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, MIDDLE SCHOOL Pastor

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 – Emily Kent and Lauren Daughtry

7th Grade Guys – Eric Holm and Hunter Harrold

8th Grade Girls – Rebecca Thuma, Michelle Williams, and Gaby Martinez

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 – 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: Brian Chatman, Meagan Dedmon, Annette Vaughn and Abigail Garrard