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Georgia teen named Challengers 2003 National Speak Out winner

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)–Seventeen-year-old Reuben Bidez of Harps Crossing Baptist Church in Fayetteville, Ga., has won the national 2003 Challengers Speak Out competition.

Challengers is the Southern Baptist mission education organization for teenage boys in grades seven through 12. The program emphasizes mentoring, missions involvement, accountability, prayer and evangelism.

The national Speak Out contest provides an opportunity for Challengers to speak publicly about their missions involvement in an effort to expand missions awareness and develop Great Commission Christians.

Bidez’s speech, “Missions Involvement Means Trust,” focused on experiences that have led him to trust God to direct his missions involvement. He will deliver his speech at the 2004 National Challengers Rally, Feb. 6-8, 2004, in Gatlinburg, Tenn.

The Challengers Speak Out competition is held on the associational, regional, state and national level. Participants qualify for the national contest by advancing through local and state levels of competition. Participating Baptist state conventions select a Challenger to represent their respective state at the national level.

Bidez, who is graduating from Fayette County High School, will receive an expense-paid trip to the 2003 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Phoenix, where he will serve as an SBC page and be presented a plaque at an auxiliary meeting during the convention. He also receives a $600 college scholarship and a $400 scholarship to help finance a mission project.

Second-place winner Ross Umberger of Riverland Hills Baptist Church in Columbia, S.C., will receive a $300 college scholarship and $200 missions scholarship. Third place winner Hudson Babler of Birchman Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, will receive a $200 college scholarship and $100 missions scholarship.

The national finalists submitted a videotape and manuscript of their speech which was judged on May 15 by North American Mission Board mission education specialists and an Atlanta-area youth minister.

For more information about Challengers or the national Speak Out competition, visit www.challengers.cc or call 1-888-634-2462, ext. 6448.

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