JBQ creator and BQ legend George Edgerly went home to be with the Lord at 6:05PM CST on May 20, 2016.
In reading posts from his friends and family, I wanted to share two of them with you.
Ending my day reflecting on the life of a true modern-day hero of the faith, George Edgerly. I was so moved today in hearing about the impact that one man’s life made on this world. More personally, was the impact that he made on my life.
As a shy, introverted 8th grader, I had never heard of Bible Quiz until the year that Park Crest won the national title. That summer I was invited by my friend Kristi Grabill Loper and was welcomed by George Edgerly to join the Park Crest team. That invitation made more impact on my life than I could have ever dreamed.
George was not only my coach, he was my mentor and my friend. From 1992–1997, I grew and thrived under his leadership. George was not just with us during team practices and meets, he also additionally prepared for our in-depth understanding of the books we studied in our Sunday school class. He taught us how to memorize Scripture. He taught us how to use concordances and commentaries. He walked out truth, passionate knowledge of the Word and humble integrity before us every time we studied under his leadership.
George invited us into his life. He gave us community. He gave us friends. He gave us family. He modeled relationship and mentorship by adding us into whatever he was working on. Whether it was working with him in his print shop, cooking with him, quizzing, or traveling on Bible Quiz trips, George lived life with us. And I cannot even imagine the number of times he probably wanted to turn off our loud DC Talk, Audio Adrenaline, Newsboys and more as our team trekked across the country. He never complained. He would just quietly slip an old time radio cassette in the player of the church van and we would be captivated by the stories.
George valued relationship. I can’t even accurately remember the amount of times he would invite other teams to join us during practice or at our summer quiz day camp. He would encourage and train other coaches and quizzers around the country. He invested fully in the lives of the people that God placed in his path.
I have always said that a coach reproduces himself in the lives of his quizzers. George was never building a kingdom for himself. He was building the kingdom of his Lord. Bible Quiz wasn’t just about memorizing the Word of God and competing. It wasn’t just about winning. It was about living out that Word in forever-lives. I found a quote on pentecostalgold.com that states: “Edgerly has been a first-hand witness of the benefits of Bible Quiz. ‘It is the appreciation of quizzers and parents that keeps me going,’ Edgerly says, ‘I have coached 14 career missionaries plus many pastors and pastors’ wives. Quiz has gotten a lot of God’s kids into God’s Word and lots of God’s Word into God’s kids!’” How many kids the Word of God has been poured into through the life of this man will be a site to behold in heaven!
I loved how Chad Nelson put it: “A spiritual mentor and hero went to be with Jesus today. One of my favorite stories of George was from these two Bible Quiz National Finals plaques. He would say, ‘Those are my trophies, and I’m not talking about the plaques.’ Yes I, with hundreds and hundreds of others, am one of George’s trophies…” So incredibly thankful that I am one, too.
I was changed by the ministry and mentorship of George Edgerly. After graduating from his quiz ministry I went on to coach teams at both Park Crest and Battlefield Assembly, attended Central Bible College for a season to major in Biblical Studies, was in both lay and occupational youth ministry and later moved on to work at the Teen Bible Quiz office of National Youth Ministries with Pastor Bernie Elliot Jr., using skills and training cultivated by George Edgerly.
Just finishing his first year, my oldest son Brady is now being mentored through the ministry of Junior Bible Quiz. Here comes another generation of trophies for Jesus and for George. So tonight, together as a family, we celebrated the life of my beloved coach in true George Edgerly fashion: with pizza and cinnamon rolls. And for my children’s birthday party this weekend, they are being gifted with their first old time radio program. I know they will love it as much as I did.
I love you George. There will never be another like you. From the bottom of my heart, a million thank you’s cannot even begin to cover your influence on my life. It changed me and it will continue to change the history of my family.
Brother Edgerly was a mentor to so many of us in the BQ community. I myself learned BQ at his feet. Way back as a youth in the 1970’s, we would drive from Wichita, KS to Springfield, MO – bringing our sleeping bags to sleep on the Edgerly’s living room floor – then practice with the Springfield teams all day Saturday.
In those early days – George Edgerly did it all – he printed and cut quotation cards, he created a Study Manual complete with Bible commentary, quiz tips and verse by verse practice questions. He would even sit at the table and quiz with us – teaching us how to interrupt and finish a question. I can still hear his deep voice – “Kent – where was the key word? Why in the world would you hit the question so early before you had that key word?”
Yet more than anything – his entire life exhibited his deep love for the Word of God. He showed us how powerful the Scripture became in our lives when memorized verbatim and planted so deeply within our hearts and minds.
So like many, many others – my heart aches tonight for my own BQ mentor and teacher. Yet I know that Heaven rejoices – Brother Edgerly is Home.