). A perfect score would be 180 points (60 from each judge). A Bonus point will be awarded to the driller who steps out first in 8 seconds on each call. Students may qualify for the Exhibition by receiving a score of 135 at their church level. Drillers who participate in the Regional Bible Skills Exhibition will receive a certificate. This is a great option for new or potential Youth Bible Drillers or for churches who were not able to resume their Bible Drill program in 2020-2021 due to Covid. Note that there is no State Level for the Bible Skills Exhibition for students.

For dates and locations, click here

For more information and to register, click here


Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

2021 Student Speakers Update

In 2021, Student Speakers may qualify for the State Speakers Competition by speaking at one of our in-person Regional Competitions. The top two speakers from each region will represent their region at the State Competition. Speakers have the option of advancing directly to the Regional Speakers Competition from their Church Competition. However, if your Association is offering a Bible Drill/Speakers Competition, it is a great opportunity for you to speak and to get feedback from the judges.

If a speaker is in quarantine or is unable to attend their Regional Speakers Competition due to Covid, their leader may send a request to maria@bibledrillandspeakers.com to participate via video submission. If two winners have already been announced for their Regional Competition, their speech video will be entered into the State at Large category for videos and the top two video scorers will advance to the State Competition. The deadline to submit these videos is April 26.

Due to covid concerns and the work that speakers put into a speech to compete for the college scholarships, it is recommended that they record a video of their speech before Regionals in that event that a video submission is needed. Our recommendation is that this video be recorded at your church at least two weeks prior to your Regional Competition

Dates for Regional Student Speakers Competitions:

April 13 – Tom’s Creek Baptist Church, Martin, GA (NE GA)

April 15 – FBC Douglas (South GA)

April 19 – FBC Lawrenceville (East Metro)

April 20 – FBC Cochran (Middle GA)

April 25 – FBC Douglasville (West Metro)

April 26 – Cassville Baptist Church (NW GA)

Registration is now open on our website. Register by clicking this link: Speakers

2021 Youth Bible and High School Bible Drill Update

In 2021, qualifying Youth and High School Bible Drillers can drill in person at one of the Regional Locations to qualify for the State Drill. This year, churches may choose to participate in an Associational Drill (if it is offered by your association) or they have the option of letting drillers advance directly from their church drill if their score qualifies them as an Associational Winner. Youth and High School Drillers must have a score of 225.

A leader may submit a request by email to maria@bibledrillandspeakers.com for a driller to qualify for the State Drill via video submission if the driller is in quarantine due to covid. This video drill must be submitted to our office by April 27.

Below are the dates and locations for Regional Drills:

April 13 – Tom’s Creek Baptist Church, Martin, GA (NE GA)

April 15 – FBC Douglas (South GA)

April 19 – FBC Lawrenceville (East Metro)

April 20 – FBC Cochran (Middle GA)

April 25 – FBC Douglasville (West Metro)

April 26 – Cassville Baptist Church (NW GA)

*New* 2021 Bible Skill Exhibition for 7th-9th graders – We will offer a Bible Skills Exhibition for 7th-9th graders at our Regional locations. This Bible Skills Exhibition includes Books and Scripture Searching Drills only. There would be 12 Book Calls (2 points each) and 12 Scripture Searching Calls (3 points each). A perfect score would be 180 points (60 from each judge). A Bonus point will be awarded to the driller who steps out first in 8 seconds on each call. Students may qualify for the Exhibition by Receiving a score of 135 at their church. Drillers who participate in the Regional Bible Skills Exhibition will receive a certificate. This is a great option for new or potential Youth Bible Drillers or for churches who were not able to resume their Bible Drill program in 2020-2021 due to Covid. Note that there is no State Level for the Bible Skills Exhibition for 7th-9th graders.

We are offering this new Bible Skills Exhibition option in 2021 in addition to our Traditional Youth Bible Drill because we recognize our churches are in various states of reopening. Some churches are on schedule with their Bible Drill programs while many others are “behind schedule” or were unable to begin their Bible Drill program this year.

Registration is now open on our website. You can register by clicking this link: Registration

Churches who have donated at the Member Level ($250 or more) for the school year of 2020-2021 will receive a 50% discount on their registration fees. Churches donating by March 31st will receive their discounted registration link by email.

