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Steve Coates

Steve Coates

Moundford Free Methodist Church
Decatur, IL
Quizzed 1975-1981
Inducted 2004


Notable Results


  • 1975 - Young Teen National Champion
  • 1976 - Young Teen National Champion
  • 1977 - Young Teen National Champion
  • 1979 - Senior Teen National Champion
  • 1981 - Senior Teen National Champion


  • 1981 - Senior Teen National Champion

Favorite Scripture

One of my favorites was "If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." (Galatians 1:10) It is so easy to be lured into seeking the approval of persons. As a servant of Christ, I simply want to hear the words "Well done, good and faithful servant" from the mouth of my LORD. Perhaps I was an outstanding quizzer, but as a Christian, I am simply a child of God. If there is a "cream of the crop," I am certainly not in it. I am thankful to be a member of the family of Christ, with brothers and sisters far more talented and gifted than myself. But I have a role to play - we all do. By the grace of God, I will give my very best for Him.

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

National Finals was the highlight of every season. The times of worship and fellowship with quizzers from around the country were a great encouragement in my spiritual development. The annual "Quote-a-thon" was tremendous. Our coach (my brother Chuck) demanded perfection. We had to quote anywhere from 20 to 29 chapters aloud according to his standards of precision. After quoting an entire chapter, he would simply mention the reference of any verse I might have missed. I was given one chance and one chance only to say the verse correctly. If I missed even one letter, I did not receive credit for the verse. His demands resulted in mastery of the material. I also appreciated the great support of our local church for quizzing. We often quoted scripture in worship services and gave quizzing demonstrations to the congregation. The fellowship with teammates at weekly practices and occasional pizza outings formed the basis of my closest friendships throughout high school.

How did quizzing affect you as a teen?

It is impossible for me to quantify the positive impact of quizzing on my life during my teen years. The training of my mind paid tremendous benefits in education. The training of my will saved me from untold pain and suffering resulting from sin. I think I spent nearly 2000 hours memorizing God's Word in my seven years of quizzing. I thank God for the privilege of consuming that much positive input in my mind and for sparing me 2000 hours of potential harm.

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

It has been 29 years since I won my first National Championship. I still memorize, and I still quote. Two weeks ago, I quoted nearly 30 minutes of scripture (several hundred verses) as a farewell message for people moving from our congregation. Many of the verses were from quizzing days - others I learned using the same skills and methods I developed decades ago. The Word of God is powerful, and I am so thankful for the discipline of hiding it in my heart that I might not sin against Him.

How are you serving the Lord?

After nearly 12 years of pastoral ministry in local Free Methodist churches, I am currently serving as a Chaplain in the United States Navy. My family and I are stationed at Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni Japan.

I have coached teams in Greenville (IL), Dearborn (MI), Spring Arbor (MI), Springfield (IL) and now Japan. Praise the LORD for faithful servants who have dedicated themselves to providing direction to this outstanding ministry. It has grown and flourished under their leadership. Once again, I am simply thankful to be associated with such wonderful children of the King.