Wisecracking Foxworthy, charities team up for Bible Challenge

The Game Show Network premieres a new prime-time quiz show featuring contestants who speak freely about their faith and hope to help the world

BY: Rob Kerby, Senior Editor

ABC Game Show

No, this is not like any game show you’ve ever seen. The contestants pray. A Gospel choir breaks into hallelujahs at commercial breaks. The host, comedian Jeff Foxworthy quips “You know, if your church is also a skating rink, you just might be a redneck.”

Jeff Foxworthy on the American Bible Challenge set

In the premiere episode of the American Bible Challenge, airing Thursday night, August 23 at 8 p.m. EDT, on the Game Show Network, the first three teams of 18 is introduced – and go head-to-head in competition for $20,000 that the competitors don’t even get to keep.

Thursday night, viewers will meet “The Suburban Saints,” from Sacramento, California – whose members include local deputy sheriff Ron Milton, insurance salesman Ned Schaut and TV/film producer Rick Borba. What do they have in common? They are Bible study buddies.  Ron is a Purple Heart Iraq War vet who volunteers in prison ministry; Ned wants to build a skate park to minister to teens; and Ricky hopes to make films and TV shows reflecting Christian values – but without any sermons. If they win this round, they will earn $20,000 for City Crossroads, a non-profit serving the Sacramento community.

From left, the Suburban Saints, Minnie’s Pantry and the Gospel Geezers

They’re squaring off against “Team Gospel Geezers,” three gray-haired golfing buddies from Charlotte, North Carolina: Retired firefighter captain Roger Tench, realtor Bill Henderson and Chris Kidd, a nuclear security maintenance specialist. All three have been devoted Christians for decades and found their faith put to the test in different ways, including when Roger’s wife was diagnosed with cancer and the time Bill felt God wanted him to serve his community during the housing crisis by selling homes without a commission. Their charity? Samaritan’s Purse, a ministry founded by Billy Graham’s son, Franklin — which provides emergency relief in disaster and poverty areas worldwide.

Next, the show introduces “Team Minnie’s Food Pantry,” from Plano, Texas. This squad consists of a Dallas-area storefront charity ‘s volunteer staff. Their pantry gives away food to local families in need. Team members include stay-at-home mom Lanett Patt, pantry director Cheryl Jackson and businesswoman Lynette Shofner. The latter two are sisters – preacher’s kids – and the pantry is named after their mom.  Sister-in-law Lanett also helps Lynette with the related Sisters of Savings, a food coupon project that encourages locals to donate food to the pantry.

In the opening moments of the show, the Sacramento crew ace every question about Noah’s Ark – beating the Geezers and the Pantry gals at the buzzer, answering some pretty easy questions with almost a

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