2021 Children’s Bible Drill Update

In 2021, children will have the option to participate in Bible Drill in two ways and will have a new Bible Skills opportunity:

  1. Traditional, in-person State Drills in April – In 2021, churches may choose to participate in an Associational Drill (if it is offered in your Association) or they have the option of letting drillers advance to the State Drill directly from their church drill if their score qualifies them as an Associational Winner (a score of 16 or higher). In person State Drills are offered on the following dates:

April 13 – Tom’s Creek Baptist Church, Martin, GA (NE GA)

April 15 – FBC Douglas (South GA)

April 19 – FBC Lawrenceville (East Metro)

April 20 – FBC Cochran (Middle GA)

April 25 – FBC Douglasville (West Metro)

April 26 – Cassville Baptist Church (NW GA)

2. A State Drill at their local church/homeschool group – If a church/group chooses to do the Children’s State Drill locally, they will have until July 31st to register, hold the drill, and send us the results. Upon registration, churches will be asked to list the date of their “State Drill.” The state call sheet will be emailed to them 2- 3 days before their “State Drill.”

Children drilling at our in-person State Drills in April and those who participate in a State Drill at the local level will both receive their State certificates, ribbons, and 3-year awards.

3. *New* – 2021 Children’s Bible Skills Exhibition – We will offer a Bible Skills Exhibition for 3rd-6th graders at our Regional Locations. This Bible Skills Exhibition includes Book and Scripture Searching Drills only. There will be 12 Book Calls and 12 Scripture Searching Calls. Children will have 10 seconds to locate the book or scripture passage. References for the Scripture Searching Drill will be taken from Bible Drill cards. (6 from the current cycle card and 3 each from the other two cycles.) Children will receive a certificate. It is great for new or potential drillers or for churches who were not able to resume their Bible Drill program in 2020-2021 due to COVID.

We are offering these three options for 2021 because we recognize our churches are in various states of reopening. Some churches are on schedule with their Bible Drill programs while many others are “behind schedule” or were unable to begin their Bible Drill program this year.

Registration is now open. You can register by clicking this link: Register

Churches who have donated at the Member Level ($250 or more) for the school year of 2020-2021 will receive a 50% discount on their registration fees. Churches donating by March 31st will receive their discounted registration link by email.

This is the first post of three posts regarding 2021 Bible Drill and Speakers Competition. Our post next week will be about Youth/High School Bible Drill.

5 steps for developing a Speech

My good friend and Georgia Baptist Bible Drill and Speakers, Inc. team member, Karen North, recently wrote this article including 5 steps for helping students develop a speech for our Student Speakers Competition. Karen has worked with Student Speakers on the church, associational, and state level and is the mother of 4 Student Speakers State Winners.


“Who, me? Give a speech?”  “I could never get up in front of people.”  “I’m just a teenager – no one will listen to me.” Those may be some of the first thoughts that cross your mind when someone mentions Students Speakers Competition. If they are, you’re in good company. In Exodus 4:10, Moses told the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” Paul addressed the issue of whether a young person could be an effective witness when he told Timothy, “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity,” 1 Timothy 4:12. Just as Moses and Timothy went on to do great things for the Lord when they spoke up, Student Speakers Competition can be a way you as a young person can be a positive influence on others by sharing your story and how God has worked in your life.  

     “So, I’ve decided to try Speakers Competition. What now?” While the thought of writing, memorizing, and presenting a speech can be daunting, the best way to approach it is to take one step at a time: pray, plan, prepare, practice, and present.  
 
     First, pray about what God would have you to share – just as when you read God’s Word or do any work for the Lord, you should start out by praying about Speakers Competition.  Ask the Lord to guide you as you select a topic, organize your thoughts, write, and present your speech. Seek His guidance and ask Him to bring to mind things in your life where He has worked that might be an encouragement or serve as a lesson to those who will hear your speech.  

     Next, plan your speech. One of the simplest formulas for writing a paper/speech is “tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them.” Try to find a good story or experience to open with to grab the audience’s attention, give them a topic sentence that shares the important point you’d like them to learn, then develop that point in the main part of the speech. Wrap up your speech by summarizing what you have shared and close with a sentence that challenges them to think and maybe follow through on what you have shared.  Organize your thoughts in a logical sequence to help the reader/audience to grasp the point you are trying to get across and help them retain what you have shared.  Try to make it personal by using your experiences as examples.

