Dublin, Ohio’s Radiant Life Church wins 2024 Teen Bible Quiz National Finals

Dublin, Ohio’s Radiant Life Church wins 2024 Teen Bible Quiz National Finals

Published: Jul 5, 2024 by Robert Carter

DALLAS — Unlike last year’s Assemblies of God Teen Bible Quiz National Finals, which was decided on the final question of a one-game playoff, the 2024 edition of the tournament already had its champion determined before the final day of play began.

Radiant Life Church of Dublin, Ohio, got off to a fast start and never really looked back to win the tournament, held at the Hyatt Regency Dallas on July 1-4. They breezed through preliminary-round play on Monday with seven straight wins, only one of which had a margin of victory of less than 100 points. They then went to the Championship Division’s main round robin stage on Tuesday through Thursday, where they won 16 out of 19 games to take first place over the defending 2023 champion “Trinity One” team from Trinity Church in Cedar Hill, Texas, as well as “Precious Ladies” from Braeswood Assembly of God in Houston.

Trinity and Braeswood, both churches with extensive National Finals experience over the years, finished with 13 wins and six losses each. Braeswood was awarded second place overall by tiebreaker rules, as they had beaten “Trinity One” in their round-robin matchup.

As they moved into the main round robin competition on Tuesday, Dublin opened play with eight wins in its first nine games, though the first four contests were by narrow margins. On Wednesday, Radiant lost early in the day by 45 points to “Trinity One.” Dublin’s third loss came at the hands of perennial TBQ powerhouse Calvary Church from Naperville, Illinois, who “J” team (named for coach Jolene Papendick Powell) scored a close decision in the 14th round of play. But by the time that games were completed on Wednesday, Radiant Life was already three games ahead of Cedar Hill and Braeswood. With two rounds of play remaining Thursday morning, the Ohio squad had already locked up their first-ever national championship.

Fourth place in the Championship Division went to Hope Church of Springfield, Missouri, which broke the tiebreaker with fifth-place Cedar Park Church of Bothell, Washington by a win in the tenth round. Each team had 12 wins and seven losses. Dublin was the only team in the division with an average team score of 200 points or more per game. In fact, it was 200 points exactly, as they finished with 3,800 points over the 19 rounds.

Individually, Dublin’s Jayden Nimako took top scoring honors with 2,260 total points, an average of 118.9 per game. Nimako was the only Championship Division quizzer to score more than 2,000 points and average more than 100. Steve Joy of Atlanta Indian Prayer Fellowship in Marietta, Georgia, placed second with 1,880 points (98.9 average), and Madison Day of Oconto, Wisconsin Assembly of God was third with 1,805 points (95.0 average).

The tournament featured 40 teams of teenage quizzers from across the country. The preliminary rounds seeded five groups into eight teams each. After seven games of round robin play, the top four teams in each group advanced to the Championship Division where the national champs would be determined. The remaining teams played simultaneously in the Challenger Division to decide places 21 through 40.

The winning team in the Challenger Division came from First Assembly in Lexington, Kentucky. Having missed out on advancing to the Championship on the very last question of a three-team, two-game tiebreaking playoff in their group, Lexington went on to win the Challenger Division on a three-way tiebreaker with Atlanta Indian Prayer Fellowship’s “Greatly Beloved” team and “Trinity Alpha” from Cedar Hill, Texas. All three teams finished with 16-3 records, but Lexington won the trophy on the basis of total points scored. The Bluegrass State squad amassed 4,175 points over 19 games, an average 219.7 per game; their total score was more than 1,000 points higher than the other two top teams, and higher than any other team in the entire tournament.

This year’s National Finals featured teams from churches which had either won the championship with previous teams, or who had teams which had won Nationals at different churches with personnel who played in either this year’s event or very recent ones. The last five champion teams had members which also played in this year’s finals. Cedar Hill qualified three teams for Nationals, with two advancing to Championship Division play.

This year’s National Finals was the 61st renewal of the tournament, which has been played annually except for 2020 when it was cancelled due to COVID.