The first annual National Bible Bee, a Bible memory competition for children and youth from 7 to 18 years of age, will be held next September in honor of Shelby Kennedy.
On May 31, 2005, at the age of 23, Shelby Kennedy went home to be with the Lord after an intense struggle with cancer. Shelby was described as a “one-in-a-million Christian who had an unusual spiritual gift of faith – a special person who radiated joy, life and hope to everyone she met.”
Although Shelby had minimal energy and needed to use a wheelchair most of the time she was awake, what energy she had was focused on proclaiming Jesus Christ. Her testimony of hope in the midst of a fiery trial sparked a spirit of revival in those around her.
Much of what kept Shelby’s joy alive in her last days was time spent studying the Word of God. Shelby is the inspiration behind the Shelby Kennedy Foundation, a nonprofit Life established in her name to encourage children and youth to grow in Christ through Scripture memorization. Shelby’s testimony sparked an incredible vision – to launch a world-class Bible Bee.
The Bible Bee, sponsored by the Shelby Kennedy Foundation, seeks to build godly character in young people by calling them back to the lost discipline of Scripture memorization.
Most people are familiar with the Scripps National Spelling Bee, where youth compete annually in the nation’s longest-running educational contest. While it is certainly beneficial for our children to commit the spelling of words to memory, contest organizers challenge Christians to memorize the life-changing Word of God.
Local Bible Bee Contests will be conducted throughout the United States on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009. Then, 100 finalists from each of three age categories will advance to the National Bible Bee for a two-day, world-class competition held in Washington D.C. on Nov. 5–6, 2009.
The National Bible Bee will distribute more than $260,000 in prize money with $100,000 being awarded to the first-place winner of the top age bracket.
For more information on the Bible Bee, please call Kit Rasche at 619-401-0385, or e-mail [email protected].