National Spelling Bee

Ark Encounter to Host Finals of National Bible Bee Competition

Finalists to Compete at the New Answers Center at the Ark

This year the National Bible Bee Competition (NBBC) finals and awards ceremony will take place at the huge new Answers Center at the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky, on Thursday, November 21. After the preliminary rounds of the finals are held at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center November 18-20, the competition moves 35 miles south to the Ark for the finals of this nationally broadcasted event. The mission of the NBBC is to engage young people in the memorization and study of the Bible and provide opportunities to proclaim it through public competition.

Ken Ham, CEO and Founder of Answers in Genesis and the Ark Encounter, declared, “We’re thrilled to announce the National Bible Bee has chosen the high-tech Answers Center at the Ark Encounter to conduct its finals competition and awards ceremony. What better place could you hold this nationally recognized competition than the Ark Encounter, where the Bible comes to life?”

The Shelby Kennedy Foundation is the parent organization of the NBBC. The late Shelby Kennedy said she wanted her life to be like a pebble that hits a pond, creating a ripple effect. Her impact endures through the internationally acclaimed Bible Bee.

 Over 5,000 children and teens from around the country took part in the just-concluded National Bible Bee Summer Study. These participants took a test where the top 120 students from each of the three divisions qualified to compete at the National Bible Bee Competition in Kentucky. Computer testing and oral recitation were required of each participant. The top 15 contestants from each division will advance to the Semi-Final Challenge Round. The top five contestants from each division go on to the third day of competition for the Final Challenge Round. Then the Bee moves to the Ark Encounter. Divisions are Primary (7-10 years), Junior (11-14 years), and Senior (15-18 years).

The finals run November 18-21 with 360 students in all, with their families cheering them on.

The NBBC host this year, Emeal (“E.Z.”) Zwayne, President of Living Waters, said, “As the excitement builds at the end of the week’s competition, the National Bible Bee will be immersed in the newest Christian themed attraction in America, the Ark Encounter. We are so grateful to have Noah’s Ark as the backdrop to this inspiring competition.”

Contestants from around the nation will compete for over $100,000 in prize money in a fast-paced competition on the huge stage of the Answers Center at the Ark. The 360 contestants have already received a study passage and additional memory passages, and will apply the tools they learned over the Summer Study to their own study.

In addition to special times of worship throughout the competition, Ken Ham will speak at the awards ceremony on the final day at the Ark, November 21. Afterwards, the Ark Encounter will host a private celebration event that will include a sneak peak of the theme park’s annual ChristmasTime program, which begins November 29. The private NBBC Evening at the Ark will include entrance to the enormous Noah’s Ark, walking through the spectacular light displays throughout the park, sampling desserts, skating on the Glice rink and more.

As part of their registration, the 360 contestants and their families will enjoy a 7-day pass to visit the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter (parking included). More details on the National Bible Bee coming to Northern Kentucky will appear soon on and the NBB website

AiG, celebrating 25 years of outreach this year, is an apologetics (i.e., Bible-defending) ministry based in northern Kentucky, near Cincinnati. The Ark Encounter in Williamstown is a one-of-a-kind themed attraction with a massive Noah’s Ark as the centerpiece and has drawn millions of guests since opening in 2016. The AiG headquarters is located next to the Creation Museum in Petersburg (west of the Cincinnati Airport).

More information about AiG and its attractions can be found at

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