Florida's Oldest United Methodist Church with Sunday Services at 8:00am, 9:30am, and 11:00am

Youth (7th-12th)

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.

Weekly Activities

Sunday School
Sunday Mornings, 9:30am – 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.

Sunday Night Youth  
Sunday Afternoons, 4:30pm-7:30pm
A time of food, fellowship, worship, devotion, and accountability for all youth.

Youth Choir  
Sunday Afternoons, 4:30pm-7:30pm
An exciting group that sings at services and tours each summer.

Youth Praise Band  
Sunday Afternoons
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 Sr. High small group leaders.

Morning and Afternoon Bible Studies
Before school morning devotions at local coffee shops.

Monday Morning Bible Study at Panera Bread  
7:15am Bible Study for Senior High youth located in Panera Bread at Cordova Mall. 

Tuesday Morning Bible Study at Bagelheads  
7:15am Bible Study 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 Bible Study for Mid High youth located in Panera Bread at Cordova Mall.

Friday Morning Small Group at Whataburger on Gregory St  
6:30am Bible Study for all youth. 

Camps and Retreats

Bahamas Methodist Habitat Mission Project (Summer)
Wilderness Trail (Summer)
Choir Tour (Summer)
Exodus Retreat (Summer)
Discovery Weekend (Fall)
Blue Lake Family Retreat (Fall)
Draw Near Winter Retreat (Winter)

Seasonal and Special Events

Eggstravaganza (Aug/Sept)
Halloween Carnival (Oct)
Sr. High Progressive Dinner (Dec)
Mid. High Christmas Party (Dec)
Lenten Activities (Mar/Apr)
Senior Breakfast (May)

Safe Sanctuaries

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.


DeniseDenise 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.


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