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.
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)
A time of food, fellowship, worship, devotion, and accountability for all youth.
Youth Choir (Sunday Afternoons)
An exciting group that sings at services and tours each summer.
Youth Praise Band (Wednesday Evenings)
Leads worship at youth events and other services.
Mid-High and Sr. High Bible Study (Wednesday Evenings)
Mid-week Bible study and devotion group for Mid and Sr. High.
Exodus (Sunday Evenings, Monthly)
Monthly gathering for 12th graders to discuss college, career, military or whatever is next.
MORNING SMALL GROUPS AND BIBLE STUDIES (Various Days)
Before school morning devotions at local coffee shops.
Monday Morning Small Group at Bagelheads
7:30am Small Group for Senior High youth. Student led and topic based.
Monday Afternoon Small Groups
Senior High youth meet at various coffee shops for devotions following school. Contact Denise VanAtta at firstname.lastname@example.org for a current list of times and places.
Thursday Morning Small Group at Panera Bread
7:45am Small Group for Mid High youth Panera Bread at Cordova Mall.
Thursday Evening Senior High Bible Study
Led by Jenny Hurd and James Westmark at Jenny Hurd’s home
Friday Morning Small Group at Bagelheads
6:30am Small Group for all youth. Student led and topic based.
Wednesday Evening Small Group
Small group for youth peer teachers at 6:00pm in the Youth Building.
Camps and Retreats
Meltdown Retreat (January)
Bahamas Methodist Habitat Mission Project (Spring Break)
Wilderness Trail (Summer)
Choir Tour (Summer)
Discovery Weekend (Fall)
Blue Lake Family Retreat (Oct)
Seasonal and Special Events
Fall Eggstravaganza (Aug/Sept)
Sr. High Progressive Dinner (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, along with pool tables and video games. The youth director’s office is located on the first floor.