First Church’s active and vibrant youth ministry provides an environment for youth to learn, pray, serve, fellowship, develop friendships, and grow. With a focus on mission and serving others, our youth learn to live their faith.
Applications are available in February and must be submitted by March 31st. The committee makes selections in April and the scholarships are awarded at the Senior Breakfast in May. Fill out an Online Application or Pick up an Application in the Front Office.
Sunday Mornings, 9:30 – 10:30am
Join us for a lectionary based bible study from 9:30-10:30 in the Youth Building. Middle school students will be led by Senior High peer teachers.
Youth Sunday Night Live (SNL)
Sunday Afternoons, 4:30-7:30pm
A time of food, fellowship, worship, devotion, and accountability for all youth.
Sunday Afternoons, 4:30-7:30pm
An exciting group that sings at services and tours each summer.
Youth Praise Band
Leads worship at youth events and other services.
Sr. High Peer Teachers Bible Study
Wednesday Evenings, 5:30pm
Mid-week Bible study and devotion group for Mid and Sr. High.
Exiting program for High School Seniors
MORNING SMALL GROUPS AND BIBLE STUDIES (Various Days)
Before school morning devotions at local coffee shops.
Monday Morning Small Group at Panera Bread
7:15am Small Group for Senior High youth located in Panera Bread at Cordova Mall.
Tuesday Morning Small Group at Bagelheads
7:15am Small Group for Senior High youth and topic based.
Wednesday Evening Small Group
5:30pm Bible study to prepare Senior High peer teachers for the coming Sunday morning.
Thursday Morning Small Group at Panera Bread
8:15am Small Group for Mid High youth located in Panera Bread at Cordova Mall.
Friday Morning Small Group at Bagelheads
6:30am Small Group for all youth.
Camps and Retreats
Draw Near Winter Retreat (Jan)
Bahamas Methodist Habitat Mission Project (Summer)
Wilderness Trail (Summer)
Choir Tour (Summer)
Discovery Weekend (Fall)
Blue Lake Family Retreat (Oct)
Seasonal and Special Events
Halloween Carnival (Oct)
Sr. High Progressive Dinner (Dec)
Mid. High Christmas Party (Dec)
Lenten Activities (Mar/Apr)
Senior Breakfast (May)
First Church follows Safe Sanctuaries procedures to create an environment in which children, youth, and the adults who work with them have boundaries of safe space.
Denise Van Atta, Director of Tweens and Youth Ministries
Email Denise, 850-432-1434
Denise Van Atta joined the staff of First United Methodist Church in November of 2002. She has an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education and holds her Directors Credential for the state and is a Certified Trainer for the Early Childhood Coalition of Escambia County. She has served in several capacities at the church, from Preschool Director to her current position as Directory of Tween and Youth Ministries. Denise enjoys running and has run in several half marathons and marathons. She is married to Ricky Van Atta and has a daughter, Brady.
The Youth Ministries department is located in the two story building, directly across Wright Street from the main sanctuary. The building provides a space for youth to fellowship, learn and grow in a fun and casual way. The first floor contains a main worship room, youth cafe, and kitchen. The second floor has classrooms, meeting rooms, and pool tables.