Bible Quizzing officially began at Mayberry in the 1999-2000 quizzing season. At Impact in 1999, Rhonda Wills attended the quizzing finals and got the vision that Mayberry students in her middle school Sunday School class could do what she saw other middle schoolers doing. The idea was discussed and debated. Finally the five students in her class decided to try it. A sixth student joined in about a month later. January 2000 found Mayberry participating in their first Bible quiz competition. Rhonda Wills coached Andrew Carl, Virginia Wills, Paul Wills, Joshua Zimmerman, Amanda Craig, and Ciara Hess. The team did very poorly during the first quiz of competition, but did come out on the positive side with a score of 10. The other two quizzes weren't much better. The team was seeing quizzing for the first time and participating as well. It was tough!
The team studied harder and did better and better each time. At the May Tournament, they even brought home their first second place finish! Plans began to be made to have the team participate in their first national quizzing finals during the summer at Impact in Findlay, Ohio. The six-member team, however, was presented with a problem. A normal quizzing team consisted of no more than 5 team members. It was decided to make two 3-member teams. One of the teams did very well making a third place finish. While the other team finished in the bottom half, the Mayberry people decided to congratulate all six members with gift certificates, personal trophies and a dinner honoring them for their tremendous accomplishment.
The team continued to compete for the next four years earning two more third place finishes, a fifth and lastly a fourth place finish. The team members varied some, but there were always four or five members participating. Ciara Hess ranked in the top ten scorers for three years, Andrew Carl for two years and Virginia Wills for one year. During the 2001-2002 year and also the 2002 through the 2004 years, a junior team quizzed along with the senior team at Impact and throughout the year at District quizzes over the Eastern Region. Members of the newest teams consisted of Rosalie Wills, Travis Whitcomb, Amanda Zimmerman, Stephanie Bitner, Jennifer Prince, and Kellee Stonesifer, coached by Joe Wills. In their first year of competition, this team came in first place in the March Tournament and in fourth place in the May Tournament. In 2004, Rosalie Wills finished in the top 10 in the Junior High Division.
As you can see, Mayberry Quizzing is alive and well. The Senior team is now done with quizzing as they have now graduated from high school and moved on in their lives. The junior team now consists of Rosalie Wills, Stephanie Bitner, Kellee Stonesifer, and Benjamin Honeycutt. They have been competing in the district quizzes and tournaments sponsored by the Eastern Region Churches of God and are planning to attend the national finals at Impact again this year (2005.)
Quizzing begins with a Little League Division which involves students from third to sixth grades. Mayberry has never had a Little League Team, although an attempt was made in 2004-5 to begin one with Denise Coil as the coach. Maybe this group will get started next season. The Junior High Division includes students who've completed sixth through ninth grades. Finally the Senior High Division is made up of students from their sophomore year through high school graduation. Quizzers study a selected portion of scripture each quizzing season. This year the book of Matthew is being studied. The New International Version of the Bible is being used.
Students are asked questions from a twenty question quiz and are awarded 20 points for correct answers. Some questions ask for students to quote Bible passages. Thirty points are awarded for these correct responses. Students are learning God's Word and hiding it in their hearts, a necessity for spiritual growth. Bible Quizzing has certainly been a blessing to the Mayberry First Church of God. If you or your children are interested in participating in this ministry, please contact Pastor Wills or any of the coaches mentioned in this article.