An active army: Bible Bowl

When Irene Knighten came to The Salvation Army’s Toledo, Ohio Corps 19 years ago, she was a mother with young children, but still holding on to her youthful habits of drinking and partying.

“I had not seen the inside of a chapel for ten years,” she remembers. “But I still knew what I wanted in a church. It had to be personal, people–friendly, and have a ministry that would welcome both me and my children, so they would not follow the same path I was on.”

Irene Knighten and her daughters Rodneshia, Brittany, and Courtney, and her son Deloren soon found themselves immersed in the activities the corps had to offer, such as women’s ministry, Get–A–Way weekends, Star Search, and Camp NEOSA. But what really caught the children’s attention was the corps’ Bible Bowl program.

“My kids loved Bible Bowl. My oldest, Rodneshia, was the captain of the team. Every competition they went to, they were prepared with the Word of God—memorized,” says Knighten.

“Every night, I saw them going over their notes and study sheets, and testing each other. They always asked me to study with them, but I kept putting it off. One day, I took the time to review with them. I was surprised at how much they knew.”

There may be another future Bible Bowl competitor in the Knighten family. Irene’s children are now grown, but she hopes that she can introduce her 6–year–old grandson to The Salvation Army. “I can’t wait to bring him to his first Sunday school class,” she says.

Irene wants to continue to focus on her own Bible study lessons, grow her connection with the Lord, and possibly even become a Salvation Army soldier. Just as it takes time to prepare for Bible Bowl, Knighten happily admits she is a work in progress. 

“The Toledo Corps has helped me take better care of myself, in both health and in spirit. Because of them, my children and grandchildren will always have God in their lives.”

by Hugo Bravo


The purpose of Bible Bowl is to excite young people with the Word of God and its relevance in their daily lives, to plant the Word of God in their hearts and minds, and to develop Bible study habits that will continue with them throughout life.

Young people who participate, study the Bible and memorize specific verses of Scripture. The teams enjoy group Bible studies and personal study, as well as quizzing and fellowship with other teams. The young people grow in their understanding of God’s values and principles and learn to apply the truths they have learned to their everyday lives.


Any active Salvationist in grades 7–12 who attends the corps regularly and claims Jesus as Savior is eligible to participate in Bible Bowl.

A Bible Bowl team consists of a minimum of four players and a maximum of seven players. A maximum of three corps may combine to form one team. Please contact your Divisional Youth Secretary to obtain Bible Bowl registration procedures within your division and to ask any additional questions regarding how Bible Bowl is handled within your division. Every corps must register its team via their Divisional Youth Secretary.

For more Bible Bowl resources, visit

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