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James River Church Ties Record with Teen Bible Quiz Championship

Seeded fourth in the finals, James River Church upset the first and third seeds to win its fourth Teen Bible Quiz national championship.

The Flames Bible Quiz team of James River Church, Ozark, Missouri, recently won its record-tying fourth Teen Bible Quiz (TBQ) national championship title in five years at the 2017 TBQ National Finals. 

The tournament, held July 2-7 at Sandy Cove Christian retreat center in North East, Maryland, featured 40 of the nation’s top Bible Quiz teams quizzing over the books of Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. 

According to The Flames’ coach, Christina Quick, this year there were a lot of very strong teams in the Championship division (made up of the top 20 teams determined by the first day’s preliminary rounds). Case in point, The Flames just made it into the Championship final four, having a record of 13-6 in the round-robin portion of the quizzing, with no team entering the final four undefeated. 

However, in the finals, The Flames put together two outstanding performances, first defeating top-seeded Maple Lane Assembly of Deposit, New York, 190-140, in the semifinals, and then downing Calvary Church of Naperville, Illinois, 235-135, for the title. 

In the title game, team captain Hannah Quick led individual scoring with 130 points, and both she and teammate Travis Griessel "quizzed out" (answered the maximum of five correct questions, earning bonus points). Leisl Jansen and Cade Chrastina rounded out the national title team. 

First Assembly of Lexington, Kentucky, came back from a lopsided loss to Calvary Church in its semifinal match to defeat Deposit, 205-130, to take third place. 

“I’m extremely proud of these quizzers for their commitment to studying the Bible,” says Christina Quick, Hannah’s mother. “The countless hours they put in paid off in competition, but the real reward is in knowing God’s Word.”

With the victory, James River now joins The Church at Briargate from Colorado Springs, Colorado, and First Assembly of Owasso, Oklahoma, as the only four-time TBQ national champions in the 55-year history of the event. James River finished in third place in last year’s competition.

Another piece of history was also made this year when a second team from James River Church, Goals, won the Challenger division, edging Neighborhood Church of Bellevue, Washington, 125-115. This is the first time that both the Championship and Challenger divisions have been won by the same church.

In the individual standings, Halle Reisinger of Newport (Pennsylvania) Assembly placed first in the Championship Division with 2,175 points. Zak Kellock of Dream City Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, was second with 2,095 points, and Hannah Quick was third with 1,780 points. In the Challenger Division, Zach Ponraj of Tacoma (Washington) Life Center led the way with 1,520 points.

Reisinger repeated as the TBQ Female Quizzer of the Year while Solomon Stevens of Maple Lane AG was named TBQ Male Quizzer of the Year. Christina Quick received TBQ Coach of the Year honors.

“At a time when few Americans read the Bible, it’s great to see young people from across the nation who are learning and memorizing the truths of Scripture,” Christina Quick says. “Bible Quiz is such an important ministry, and my family has truly been blessed to be a part of it.”

According to Bible Quiz Director Bernie Elliott, during the championship week, more than $27,000 was awarded to quizzers in the form of college scholarships. For the 2018 season, quizzers will be studying the Gospel of Mark, with the national championship tournament to be held at Calvary Church in Naperville, Illinois.

IMAGE - From left to right. Top row: Yvonne Jansen, Christina Quick, Leisl Jansen. Bottom row: Cade Chrastina, Hannah Quick, Travis Griessel.

Dan Van Veen

Dan Van Veen is news editor of AG News. Prior to transitioning to AG News in 2001, Van Veen served as managing editor of AG U.S. Missions American Horizon magazine for five years. He attends Central Assembly of God in Springfield, Missouri, where he and his wife, Lori, teach preschool Sunday School and 4- and 5-year-old Rainbows boys and girls on Wednesdays.