MARBLE FALLS — Just in time for the completion of its new building, the Marble Falls Church of Christ is preparing for an influx of at least 100 kids for the Texas Bible Bowl this weekend.
The contestants begin registering Friday at the church, 711 Broadway, with the Bible Bowl 8 a.m.-noon Saturday.
"It’s simply where kids have been taking a school year of classes on one of the books of the Bible and now they’ll get tested on it," said Ken Waugh, the church’s youth minister. "We have 10 kids from our church participating. But the rest will come from all over the state."
In years past, Abilene Christian University hosted the event, but Waugh said last year was the last time for the college. Yet organizers didn’t want the event to end, so they developed the Texas Bible Bowl and looked for a place to host it.
That’s where the Marble Falls church came in.
"When we decided to host it, we were still under construction," Waugh said. The church recently completed a larger building and razed the old facility at the same location. "But this has worked out great."
The Bible Bowl is an academic-style test in which students answer questions based on a topic, which this year is the Book of Second Samuel, Waugh said.
"They’ve been studying it since August," Waugh said.
Second Samuel starts out with David learning of King Saul’s death. Then the people of Judah chose David as their new king. It tells King David’s story through his old age.
The Bible Bowl is open to students from third through 12th grades, Waugh said.
"Adults can also do it," he added.
The competition is divided by age and played with teams of four. Students younger than sixth grade take part in the elementary category, while junior division is for students in sixth through ninth grades.
The senior division is for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors. Anyone older competes in the adult division.
The junior and senior divisions also have "experienced" and "inexperienced" classifications.
An "experienced" team includes at least one member who has competed in a Bible Bowl at ACU, Harding University, Lubbock Christian University or Oklahoma Christian University.
The format is based on five rounds with an optional Power Round. In some rounds, contestants are allowed to consult the Bible. Rounds can last from 10 to 25 minutes, depending on the topic. Rounds one through four are worth up to 40 points while the bonus round can earn a competitor up to 50 points.
"The desire is for the kids to just learn something," Waugh said. "Some kids are great at taking test and academics. They excel at it and this is something for them. God gifts us all differently and this is one way."
Along with the 100 students, Waugh said the community can expect an additional 70 parents and sponsors.
"So it’s something that’s going to benefit the area as well," he said.
"They’ve planned a picnic and some fun things at Johnson Park (noon-5 p.m.) and then they’ll come back in the evening for a banquet (7-9 p.m.)," Waugh said. "Most will probably leave early Sunday morning. It should be a busy weekend."
For more, call (830) 693-5575 or go to www.texasbiblebowl.org.