         Use resources to help guide your writing. The best resource to start with is the Georgia Student Speakers Guide which can be downloaded at https://bibledrillandspeakers.com/student-speakers-competition/. This guide not only has information about the levels of competition, but it has valuable information about writing your speech, delivering your speech, and understanding what the judges are looking for in your written speech as well as your delivery.  Suggested topics can also be found on the webpage. Also, gather a variety of resources that pertain to your chosen topic. Using sources in addition to the Bible is a good idea. Try to find a good story or experience to open with to grab the audience’s attention. 

     Prepare your speech by writing, revising, and having others proofread and make suggestions. Rarely is the first draft ever sufficient. Enlist the help of several adults to read and critique your speech. Suggestions of people to ask to review your speech are your pastor, English teacher, one of the senior adults in the church, or a Sunday School teacher. Having a variety of people to read your speech helps get input from a wider audience with differing viewpoints. Once you have a final draft, read it aloud to make sure sentences which may flow well on paper also flow well off your tongue.  

     Practice, practice, practice! Work not only on memorizing your speech, but on internalizing it – making it your own. Practice natural movements, looking at all areas of the audience, using meaningful hand gestures, and appropriate speed and tone of voice as well as appropriate pauses. Practice in front of a mirror. Have someone video you and then review the video to see what ways you can improve. Ask to be able to present the speech in different classes in your church, such as Sunday School classes, youth meetings, etc. See if there are opportunities to speak at neighboring churches. The more you practice, the more natural your speaking becomes.  

     Present your speech with confidence, knowing that you are sharing God’s story in your life. No matter the outcome of the competition, you have given voice to the message God gave you share. As the Student Speakers Guide says, “It’s about making a greater difference in the world, both now and for the rest of your life.” 

Remembering Steve Williams – A Student Speakers Champion

by Dennis Rogers

I met Steve 30 years ago when Steve and I were involved in Baptist denominational work for different agencies, but under the umbrella of Christian discipleship. I soon discovered whatever Steve did, he did it well. Over the years our friendship grew and when Steve retired from LifeWay he moved to Georgia where he was glad to help us with our State Speakers’ Competition. Again, whatever he did, his work was marked with excellence. Steve volunteered many hours helping student speakers become more effective communicators. Steve was working professionally helping corporate speakers be more effective and his expertise certainly paid off in Speakers Competition. Steve helped us as leaders in the administration of this ministry and we will always be indebted to him for the ministry he gave. Whatever Steve did, he did well!

Well done, thou good and faithful servant and friend! You will be remembered. Steve recently died after a long bout with cancer.


Dennis Rogers is a Georgia Baptist Bible Drill and Speakers, Inc board member and retired Discipleship Ministries Specialist, GBMB.

3 Creative Ideas for a Bible Drill Fun Day (Mini-Retreat)!

With the beginning of a new year, it’s a perfect time to plan a Bible Drill Fun Day for your group this month. Here are 3 creative ideas you can use for your group.

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com
  1. Sign up for Alabama’s virtual Children’s Bible Drill retreat! You can host it at your church with your kids. There will be easy YouTube videos with sessions on: Learning the Books of the Bible, Learning Bible Verses (two sessions), Key Passages, Books of the Bible Procedures, and two worship times. A Bible Drill Retreat Box will also be provided that will include games and activity supplies, worksheets, craft supplies, and instructions on how to have a successful virtual retreat. Each box will contain supplies for up to ten participants. The cost is $25.00. The sessions will be available beginning January 29th. For more information and to register, visit: https://kidzlinkal.org/bible-drill-retreat/.
  2. Plan a winter-themed event at your church or a leader’s home. Include Bible Drill review games to go with the theme and serve chili, hot chocolate, and s’mores! A few game ideas:
  3. Outdoor party – adapt your winter party to the outdoors if you want/need a more social-distanced option. Add in a bon-fire (Of course practice safety and take turns to allow for the social distancing.). Use TV trays or card tables to set up stations outside that the drillers can rotate between. Keep hand sanitizer nearby so that they can use after each station. Ask kids to bring their own camping chair and serve chili, hot chocolate, and s’mores, tailgate style!
  4. Bonus idea: If you have some drillers that are quarantining or your church is only meeting virtually right now, do a porch drop-off. In your bag include a packet of hot chocolate, a few marshmallows, a s’mores packet with a winter-themed verse activity. Use one of the above ideas or create your own. Give drillers a phone call during the week to see how they are doing and if they have reviewed the verse.

