It's literally a new day for Assemblies of God Teen Bible Quiz.
New Day Assembly, located in the Pittsburgh, Pa. suburb of Upper St. Clair, won the 2016 National Championship at Evangel University in Springfield, Mo. on July 7.
New Day came into the final-four playoffs as the fourth seed, and faced a semifinal playoff against three-time defending champion James River Church of Ozark, Mo. — a team which itself had to win its last match in the main round-robin stage of the tournament just to qualify for the playoffs, and did so with a 5-point overtime victory over Community Church of Mt. Pocono, Pa. James River's "Driving You Insane" team, one of two from the church in the Final 40 field, fell short in its bid for a record fourth national title when New Day prevailed in the semifinal playoff.
New Day then went on to win the championship with a 150-85 victory over Maple Lane Assembly of Deposit N.Y. in the final match. Jonathan Brown led the way for New Day with 115 points and a "quiz out" correctly answering the maximum of five questions and earning bonus points in the process.
New Day's team consists of Brown, Joseph Lemley and Josh Fuller. David Lemley is the head coach, assisted by Rich Brown.
Maple Lane, the third seed in the final four, won its way into the championship match by defeating the "Savage Northwest SIRS" team from Cedar Park Church in Bothell, Wash. in the semifinals. James River then won over Cedar Park in the third-place match.
In the individual standings of the tournament's top Championship Division, Halle Reisinger of Newport, Pa. Assembly edged Brown by 40 points after 19 matches in round-robin play. Reisinger scored 1,900 points for an average of exactly 100 points per game, and quizzed out in all but three of her games. Brown scored 1,860 points (97.89 average), and also had 16 quiz-outs. Julia Rodriguez of Mt. Pocono was third with 1,790 points (94.21 average) and 12 quiz outs.
In the Challenger Division, Bethany Church of Wyckoff, N.J. took the title over Cedar Park's "That's Debatable" team in a one-game playoff by a 105-100 score. Gabriel Flores of Wyckoff was the top individual scorer in the round-robin matches, accumulating 1,730 points and 16 quiz outs.
The 2016 edition of the National Finals began on July 4 with the 40 teams divided into five groups. The top four teams in each group advanced to the Championship Division to contend for the national title, while the rest were placed in the Challenger Division. Both divisions then quizzed in 19 rounds over 2½ days. The quizzers, all in grades 6-12, studied Acts in the 2015-26 season — more than 1,000 verses, with most National Finals-level quizzers having memorized and quoted the entire book.
New Day will attempt to repeat as national champs in the 2016-17 season, which covers the books of Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon — roughly half the length of Acts in terms of the number of verses. Quizzing usually begins in October in most districts. Top-level A League teams will cover the entire Scripture Portion, while Middle School Division teams (grades 6-8) will cover about three-fourths of the material. In most districts, an entry-level Experience Division is also available, which will over one or two chapters each month for four months. This division is intended for students in grades 6-12 who have little or no quizzing experience, with a less-competitive game format and many of the questions and answers available in advance (similar to Junior Bible Quiz for grade-schoolers).
If you'd like more information on how to start a Teen Bible Quiz ministry at your church, contact your District Youth Director or National TBQ Director Bernie Elliot at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Robert Carter, reporting from Springfield, Missouri