Looking for a place to just be you? You’ve found it. First Baptist's youth ministry is a place where you are free to ask questions and seek answers. We don't just allow it, we encourage it. After all, it’s easy to find people today who want to give you their answers to your questions. But Jesus taught by getting others to ask the right questions. Here at First Baptist, we want to be more like Jesus. So, we are all about helping you figure out how to ask the right questions in your search for truth.

Sunday School
Discovering the wonders of God's love starts on Sunday morning, with Biblical classes designed to help you understand the importance of God in your life. First Baptist is lucky to have some dedicated individuals, from certified teachers to long-time volunteers, willing to teach and share God's abiding love with our youth each week. Sunday School is offered for children and youth from preschool to 12th grade. Our pre-teens and teenagers assist the younger children during opening exercises on the third floor, as we begin with prayer and songs. Then we start digging into God's Word, with middle and high schoolers splitting into two smaller groups.

Worship & Baptism
After the Children's Story is held during the worship service, pre-teens head off with the children for the "second hour" of the kid's worship, while teenagers remain in the Sanctuary with their families or assist the Second Hour leaders. Occasionally, they join the rest of the congregation to listen to the message. This gradual introducation into an adult worship setting marks the start of conversations about how Baptists make a commitment of faith to Jesus Christ. Youth in our congregation typically get baptized during their teenage years. Like getting a driver's license when you turn 16 or registering to vote at age 18, as a teenager at First Baptist, you learn that becoming a member of the church also holds responsibilies. It is one of the first steps you will make on your road toward adulthood. Our church is a close-knit family of believers helping to guide our youth along that path. To learn more about baptism and membership, go here.

Music & Performance
At First Baptist, we believe that everyone has a gift to share. For many of our youth, that gift is through music and performance. Middle and high schoolers are encouraged to join our bell choir, and high schoolers have the additional option of becoming a member of the adult choir. These weekly commitments to learning and practicing music are awesome opportunities not just to take part in the worship service, but also to do something you love. Often, older children and teenagers who take either vocal or instrumental lessons, like the piano or the guitar, coordinate with our organist to perform a special piece of music for the church service, either during the offertory or as part of our preperation for worship. Our exploration of the Bible also takes the form of skits and musical performances. These presentations, from short songs to the large annual Christmas play, are typically performed during the the worship service for the congregation, with our teens leading the younger children in song and speech.

Youth Group
First Baptist's youth ministry is founded on three main principles — Faith, Fellowship and Service. Our love for God is the most important part of youth group, and our Faith in Him is the reason we gather together each month. The relationships that develop between the youth, the leaders and the congregation are the reason that we have Fellowship with one another. Often, life-long friendships are formed at youth group. With Service, we take the skills and gifts that God has given us and use them to help others. Our youth group is open to students from 6th grade through high school. We have one large youth group because we believe that mixing older students in with younger students fulfills an essential role model position. Together, we are a community of young people on a quest for truth and in search of living a life like Jesus modeled for us. To learn more about when youth group meets and what activities we have planned, get in touch with us here.

Retreats & Activities
From rock concerts to paintball extravaganzas, there is always something wacky and wild going on at First Baptist. Creation Festival, the largest Christian rock concert in the nation, is held every year in Mt. Union, Pa. Our youth and youth leaders head out there to experience the wonders of God's beautiful mountain region and rock out together to awesome, upllifting music from the best Christian bands around the world! Once or twice a year we also take a Saturday afternoon to get into our scrungiest clothes and head out to the paintball fields. Not only do we have tons of fun, we learn exactly what it means to become soldiers for God. We hold weekend retreats for our youth group at Camp Agapé in Hickory, Pa., a 250-acre retreat and camp facility among rolling hills, fields and forests. This beautiful, rustic site provides an opportunity to bond, experience living in a simple environment and help each other grow in Christ. Of course, there are always things going on, from movie nights at the church to attending Wild Things baseball games or going white water rafting together.

Service Projects
Service work is a big part of being a Christian. Your actions of love must match your passions of faith to learn how to be a follower of Christ. From taking an afternoon to clean up Main Street to helping out at the City Mission's soup kitchen, giving back to those less fortunate is one of the most important things we can do in God's name. Not only do the youth assist around the area, they also do service for the church as well. They help out with programs like Vacation Bible School and the semi-annual Work Days that the church holds, and they also act as ushers during Youth Sunday events. From greeting congregation members, handing out bulletins, directing people to pews, lighting candles, opening and shutting windows and doors, and collecting the offertory, service like this gives our youth an opportunity to see just how much that is unseen needs to be done to make sure each Sunday service flows smoothly.

Summer Camp
What better way is there to see God then through enjoying His creation? Camp Carmel, a local Baptist-run summer camp in Dunbar, Pennsylvania, gets teens outside where there is no doubt about the awesome nature of our Lord. While the campers are exploring all that He has given us they are guided by Christian counselors who demonstrate God's love for them through the relationships they build during the week. Camp Carmel focuses on leading youth to a relationship with Christ or strengthening the relationships they already have with Him while participating in exciting activities like rock climbing, hiking, swimming, kickball games and even waterfall jumping! Open to kids and youth from 1st through 12th grades, the camp's sessions are divided into "junior" and "senior" camps, which each last one week. Our youth hold a fundraiser during the course of the year, ranging from spaghetti dinners to boxed lunches and bake sales, to help them earn their way to camp.

Special Events
We hold special get-togethers for the children and youth of the church during the course of the year. Sponsored by the Board of Chistian Education, these outings are opportunities not only for the youth to hang out, but also a chance for kids of all ages to spend time together, learning about Christ from each other. Every fall we have our annual Hayride & Bonfire out in the country on a church member's farm. There is nothing quite like reaching the top of a quiet hill, looking down at the dusk settling into the valleys below, and seeing God's gentle hand in the world. Come winter there is sled-riding followed by hot cocoa, a crackling fire and the warnth of fellowship. In the spring, the excitement of new baptisms in God's name is augmented by the joy of Christ's resurrection. And with summer comes field trips and retreats, as well as church-wide activities like our annual church picnic.

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