How It All Began
My name is Les Johnson, the founder of Teen Bible Challenge Inc. (TBC). I’m married and have two adult children and three beautiful granddaughters. I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and have worked full time for Amway Corporation from 1987 to 2012. From 1992 to 1995, I also worked as a part–time youth director for Sunshine Community Church and observed how little scripture this generation of youth had committed to memory. Realizing this, I felt God’s Spirit prompting me to do something different through His strength and leading. As a result, in October 1995, I stepped out in faith and asked five junior high students from Sunshine Church to participate on a Bible quiz team. Two years later, a handful of teams from area churches began competing together on a monthly basis throughout the school year.
After seeing how the lives of these teens changed for His glory, God placed on my heart the need to develop a board and incorporate Teen Bible Challenge (TBC) to preserve the ministry that God had raised up.
My personal desire from the beginning has always been for students to plant God’s Word in their hearts through the memorization of scripture. My hope was that the scripture would make them wise for salvation and help them to be able to discern between good and evil in our world today.
The one regret I have is that I didn’t provide programming like TBC in my early years of youth ministry. I say this because I saw more visible fruit in the lives of the students that participated in TBC than in the lives of those who just attended other youth programs.