Bowl shares ‘love of God’

Published 9:27 pm Wednesday, July 20, 2011

By Alison McFerrin

The Selma Times-Journal

There’s an old saying that goes, “Love conquers all.” One local woman is hoping that rings true as she prepares for a citywide Bible Bowl — intended to share the love of God to help eliminate youth violence.

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“The program is really to showcase the children and their knowledge of God, because I think Selma should be one city under God, just like our country is,” program facilitator Letha Dillard said.

Bible Bowl will be presented as a new feature of the third annual City of Selma Youth Conference, and conference coordinator Angela Benjamin said adding the program happened at the 11th hour.

“It was a good cause to squeeze in,” Benjamin said, who managed to fit Bible Bowl into an already packed weekend. “I’m very excited.”

Dillard brought the idea to Benjamin during discussions on youth violence in Selma.

“I said to her, ‘Ms. Benjamin, maybe the reason we have so much youth violence is because the children — are we teaching them about God and His love for all of us?” Dillard said.

Dillard said she thinks a greater knowledge of God and his love will help steer Selma in the direction it needs to go.

“I just want the children in Selma to grow up and not look at the things that we adults do, to say ‘This is the way life should be lived’ because a lot of time, it’s not,” Dillard said.

Dillard said she learned to have more love in her heart after the shooting of her daughter. At first she hated the man who had shot her child, but then she came to a realization.

“You can choose to hate or you can choose to love,” Dillard said. “The heart will not hold but one emotion.”

Benjamin said she is in favor of the knowledge Bible Bowl will impart.

“I think that the more we know, the more we grow,” Benjamin said. “We can grow in the wrong way, or we can grow in the right way. It’s all up to us.”

All Bible Bowl participants will get free school supplies or some other gift, and the church whose team accumulates the most points during the three-day event will win a trophy.

Bible Bowl will feature age appropriate questions for the children who participate. It will take place July 28-July 30 at different times and locations.

“The more we put Him into the things we do, the more the outcome is going to be a positive one,” Benjamin said.

Dillard said she hopes the Bible Bowl will bring about results — to curb youth violence in Selma.

“You have to put God in their lives in order for them to know what good and evil is all about,” Dillard said. “Only God can change the children’s hearts.”

For more information or to sign up a team, call Letha Dillard at 872-8855.