401 SE 15th Ave.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301
Looking to make friends, be yourself and form a strong and lasting relationship with God?
First Pres Youth Ministry is the place for you!

Youth and College Ministry

Who Can Participate:

Grades 6th – 12th

Ministry Contact:
Nic Merchant

At First Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale, we believe God has a unique calling for all of us. Our goal is to help you discover your calling and experience your faith come alive through meaningful relationships with Jesus Christ and each other. It is a place where the less than perfect are more than welcome.


Making disciples of Jesus Christ, it’s a simple goal with enormous impact. We understand that real ministry happens in real life, which is why we seek to be out in the community where we can make a difference. The Youth Ministry at First Pres employs a relational model, and a number of volunteers to mentor and walk alongside our students and families.

The Harbor at the Hoch Youth Center

In September 2013, First Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale opened its newly renovated Youth Center. Spanning 3,000 square feet, on two floors, The Harbor at the Hoch Youth Center is located on the First Presbyterian Church campus in the heart of downtown Ft. Lauderdale in the quaint, picturesque Colee Hammock neighborhood. This newly renovated space provides a safe and welcoming environment for youth to socialize, study and interact in featuring spaces for small and large group gatherings and a media room with all the latest technology.


We offer a number of opportunities for you to grow in your faith and build your relationship with God and look forward to sharing them all with you in the Youth Ministry!

Upcoming Events

Mission Trip 2017 

High Schoolers & 8th Graders get ready because Mission Trip 2017 is coming!
 Deadline: Balance & Paperwork are due on April 30, 2017
 When: July 16 -21
     Where: Clarkesville, GA
Cost: $350

$100 Deposit Due April 30


Middle School Students

The Great Escape – Southwind Young Life Camp, August 4-9, 2017 – $550

Middle school students from all of the country make their way to this 5-day camp trip with their friends and leaders.

Deadline: Balance & Paperwork: due May 21, 2017.

General Info / Packing List / Medical Forms

 Check out our video from Breakthru! If you went you know how amazing it was, and if you didn’t watch to find out. YouTube


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Weekly Programs


9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Middle School Sunday School (Meets in Contemporary Worship);
5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Middle School Youth Group (meets in the Harbor) and Kirk Singers (meets in Choir Room)
6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Dinner in Neumann Center Fellowship Hall(cost $5)
6:30 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. Elevate (High School Youth Group and Worship meets in the Harbor) and Chapel Singers (meets in Choir Room)

High School Small Groups 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. meeting at off campus locations,  Warsaw Coffee 815 NE 13th St

Additional Programs

Mission trips | Retreats | Lock-ins

Community Service Opportunities

First Press is looking to train a student in Audio, Visual equipment. Our Contemporary service uses state of the art, video and sound board equipment that we would like to train a student in. This could lead into many service hours through the year and be a continuing opportunity for a high school student interested in this field. Please contact Nic with questions and interest.

Contact Nic Merchant for service hour opportunities at NicM@FirstPres.cc.

Scholarship Program

Beginning in the 1940s, First Presbyterian Church has offered financial support to college students through the church’s scholarship program.

Eligibility Requirements:

1. Students who have demonstrated a commitment and involvement in worship and church programs. Students must be a member of First Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale for two years.

2. Members who demonstrate financial need.

3. Non-member minorities who are active in their churches and meet the required criteria.

4. Full-time undergraduate students who are pursuing an Associate’s degree or a Bachelor’s degree at an accredited school.

5. Qualified seminary students may apply for a loan.

6. Graduate students who are seeking a degree in a professional field of Christian service may apply for a loan.

7. Students who are attending a regionally accredited vocational and technical school.

Youth & College Ministry FAQ

Is there a place to hang out that is just for youth?

As a matter of fact, yes! The Harbor at the Hoch Youth Center is a newly renovated space perfect for teens in 6th to 12th grade. It is a great place to study and hang out after school and weekends. There are a number of fun things to do here including sports, play video games, Bible study sessions, watch movies, tutoring and more, all under the guidance of on-site volunteers and staff.

What are some of the ‘special’ activities and events offered through the Youth Ministry?

There are so many things happening here. We have something going on each week. Here’s a sample of the events we offer (see our calendar for more):

Laser Tag
College Ultimate Frisbee
BreakThru Student Retreat
Youth Super Bowl Party
Confirmation Class
High School Peace River Trip and Family Retreat
Youth Sunday
High School Mission Trip
Middle School Great Escape