Meet James Hurlin, one of the members of your 2022 Alumni Service Team. James is 19 years old and hails from the state of Texas where he says he enjoys the weather, specifically the lack of snow. He is the third of seven siblings, and describes himself as an introvert who likes spending time with people. James works as a health insurance agent, but when he’s not working, he enjoys playing music (including building musical instruments) and working on cars.
James’ history with the National Bible Bee (NBB) started when some of his friends told him about the ministry and his parents decided to sign him up in 2015. He competed in the National Bible Bee Competition (NBBC) from age 12 to 18 when he aged out of the competition in 2021. During that time, he particularly enjoyed studying cross-references because they showed him how God has been working consistently throughout scripture. While he participated, James was encouraged by the alumni who were helping with the event. He says “it showed me that I could be an example to other participants and encourage them in their studies;” now that he is no longer able to compete, James is following their example by staying involved as an alumnus, specifically by serving on the Alumni Service Team.
When asked to share one of his biblical heroes, James said “I admire Job because of his unfailing faith. He lost everything and still believed God would come through for him.” This faith in the midst of terrible adversity is a testimony of Job’s trust in the goodness and sovereignty of God. James’ favorite passage from the bible is Philippians 2:1-11, when “Paul starts telling the Philippian church how they should treat each other, then overflows into a hymn of praise. He was so passionate because of what Jesus had done that it filled every part of his life.”
For those who are not currently in the habit of memorizing scripture, James suggests to try memorizing a few verses and meditating on them. “You will be encouraged to memorize more.” To any NBB participants who are battling discouragement or feeling overwhelmed by participating for the first time he says “don’t give up. Even if you don’t memorize all the verses, you will still benefit from studying the verses. Also, I recommend taking the Multiple Choice Test (MCT) at the end of the Summer Study. It’s a great way to review what you’ve learned.”
James summarizes the main lesson from his time in the NBBC in these words of encouragement “even when you don’t feel like memorizing, reading, or studying, it is still worth it. You will be encouraged no matter what you’re going through.”
Written by NBB Alumna: Janese Hurst