Frankfort—Toss out any scripture reference and Nichole Roberts can open her Bible to it in a flash.
Ask her to quote a passage from memory and she won’t miss a single word.
The 17-year-old from one of the smallest communities in Kentucky is the newly crowned champion of the National Invitational High School Bible Drill Tournament.
The competition, a speed drill which involves locating Bible passages and reciting them from memory, first piqued Robert’s interest when she was invited to take part by a friend six years ago.
Since then, Roberts, a home-schooled student, has competed in six state Bible drill tournaments and finished runner-up twice. But in April, her victory in the Kentucky High School Bible Drill earned her the opportunity to represent Kentucky at the national tournament in Kingsland, Ga., last month.
“I was extremely surprised and shocked,” Roberts said of the moment when they called her name out as the new national champ. “It was an amazing feeling.”
The competition, popular in Southern Baptist churches, helps to increase a believer’s knowledge of the scriptures while also teaching how to apply them in life.
When a smiling Roberts, the daughter of Everett and Peggy Roberts of Monterey, made her way up to get her trophy, Fay True, her Sunday school teacher and coach, applauded from the sidelines. Even though Nicole is the only Bible drill competitor at Mount Vernon Baptist Church out of Frankfort, True spent six hours every week helping her practice and prepare for competitions.
“She’s actually one of the main reasons why I’ve continued with it,” Roberts said of True. “She’s just an amazing person to be around and she supports me through everything.”
Mount Vernon Pastor Larry Adkins said True is an exceptional trainer. “She encouraged Nicole so much and made her feel that she could win, that she could do as good as the others even though we were from a smaller, rural church,” he said.
With True’s help, Roberts estimated that she has memorized at least 200 Bible verses.
Roberts said the spiritual growth that comes from this much time spent in Scripture is the real reward. That, she said, is far more valuable than any trophy.
Nicole encourages young people to cash in on this opportunity while they have the chance.
“I just wish more kids would be involved in it,” she said, “because it’s definitely changed my life.”
Any churches wanting to participate in Bible drill or youth speaker’s tournaments should contact Robby Adkins at 502-750-1301. (KBC)