On April 18, 128 teams met in Keene Texas, at Southwestern Adventist University, for the fourth-annual PBE Finals. 92 teams achieved a first place rating, while 33 teams achieved a second place rating, and 1 team achieved a third place rating. Each of the teams present represent the best their conferences have to offer, having to achieve a first place rating (90% correct from highest score) at three previous levels of play.
We had 128 teams that reached the NAD Division Finals for PBE in 2015. This year we had participation by 43 of the 52 North American Division Conferences -- all 9 Unions plus the British Union in the United Kingdom.
The study book this year was the Gospel of Matthew. There are many clubs who participated with multiple teams, in some cases as many as 6 teams from a club.
Several club leaders are talking about how this Pathfinder Bible Experience program has changed not only their club but their church congregation because it has become a total church investment, through study, practice, trial testing and encouragement (and of course fundraising). There are reports of young people who, as a result of their study, accepted Christ and asked for baptism into the SDA church. Several of the teams have team members that are part of the club but are not SDA and it is changing their lives as they become immersed in the Word.
The number of Pathfinders participating in the PBE is increasing as the program is becoming more widely known and accepted. Our 1st year of testing was in the Pathfinder year 2011-2012. We had 25 teams at the Division Finals. In 2013 – 39. We continued to grow in 2014 – 83 teams and in 2015 – 128. We predict continued growth numerically as well as spiritually!
These Pathfinders have learned how to study! In many cases it has changed how they study for their school work resulting in better school grades. Most of the Pathfinders memorize 5-6 chapters of the study book and in some cases they have memorized the entire book. Many young Pathfinders, when they have finished the testing at each level, will comment that the questions were very hard, but do their best and through the power of the Holy Spirit they do very well!