The Chosen Ones Win JBQ's 30th National Championship
Braeswood Church (AG) Junior Bible Quiz (JBQ) team, The Chosen Ones, celebrated the 30th anniversary of JBQ by claiming the JBQ National Championship during The JBQ National Festival held June 11-13 at Calvary Church in Naperville, Illinois.
JBQ is the Assemblies of God Bible-knowledge competition based on the AG Bible Fact-Pak, which offers 576 questions valued at 10, 20, or 30 points for children K-6th grade. Teams compete throughout the fall and spring, with district champions and the top five teams from each region qualifying to participate in the national championships.
Second place overall went to God's Incredibles of Sanford, Florida; third to Quiz Kids of Scotch Plains, New Jersey; fourth to Naperville M of Naperville, Illinois; and fifth to Celebration Quizzers of Akron, Ohio. The top individual quizzer was Toby Robinson of God's Incredibles, scoring 1,135 points in the nine-match championship round.
Braeswood Church, located in Houston, Texas, has qualified for the national JBQ tournament for four consecutive years, but finished no higher than 28th the first three years. This was the church's and the South Texas District's first-ever JBQ national championship.
According to Lindsay Marwil, coordinator for Braeswood's JBQ program, the national event is very challenging, with most kids having not experienced this type of intensity at any other quiz meet during the year.
On Friday, five pools of 16 teams (80 total teams) quizzed in a round-robin format, with each team quizzing against all 15 opponents in their pool. The top two teams from the five pools advanced to the Level 1 national championship round on Saturday. Third and fourth place teams from each pool advance to Level 2, fifth and sixth to Level 3, and so on through Level 8.
Marwil says their team, which is coached by April Tone, finished 12-3 on Friday, ending in a tie with Naperville, Illinois, M team, for first place in their pool. On Saturday, The Chosen Ones went 8-1 on the day, with the next three teams finishing the day at 6-3.
"Our team is made up of two sixth graders [Daniel Ejim and Sarah Onwudinjo], a fourth grader [Michael Ukonu] and a second grader [Brandon Ukonu]," Marwill says. "On Saturday, our second grader, Brandon, ended up quizzing out every round [answering six questions correctly in a match] more than anyone else in the championship round."
Marwil is quick to explain that the team functions as the body of Christ, with each person playing a different role to the best of his or her ability. He explains that Brandon's role was to answer 10-point questions - which he did, 54 out of 57 attempts. Ejim, however, actually scored more overall points for the team.
Tone also receives high praise from Marwil. "April graduated from college and came back to Houston and has invested her time and talents in various church ministries for the last five years," he says. "Her youthful enthusiasm has infused a new life and focus into the students."
Not every child is a good quiz match quizzer, Marwil observes, but he believes every child can learn the answers to each of the JBQ questions.
"It takes a certain personality type to be good at quizzing," he explains, "but we want every 6th grader to earn individual recognition [memorization] awards because that knowledge base is a good foundation for what we believe, why we believe it, and prepares them to act on those beliefs."
"The 30th anniversary of the National JBQ Festival was another incredible time of fun and competition for kids from all across the US," states Scott Berkey, children's pastor at Victory Worship Center (AG) in Tucson, Arizona, and national director of JBQ. "Though the competition was the reason for gathering together, the fun times and the incredible presence of the Holy Spirit is what will make it most memorable for the boys and girls from the 80 teams who attended. I was blessed once again to hear so many kids quoting Scripture that will remain a part of their life forever."
Marwil says that the annual tournament is also beneficial for something outside of quizzing. "It's an opportunity to meet and see other students and adults from across the country and realize that there are other like-minded students and parents out there," he says. "It's a really refreshing experience."
For complete results from Friday's and Saturday's national JBQ championships, click this link.