News

The Alum Behind the Quiz

by Office of Marketing | January 24, 2014
Pastor Bernie Elliot
Pastor Bernie Elliot '84, while serving on a police force thirty years ago, arrested two young girls who he eventually went on to coach as his first two competitors that entered the Assemblies of God (AG) National Youth Ministries Bible Quiz. “I prayed a prayer,” Elliot said, “a prayer that started a chain of events that completely changed my life.” Seeing the difference that studying the Word made in turning around the lives of his first two quizzers, he prayed on: “Lord, I just saw what you did for these two girls. If you ever give me the chance, I want to do this with more teenagers.”
 
Since then, as he has moved from coach to quiz master to coordinator, Pastor Bernie’s goal has always been to share what he learns with others. Now, as the AG National Bible Quiz coordinator, Elliot produces all of the Bible quiz materials to train leaders and students through retreats, camps and large and small training sessions. What started with seven teams in the national quiz in 1961 has since turned into 85 teams.
 
In Elliot's years of Bible quiz ministry experience, he has had some incredible experiences and has developed unique and genuine relationships. “If quizzing is done right, it’s one of the most life-changing ministries there can be.”
 
“I’m having the time of my life,” Elliot added. “I love quizzing because it involves people who, in the natural world, would never come together as Bible quiz coaches. I have coaches who are bankers, coaches who are lawyers and coaches who are farmers.” He especially is drawn to inner-city churches and has recently been investing in five children in a church near his home.
 
This year marked the 20th year of the Gobblefest Bible Quiz tournament, a quiz separate from the National Bible Quiz, which Elliot has coordinated for many of those 20 years. Teams of students in grades 6 – 12 traveled hundreds of miles to Valley Forge Christian College in November to compete for Turkey Trophies and to practice their quizzing skills against hundreds of other teens. 
 
Without Elliot’s passion for such an important discipleship ministry, Bible quiz events like this would never happen. But his love for instilling God’s Word into the hearts of teenagers has changed his life as well as theirs. As he says, “God has blessed me beyond my wildest dreams.”