STONE MOUNTAIN, GA (KFVS) - A 15-year-old girl from Annapolis, Mo took to a national stage in the National Invitational Tournament for Bible Drill (NITBD) recently where she won 4th place overall.
Aurellia Mills-Rhodes is that girl and she said it was something she always dreamed about.
"We all jumped for joy. This is awesome!" Aurellia exclaimed.
The NITBD is a cooperative effort of the discipleship leaders in Southern Baptist-affiliated state conventions. It was held this year in Stone Mountain, GA.
"Bible Drill is a competition where you memorize bible verses," Aurellia explained. "You start at attention, with the bible by your side. Your caller or leader, calls a call, verse or question. You then find it in the Bible, put your finger on it and step out."
Aurellia explained that the five steps of the drill are book drill, scripture searching, identifying versus, doctrinal and Bible answer.
She had some of her family members there with her for support, as well as, her Bible Drill Director Marsha Lane who has worked with her and other students at the Annapolis First Baptist Church.
"We have a large group," Aurellia said. "We do Bible drill here a lot. Last year we had about 10 kids participate in the youth drill for church. We took 5 with us to state. 4 of us were in the top 10.
Aurellia was one of those that placed in the top ten. In fact, she took first in the entire State of Missouri. However, this wasn't exactly an easy time for her.
"It was a surprise," Aurellia talking about her first-place finish. She then took a deep sigh. "We had a rough year. My grandfather had stage 4 cancer. I also was diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome. It was pretty rough getting back into drills."
Aurellia said it was not a great time for her around the time of the state event and physically struggled to even stand up at times.
"It causes your legs or any part of your body to swell and can cause your skin to hurt," Aurellia said. "It was a terrible time. A lot of times I would come to practice in shorts. Thankfully the Lord got me through state without too much pain."
The pain, however, didn't end there as her grandfather passed away before she attended the national event.
"I was just glad I got to bring my grandma with me," Aurellia said. "Especially after losing my grandpa, getting her out of the house was nice to see."
Aurellia composed herself at the national event and kept focused. She ended up getting a proud 4th place and was surprised she placed so well.
"Especially since I missed one. It cost me 9 points out of 300. I got some bonus points and that helped me get 4th place," Aurellia stated.
This was something Aurellia had worked five years for, ever since she joined Bible drill at her church.
"I had thought about going to nationals before," Aurellia recalled. "My friend and I participated in the semifinals in 7th grade and watched the top 10. That year my goal was to make it to nationals someday. I just want to make it there. My Bible drill teacher and I worked really hard to make it there."
The next year she improved and placed third in state competition.
She said that Bible Drill has helped their family grow and become closer to God. Even her brother is now in Bible drill. She said that she feels this will help her throughout the years to come as well.
"It honestly helps us cope with different things," Aurellia said. "Most of my family helps me out with Bible drill. It helps make us be stronger in our faith. We know we can trust God to help us through anything."
Aurellia's family says it's amazing how the Annapolis First Baptist Church fully supports their Bible drill program and say they are always willing to help others learn God's word and how to drill.