One point. Just one point separated first place from second place in the finals of the 54th Annual Bash-Whisler Bible Reading Contest held in the Evans Chapel at Northwest Christian University on Fri., Feb. 26, 2016.
The winner of the Bash-Whisler competition was Delia House-Lopez, a senior and Music major from Portland/Aloha High School. House-Lopez read Psalm 22:1-25 and Mark 15:16-39. Second place winner was Zoe Herron, an English major from Olympia, Washington/Timberline High School. She read Psalm 22:1-19 and Matthew 27:45-56, and third place went to Andrew Loyd, a senior Music & Worship Arts major from Creswell, Oregon/South Lane Christian School. Loyd read Ezekiel 37:1-14 and Romans 6:1-14.
“All three of this year’s finalists were excellent, but the judges’ scores for champion and runner-up were the closest I’ve ever seen them,” said Doyle Srader, Ph.D., professor of Speech & Communications at NCU and coordinator of the competition. “Delia was a returning finalist who spoke with fire and desperation. Zoe was precise and nuanced. They were tied in the judge’s rankings, and when I went to the rating points, Delia edged out Zoe by just a single point. Both of them pushed each other to be outstanding.”
The competition draws student entrants from across the campus community. Each student selects two passages of scripture, one from the Old Testament, to read aloud, and another from the New Testament, that is recited from memory. Each passage is required to be at least 12 verses long. With a clear and artful delivery, contestants transfer scripture from the written word to the ears and eyes of judges, students, faculty, and staff who are listening and watching them read and recite their passages.
The Bash-Whisler winner reads or recites their passages one more time at baccalaureate in May. All competitors receive a cash award for their efforts.
The semifinalists for this years competition, include:
- Amber DeHart, freshman Exercise Science major from Cottage Grove, Oregon/Cottage Grove High School
- Micah Jury, sophomore English major from Eagle Point, Oregon/Home School
- Hannah Roddy, senior Communication major from Redmond, Washington/Home School
Judges for this year’s competition were: NCU President Joseph D. Womack, Ed.D; Angela Doty, NCU’s Director of Academic Services & Career Development; and NCU Associate Professor of Communications Nani Skaggs. Doty is a past Bash-Whisler champion, and President Womack was a finalist.