Student Ministries

Come alive to God.

First Free Students is a community of teens and adult leaders who worship, grow and serve together. Together, students discover their true identity in Jesus and pursue authentic friendships.


Worship and Message | Year-Round

Our primary venues for students to worship, grow and serve together. Social time, games, high-energy worship led by a band, a transforming message from God’s Word, and small group discussion times.


6:15–8:15 p.m. Wednesdays

Element High School
Heartbeat Middle School

Main Campus – Lower Level

2223 N. Mulford Road
Rockford, IL 61107
East Wing – Student Rooms

Life Groups

Student Communities | School-Year

Small gatherings where students can pursue authentic friendships, be transformed by God’s Word and ask hard questions about life and faith. High school and middle school groups meet in host homes across the Rockford and Belvidere areas.


Element High School

6:30–8:30 p.m. Sundays; Dinner included


Heartbeat Middle School

6:30–8:30 p.m. Sundays; No meal

Various locations

Locations across Rockford and Belvidere areas


Community and Transformation

Retreats for both high school and middle school students. These are great opportunities to spend extended time with each other to learn, grow and create lasting memories. Unique outdoor activities, special speakers and worship experiences all focus on inspiring students to follow Jesus ever-more closely.

Snow Camp 2024 –
ELEMENT (High School)

Dates: January 12–15, 2024
Cost: $255 (scholarships available)

Winter Retreat 2024 – HEARTBEAT (Middle School)

Dates: February 2–4, 2024
Cost: $180 (scholarships available)

Outdoor Events with Student Ministries

First Free Youth Connect

Middle & High School | Year-round

Sundays from 9:15-10:15 a.m. in the Element room. Both middle and high school students are invited to come, eat breakfast together, engage in intentional conversation and have a time of casual fun before going upstairs together for the 10:30 a.m. service. 

Student Ministries Missions Trips

Summer Camp

High School and Middle School

Engage in worship, hear inspiring messages, and deepen your relationship with God and others.

Dates: June 11–15, 2024
Location: Expeditions Unlimited in Baraboo, Wis.
Registration & Cost: $350 (scholarships available)

Student Mission Trips

Mission Trips

High School

Challenging students to put their faith into action in new ways, to humbly serve others and deepen their relationship with God.

2024 trip dates: TBD
Locations to be announced!

Around Town Tuesdays

Around Town Thursdays

High School & Middle School| School Year

Throughout the year, our Students director meets with students in coffee shops and cafés across Rockford. It’s an open-house extension of our pursuit of authentic community. Check our social platforms for schedules and details.

Young adults ministry

Rooted Young Adults

Ages 18–30 | Year-Round

Community for young adults and college students. We gather weekly on Tuesdays to help each other grow in our relationships with God, each other and the church family. Find your identity centered in Christ, pursue God-given dreams and goals, have fun together and ultimately enjoy a deep support system during all the transitions of young adulthood. High school seniors are welcome too!

Upcoming Events Students


5–9 p.m. Wednesday, August 7

Students grades 6–12 are invited to One Incredible Night from 5–9 p.m. on Wednesday, August 7! Bring some friends and enjoy one incredible night of food, inflatables, games and music. The event will be held on First Free’s main campus located at 2223 N Mulford Road in Rockford, IL. Activities will begin at the outdoor fields and then move inside to the downstairs Element room.

Student Ministries

First Free Students is a community of young people and adult leaders who worship, grow and serve together. We exist to help students come alive to God by creating a safe space to experience radical love, embody true identity in Jesus, and pursue authentic friendships. Our culture thrives on being ridiculously fun, pursuing God’s mission, experiencing God’s Word, and investing in one another.

Contact Us

Meredith Domanico


Meredith Domanico

Student Ministries Director

Kendra Johnson


Kendra Johnson

Administrative Assistant