Kentucky Baptist Pastor Wins Big on Wheel of Fortune and Uses Winnings to Support Adoption and Foster Care – Fall of 2023, the spotlight shone on Steven Bell, the pastor of worship and family ministry at Hindman First Baptist Church in Kentucky, as he emerged victorious on a national TV game show, Wheel of Fortune. It wasn’t just about the $61,000 in winnings but the invaluable platform he gained to advocate for the significance of adoption and foster care.
Kentucky Baptist Pastor Wins Big on Wheel of Fortune and Uses Winnings to Support Adoption and Foster Care
In a heartwarming turn of events on Pat Sajak’s sendoff season, Bell not only won the bonus round but also took the opportunity to share his passion for adoption and foster care with a national audience. “It was a great experience, and I wouldn’t trade anything in the world for it. It really opens up a lot of doors to talk to people about adoption and foster care, and ultimately the gospel,” he expressed.
During the show, Bell spoke about his wife and their six children, including one adopted from the Congo and two from the foster care system. He highlighted how adoption and foster care play a significant role in their lives, emphasizing their commitment to making adoption more affordable for families. The audience applauded as Bell shared his family’s journey, and host Pat Sajak acknowledged the importance of having him on the show.
Bell’s journey to victory started with a simple family night watching Wheel of Fortune, where he consistently outguessed others. Encouraged by his wife, he submitted an audition video in February 2021. Despite two years of silence, an email from Sony Pictures Studio in April revealed he had been selected to advance. A whirlwind of events followed, including a Zoom meeting, a mock game online, and a sudden request for him to be in Los Angeles within days.
The pastor, also the director of adult and family ministry at Camp Nathanael, described the surreal experience of filming six episodes in a single day. Meeting Pat Sajak and Vanna White, he found them to be genuine and class acts. Reflecting on the nerve-wracking moment before the show, Bell humorously prayed, “Lord, don’t let me end up on YouTube as one of the worst contestants ever.”
Post-show, Bell plans to use the winnings to address specific family needs, such as providing a safe vehicle for his daughters and covering expenses like braces that insurance won’t pay for. However, his primary focus remains on supporting adoption efforts. He sees the winnings as an opportunity to teach his children about using resources for the glory of God and assisting families with adoption-related costs.
As messages of congratulations flood in on social media, it’s evident that Bell’s win is not just a personal triumph but a victory for the causes he holds dear. One fan on X (formerly Twitter) commended Bell’s generosity, stating, “Congratulations Steven, well played, this win will help you with your family. You and your wife have a generous heart in adopting three children.”
In the end, Steven Bell’s appearance on Wheel of Fortune transcended a game show victory; it became a platform for advocacy and a demonstration of compassion for the needs of others.
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