Don Glaske

Don Glaske is the first (and so far, only) inductee who is given this honor posthumously. He may be the only person who could ever say that without him, Bible Quiz may not even exist, PERIOD. At a time where the political system was making strides against it, an unknown Christian-trained engineer made the step that might make Bible Quiz what it is today. The pride of Michigan would never claim this, however, as his modesty was surpassed only by his commitment to Bible Quiz.
In the 1940’s, Youth for Christ had an idea of how to get public school students an opportunity to learn more Scripture and some looking to take away those same student’s rights to go to God. In these times, Bible Quiz was something that looked like it may fail early. Years later, something happened. Something that took away the controversy, made it seem like more fun, and attracted those who were intrigued by electronics. Don Glaske invented a Bible Quiz box.

How prevalent is the concept of his quiz box? Well, he put out several models in those early years. Looking around the internet, I see many competitors. All give Don the dap as the first ever. I see many Bible Quiz programs that have 3-4 students per team, because they happened to adapt a prototype Don made to a different number per team and that made them alter their rules. He had much more impact on rules of many Bible Quiz organizations, as you will see throughout this article.

Today we debate about which seat lights are the best and what are the best features of each, but in the mid 1940’s, there was no choice. Later, Don Glaske invented a lockout system that was condusive to teams, unheard of even for television gameshows of the day. This lockout system went largely unchallenged for the better part of 40 years and many still use it today. His wife carries on the business and tirelessly puts out the cheapest boxes on the market. Why? Certainly not for financial gain, but because she sees it as an avenue to lead one wayward kid to Christ. And that makes her work essential!

He took the Bible Quiz idea and started something he called “Quiz-o-Rama.” This event still exists to this day. It was also the first source of cohesive, written rules, that were eventually adopted by Youth For Christ and many of the denominations that have Bible Quiz. Earlier attempts at written rules had either been too loquacious or too weak by the author’s own admissions. In fact, AACS has it rules rooted in Berrien County YFC, which was founded by Don Glaske in 1954. Don Glaske realized that education was a lifelong practice and he fought to his own financial detriment for those students who learned Scripture.

All the students who learned all the material got a college scholarship. Anyone who participated in at least 4 events and earned 800 points got a scholarship. With the help of the Alan Littman scholarship fund, most of these continue today. I recently spoke with a man named Michael who received one of these scholarships and went on to law school. Michael said, “I had no moral compass or Christian influence in my life and the Glaskes took me in and helped me in every way possible. I haven’t left the state in 25 years, except to go to Mr. Glaske’s funeral. Without him, my life would have been substantially worse.”

Don Glaske worked with students for almost 40 years and he and his wife never had kids of their own. But to hear the students who know them talk, they have thousands of children all over the United States doing great things for God. I think this is a legacy of which anyone would be proud. Anyone who talks with Mrs. Glaske can tell how special Don was and we only wish that more could have known him. Those who knew them, truly saw Jesus in him in everything he did.

Don, you truly used God’s light. You were the light of the world; we miss you. I say with true joy, “You’re on the List.”

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