Pre-teen earns Jr. Bible Quizzer of the Year in Louisiana title

Kate Perkins, 12, at right, earned the state title June 21 in Baton Rouge. Her teammate is Nathanyel Smith, 10, of Alexandria. The duo competed at Nationals and ended that tournament with a record of 8-2.

By Carolyn Roy, News Editor

Bible quizzing is just what the name implies. It’s a “sport” in which teams of youth compete against each other with speed, memory and quick responses about Bible scripture.

One Natchitoches youth is excelling in the competition and has been named Junior Bible Quizzer of the Year in Louisiana. Kate Perkins, 12, is a student at NSU Middle Lab and she and her family attend New Life Evangelism Center in Natchitoches. Junior Bible Quizzing is a ministry of Children’s Ministries of the United Pentecostal Church International. Kate’s father, Kendal Perkins, says this was Kate’s fourth year of Junior Bible Quizzing.  Next year she’s moving up the intermediate division.

There will be 419 verses to memorize and are all from Psalms. Kate’s team competed in the La. District State Finals at Grace Church of Central in Baton Rouge June 21 and won second place in that tournament.  Kate received a trophy as the Highest Scoring Quizzer and was named Junior Bible Quizzer of the Year. At nationals, Kate’s team played 10 games and ended the tournament with a record of 8-2.

Kate and Nathanyel anxiously await the start of a Bible Quiz round at Nationals.

Kate was the highest scoring quizzer in six of those games and finished with a scoring average of 76.0 points per game for the tournament. Nationals was July 20-25 at the Chateau on the Lake in Branson, Mo. Kate’s teammate is Nathanyel Smith.  He’s 10 years old and attends Country Day School in Alexandria.

Their team is sponsored by the Pentecostals of Alexandria.  Their coach is Neyesha Elliott.  Kate and Nathanyel were teammates for Kate’s first year of quizzing and were paired up again this year. “Our family is very grateful for the love and support of our home church, New Life Evangelism Center, and our pastors Dennis and Helen Bjornberg,” Kendal Perkins said. “My wife, Gerra, has been Kate’s at-home coach and motivator.  A great deal of the credit for what Kate’s accomplished is due to Gerra’s hard work and love.” Perkins explained how bible quizzing works. There’s a different study each season.  Usually it’s limited to verses from one or two books of the Bible.

This year the study was on Apostolic Doctrine.  In the junior division Kate competes in, the quizzers memorized 281 verses selected from throughout the Bible.  The verses were chosen to give a broad overview of the Biblical foundations of the doctrines of the Apostolic church. There’s a variety of question types the quizzers have to answer.

They range from quoting verses perfectly from memory to answering multi-part questions about specific information found in a particular verse.

Example question:  Quote Acts chapter 2, verse 38.

Example question:  How many verses of our study contain the word “reconciliation” and what are these verses?

Quizzes (aka games) at the junior level have 15 questions.  Individual questions are worth either 10, 20, or 30 points depending on their level of difficulty.  The two opposing teams are seated at tables and questions are read aloud by a quiz master.

The quizzers buzz in with a hand-held buzzer when they want to attempt to answer the question that’s being read.  If a quizzer buzzes in before the quiz master finishes reading the question, the quizzer is required to correctly complete the question and give the correct answer.  The team with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.

Tournaments are double-elimination format. But Bible quizzing is more than speed, memory and fast responses. It provides a chance to socialize spiritually with peers and begin building a faith that lasts throughout their life. If her past is an indication, Kate has many Bible verses to go.

As for her favorite Bible verse, it’s, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12.