ELYRIA, Ohio—John Greening introduced the 2009 Talents For Christ winners with a bit of encouragement to all who participated.

“Our greatest desire, while we are happy to pass along some awards today and the possibility of scholarship money, is that our students will study to show themselves approved to minister in their own churches and across the world,” Greening said.

These students won first and second place awards at the annual Talents For Christ competition held at First Baptist Church (Elyria, Ohio) on Thursday, June 26:


  • Second Place OPEN: Bryan Feldman (First Baptist Church, Elyria, Ohio)

Bible Knowledge

  • First Place: Holly Gillis (Calvary Baptist, Mount Pleasant, Iowa)
  • Second Place: Jennifer Huang (Faith Baptist, Mason City, Iowa)


  • First Place: Clayton Blaltzer (Immanuel Baptist, Columbus, Ohio)
  • Second Place: Tanner Stutzman (Calvary Baptist, Mount Pleasant, Iowa)

Digital Media

  • First Place Open: Caleb Franklin (Faith Baptist, Mason City, Iowa)

Female Public Speaking

  • First Place: Janelle Hall (Calvary Baptist, Bay Shore, N.Y.)
  • Second Place: Sarah Pedersen (Faith Baptist, Mason City, Iowa)

Female Voice

  • First Place SCHOLARSHIP: Hope Meals (Temple Baptist, Lincoln, Neb.)
  • Second Place SCHOLARSHIP: Stephanie Carelton (Faith Baptist, Iowa City, Iowa)
  • First Place OPEN: Kaylee Good (Clear Lake Regular Baptist, Clear Lake, Iowa)

Male Voice

  • First Place: Deon Walker (Calvary Baptist, Grinnel, Iowa)
  • Second Place: Aaron Hixson (Calvary Baptist, Sandusky, Ohio)

Oral Interpretation of Scripture

  • First Place: Erich Sandersfeld (Harvest Baptist, Williamsburg, Iowa)
  • Second Place: Jaycee Shirk (Grace Baptist, Batavia, N.Y.)
  • First Place OPEN: Alyssa Pyne (Evangel Baptist, Taylor, Mich.)
  • Second Place OPEN: Robbie Lindmark (Harvest Baptist, Bath, N.Y.)


  • First Place OPEN: Crystal Spragg (Calvary Baptist, Grinnell, Iowa)
  • First Place SCHOLARSHIP: Virginia Liebert (Ankeny Baptist, Ankeny, Iowa)
  • Second Place SCHOLARSHIP: Hannah Sandersfeld (Harvest Baptist, Williamsburg, Iowa)


  • First Place: Ryan Does (Faith Baptist, Mason City, Iowa)
  • Second Place: Benjamin Johnson (Grace Baptist, Batavia, N.Y.)
  • First Place OPEN: Ben Hicks (First Baptist Church, Cincinnatus, N.Y.)


  • First Place: John Swedberg (Faith Baptist, North Manchester, Ind.)
  • Second Place: Alizabeth Gates (First Baptist, Creston, Iowa)

Visualized Bible Teaching

  • First Place: Sam Jones (Calvary Baptist, Union, Iowa)
  • Second Place: Dana Kincaid (First Baptist, Elyria, Ohio)


  • First Place: Matthew Reeves (First Baptist, Creston, Iowa)
  • Second Place: Danee Miller (First Baptist, Brayton, Iowa)


  • Second Place: Ethan Spickler (First Baptist, Elyria, Ohio)

In addition, the Top Team Award was presented to Faith Baptist Church (Mason City, Iowa) for entering five different categories and excelling in each of them. This is a travelling trophy; last year’s award was won by Calvary Baptist Church (Mount Pleasant, Iowa).