What are some creative ideas you use with your Bible Drill group during the winter months to keep them engaged or to add some extra practice time?

Congratulations to our College Essay Winner!

Congratulations to our 2020 College Essay Winner – Elizabeth Powell! As the 2020 winner, she is the recipient of a $500 College Scholarship. Elizabeth is a member of FBC Cochran and a student at Middle Georgia State University. This year’s College Essay Topic was “My Life as a Christ Follower While in College.”

Below is Elizabeth’s Essay:

In my opinion, college is one of the hardest places to show the love of Jesus on a day to day basis. How do you follow the command of Jesus in Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” when there are so many different worldviews and religions?1. I am a student at Middle Georgia State University in Cochran, and we see many students from all over the world. I have met people who are lost and have nowhere to turn. They believe that they can find hope in relationships, degrees, and partying. As a Christian, the only true hope we have is through Jesus Christ. I have many spiritual hopes as a disciple of Jesus Christ. I want to tell others that God has a plan for our life, and He loves us, no matter what our past may be. 

I believe that one of the biggest problems that college students face is the desire to know God’s plan for their life. We often want Him to lay out His whole plan and clearly reveal it to us. One of my spiritual hopes as a disciple of Christ is to show others that we do not have to know every part of God’s plan. Over the last several weeks, I have heard the phrase: “You just need to take the next right step” many times. I am learning to just step out in faith, one step at the time and the rest of the pieces will fall into place. In his book, “Finding God’s Life for my Will,” Mike Donehey shares the story of a man who traveled to India. He wanted to find Mother Teresa and have her pray that he would discover God’s plan for his life. She responded…” No, I will pray that you trust God.”2 We do not have to know God’s entire plan; we just have to trust Him and follow His path for our life. I recently heard a message by Bro. Bryan Parker, the senior pastor at Kingsland First Baptist Church in Kingsland, Georgia. In his message, he talked about the struggle to know God’s plan. He referenced Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths”.3 Bro. Bryan reminded us, if we are walking with God, He will lead us on the right path. We may not know where God is leading us, but if we are following Him, we will succeed. 

I am active in the Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM) at Middle Georgia State University. I currently serve on the leadership team, where my job is to introduce myself to new students as they come into our building. We have worship on Monday nights and girl’s and boy’s Bible studies throughout the week. We also volunteer with the homeless ministry in Athens and Macon. Many students come to the BCM because they are missing “something” in their life. Our goal is to show Jesus’ love to these students so that they can have a relationship with Jesus too. Over the last two weeks, we have seen six or seven students come to Christ. We try to host events throughout the year to bring in new students. We recently hosted a cornhole tournament and we are planning a fall and Christmas party. 

One thing that I have observed is that students feel like they are not capable of ministering to others. I am guilty of believing that, because I am not a preacher or a speaker, I cannot share my story. The truth is that we are all ministers in one way or another. We all have a story to tell that can help others. I believe that the best way to share our story is to show the love of Jesus to everyone around us. If we show others that we love them, they will be more willing to listen to our story. 

I also want to show students that, no matter the situation, God stays the same. This past year has been uncertain with the coronavirus. Many plans are changed, events are cancelled, and we have new guidelines to follow. We have experienced a lot of uncertainty. We are not able to interact with students as much because so many classes are online. We cannot minister to students in the dorms because we are not allowed to go inside the dorms. Although there is so much uncertainty, we can be certain that God stays the same. The Bible says in Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

Another one of my spiritual hopes as a disciple is to show students that their identity is in Christ. We want to define ourselves by what we have done, or who we have become. In the book “Shaken” by Tim Tebow, he says that “Identity doesn’t come from who we are, but whose we are”. 5 We are defined as a child of God, not as a failure or a disappointment. I want to share with students that, no matter what we have done, God can redeem our past and make us a child of God. In his song, “The God Who Stays,” Matthew West sings the lyrics “You tell me nothing I have ever done can separate my heart From the God who stays.”6 God will always love us no matter what we have done or how we define ourselves. 

My spiritual hopes as a disciple are to show students that God has a plan for their life, He stays the same no matter the circumstances, and our identity is found in Christ alone. I have experienced some challenges in my life, but God has carried me through them. My desire is to share with others how God has provided for me, no matter the circumstances. In college, the opportunities to share Jesus are unique, but I know that God will give me the ability to shine my light in a world that desperately needs the hope of Jesus.