Welcome to Heartland Student Ministry!

Heartland Students is for students in grades 6-12. Our groups meet on Sunday or Wednesday nights.

MIDWEEKfor Middle School students; meets on Wednesday nights from 6:00 pm until 7:45 pm.

THE GATHERINGfor High School students; meets on Sunday nights from 6:00 pm until 7:45 pm.

Both services include live worship, relevant teaching for students, and a small group time divided by age and gender. Small group leaders are committed to their students and serve the same group each week. A snack bar with pizza, candy, and drinks is available at all student services.

Our small group leaders are the heart of our student ministry, meeting with their students on a weekly basis at the end of our large group time. During small groups, students engage in conversation with their leader and peers about applying the message to their lives, pray, and build community with one another.

Heartland Students provides many activities through the year for the large group and small groups.

2020 summer camps

Student Life Camps

MidWeek Summer Camp

JuLY 27 – 31, 2020


The gathering summer camp

July 13 – 17, 2020


Student Ministry Staff & Leaders

Chad Dedmon, Student Pastor

From a young age, Chad has felt led to work with students. His experience as a teenager, highly active in student ministry, had a profound impact on his life. After moving from Orlando, Chad began attending Heartland in June 2013, and became part of Heartland’s Student Ministry in August 2014. Since then he has been engaging with students through teaching, activities, and service. He joined the Heartland Staff in August 2015 as a Student Ministry Assistant and stepped in to his role as Student Pastor in 2019.

Chad’s favorite verse is John 17:4: “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.” He tries to live by this every day. Chad is married to Meagan, and they have two sons, Declan and Orin. Both Chad and Meagan graduated from UCF, so they enjoy supporting the Knights! They’re also big Disney World fans!

Eric Holm, Assistant Student Pastor

With a passion to see lives of students transformed by the love of Christ, Eric Holm has served in various roles with young people for over 15 years, starting as a summer youth director at a small church in Alturas, Florida. While working with troubled and at risk kids as a missionary with Youth For Christ of Polk County, Eric began attending Heartland Church in 2004. In May of 2010 he joined the Heartland pastoral team as Student Pastor. In August 2019, he transitioned to Executive Director of Youth for Christ Polk County and is now serving part time in Heartland Students.

As Assistant Student Pastor, Eric desires that students live by 1 Timothy 4:12: “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”

Eric is married to April and they have a son, Miguel, and two daughters, Addison & Kinsley. They enjoy spending time together and traveling as a family – especially to the beach and the mountains. Eric’s hobbies include camping, canoeing, and hiking.

Small Group Leaders

6th Grade Girls – Nathalie Breton and Laura Spencer

6th Grade Boys – Eric Holm

7th Grade Girls – Rebecca Thuma and Michelle Williams

7th Grade Boys – David Farley and Randy Olvera

8th Grade Girls – Brittany Gardner and Amy Whitehead

8th Grade Boys – Ian Garner, Hunter Oscarson, and Ryan Whitehead

9th Grade Girls – Ashley Bush and Nikki Smith

9th Grade Boys – Jadin Cogswell and Jarrod Johnson

10th Grade Boys – John Cogswell

10th Grade Girls – Jennifer Roberts and Lauren Young

11th Grade Girls – Lori Bush

11th Grade Boys – Chad Dedmon

12th Grade Girls – Lindsie Casey and Shawna Cogswell

12th Grade Boys – Blake Gardner

Other leaders who frequently help: Pete Casey, Meagan Dedmon, and Annette Vaughn