Back to Hall of Fame

Greg Sanders


Greg Sanders

Greenville Free Methodist Church
Greenville, IL
Quizzed 1971-1978
Inducted 2004

Bio

Notable Results

  • 1974 - Senior Teen National Champion
  • 1976 - 2nd place - Senior Teen
  • 1978 - 2nd place - Senior Teen

Favorite Scripture

"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." (Matthew 6:33) This verse to me represented the very foundation of a life built on priorities. Kingdom priorities first, then everything else. I came back to this verse time and time again, especially as I was tempted to quit quizzing for the world of sports and high school musicals. While important, I eventually determined that nothing would take me out of quizzing, because I recognized its permanent spiritual impact on my life.

Questions & Answers
What were the highlights of your quizzing years?

Several national championship quizzes, first as a youngster with the Kaufmann's, where I would get a question or two in each round as a "substitute," and the great challenge was simply to get something answered correctly during the questions when I was "in play," and to beat the Kaufmann's, as well as the opponents, off the chairs. Later, it was quizzing against formidable opponents such as Kevin Ready and Mike Hopper. Spiritually speaking, every year was a highlight. Each section of scripture fed my spirit, and the Lord used it to grow character within me, and to help me in my everyday decision-making. My final year, as a college freshmen was particularly significant. (They let you quiz up to age 20 back then.) For the first time, I fully memorized all of the material (I may have earlier, but was not in the habit of quoting through it from beginning to end) and quoted all of Romans and James with no mistakes in 45 minutes. (Well, there were 1 or 2 mistakes, but I had an opportunity to go back and correct them)

How did quizzing affect you as a teen?

I got into quizzing because I was infatuated with a pretty, vivacious, blond-haired girl. I stayed with it because I fell in love with the Lord.

What difference has quizzing made in your life to this day?

It's hard to calculate the significance that half of the New Testament bouncing around in your head can have on your decisions and priorities. First of all, the memorized word in my head becomes the meditative word in my heart and mind. Next, if the Word of God is the sword of the Spirit, and I'm 100% sure it is, then the quizzing books in my head keep the Lord's sword very sharp, and regularly prunes off branches. You would think that all of that Scripture in your head, and all of God's laws so to speak, might make life very difficult. Actually, the reverse is true. The sharper the knife, the less it hurts when the Lord trims you into shape.

How have you been involved in quizzing since you were a quizzer?

The year after college graduation, I got involved in quizzing as a coach. Being a youth pastor as well, I had the opportunity to acquaint many young people with the ministry of quizzing, first in Springfield, Illinois, and then in Kalamazoo and Clarkston, Michigan, respectively. While in Kalamazoo, we started a brand new quiz team, and in one year (1981-82) did something somewhat unusual for a first-year team - we took not only 1st place, but also 2nd place in the STV division at National Finals. Over the next 5 years, as not only a coach but a youth pastor interested in outreach as well as nurture, I combined our quiz team and youth choir and took them "on the road" in southern Michigan, putting on concerts, puppet shows, and demonstration Bible quizzes to other FM youth groups. Within about 3 years, we had about 12 teams started in both the South and East Michigan conferences, enough for some decent regional quizzing. Some of those teams are still active today. We also hosted a Kalamazoo Holiday Bible Quiz tournament over the Christmas holiday for 3 years, and we combined quizzing with a camp atmosphere, and I specifically remember some kids getting saved through the ministry of Sacrifice of Praise (a local music group).

How are you serving the Lord?

Since coming back to Greenville 13 years ago, I have been involved with the quizzing ministry, first as a helper, and in recent years as the head coach. I am continually searching for new techniques or "systems" to help teens learn the scripture more easily, and have recently written "quote verse songs," developed picture stories, and other things to help teens (and myself!) to learn the material more easily. I love quizzing, I love the teens who catch the quizzing fever, and I love the Lord who makes all things possible! It's easy to get excited about quizzing when you see the spiritual results that it brings!

As far as other spiritual ministries are concerned, I am a professor at Greenville College, where I witness for Christ in and out of the classroom with students. Some people think it's hard to take a secular science like sociology and make it fit with Christianity, but for a former Bible quizzer whose mind is filled many nuggets of wisdom from God's Word, it's really not so hard! All wisdom comes from God, and the Scripture simply makes His truth more evident. I am also devoted to my family, to witnessing to my neighbors, and to any other opportunity I have to serve my Lord.