Children and Student Ministry Guidelines For Covid-19 Response

As we gather, Heartland Church is putting certain requirements in place to keep everyone as safe and healthy as we can, while at the same time continuing to serve our community, grow in the knowledge of God, and come together to worship. These guidelines are adapted from Polk County Public Schools.

Policies and Guidelines:

• Parents are asked to monitor the wellness of their child(ren) before bringing them to any Heartland function. Please check temperatures before coming. Adult leaders are asked to do the same.
• Church staff and leaders will have training on identifying symptoms, proper mask wearing, and hand washing.
• Staff and leaders will remind children and students of policies and guidelines.
• Signage will be placed throughout the church as reminders of policies and guidelines.
• All people in Kindergarten and up, including staff and leaders, will be required to wear a face covering when not able to social distance.
• Adjustments to rooms will be made to maximize space for social distancing.
• Children, students, staff, and leaders will be asked to not share personal devices, pens, etc.
• Hand sanitizer will be available at entry points and throughout utilized areas.
• Children and students will be socially distanced as much as possible.


• All people in Kindergarten and up, including staff and leaders, will be required to wear a face covering when not able to social distance.
• Face coverings must cover nose and mouth and fit snugly against face.
• Face shields may be worn in addition to but not in lieu of face coverings.
• All people should provide their own face covering and wash them frequently if reusable.


• Facilities are regularly cleaned and sanitized.
• High-touch surfaces (light-switches, handles, computers, restrooms, etc) will be sanitized frequently.

Confirmed Case Response:

• In the event an attendee has a confirmed case, all participant’s parents will be notified via email address on file. Email addresses can be updated via the Church Center App.
• Facilities will be cleaned and sanitized.
• Individual testing positive will be restricted from participating for two weeks.

*By leaving your child for any event, you agree to the above guidelines.

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.

Student Ministry Staff & Leaders

Chad Dedmon, High School & Young Adult 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, stepped in to his role as Student Pastor in 2019 and High School & Young Adult Pastor in 2020.

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!


Ricky Holder joined the Heartland staff in 2020. A graduate of The Baptist College of Florida, Ricky holds a BA in Missions. He and his wife, PJ, met and were married in 2009 while in college together. They have four children, Jason, Anthony, Rachel, and Ryann. The Holder family loves all things Disney and spends their spare time in the parks.

Pastor Ricky has been serving in churches since 2007 and was ordained to Gospel Ministry in 2012. He has served in churches in Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina. He attended Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and will be continuing his education online.

Ricky has always had a passion for students of all ages, having served with babies through college age throughout his years in ministry. His favorite verse is 2 Timothy 2:2 which says, “and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” His goal in ministry is to equip the next generation to share their faith boldly and share it often.

Small Group Leaders

6th Grade Girls – Sarah McMahon and PJ Holder

6th Grade Guys – Roy Dedmon and Calvin Casey

7th Grade Girls – Chloe Boehm and Emily Kent

7th Grade Guys – Eric Holm

8th Grade Girls – Rebecca Thuma and Michelle Williams

8th Grade Guys – Erik Collins and Johnny Smith

9th Grade Girls – Amy Whitehead and Brittany Gardner

9th Grade Guys – Ryan Whitehead and Ian Garner

10th Grade Girls – Nikki Smith and Ashley Bush

10th Grade Guys – Jay Johnson

11th Grade Girls – Lauren Young and Jennifer Roberts

11th Grade Guys – Chad Dedmon

12th Grade Girls – Lori Bush

12th Grade Guys – Chad Dedmon

Other leaders who frequently serve: Meagan Dedmon, Annette Vaughn and Abigail Garrard