Heartbeat Middle School Ministry
Element High School Ministry

First Free Students

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.


Sundays (school year)

Life Groups are a place to pursue authentic friendships, be transformed by God’s Word, and ask hard questions about life and faith. High school groups meet outside the Element room after church service, then car pool to a host home. Middle school groups meet inside the Heartbeat room.

  • Life Groups (M.S. and H.S.) | Sundays, noon–2 p.m. (lunch provided)

Wednesday Nights (year-round)

Our Wednesday night student gatherings are our primary way to worship, grow and serve together. Students will experience social time with other students their age, games and interactive activities, high-energy worship with a band, and a transforming message from God’s Word. — Student rooms are located in the lower level of our main campus east wing.

  • Element (H.S.) | 6:15–8:15 p.m., Element Room
  • Heartbeat (M.S.) | 6:15–8:15 p.m., Heartbeat Room

Youth Retreats (seasonal)

Once in the fall and winter, we host youth retreats for both high school and middle school students. These are fantastic opportunities to spend extended time with each other to learn, grow, and create lasting memories. From unique outdoor activities to special speakers and worship experiences, students will be inspired and transformed to follow Jesus more. Visit our website for upcoming dates and pricing.

Student Leadership Team (year-round)

Every first and third Sunday of the month, our SLT meets in the student rooms at 8:45 a.m. to deepen our faith, grow as leaders, and dream together about the future of student ministry at First Free Rockford.

Around Town Tuesdays (year-round)

Throughout the year, our First Free Students director goes to various coffee shops and cafés in Rockford to meet up with students. It’s an open-house extension of our pursuit of authentic community. Visit us on social media for dates and locations.

Mission Trips (summer)

Each summer we take students on two different missions trips outside Illinois. These trips challenge students to put their faith into action in new ways and to experience how big our God really is. Visit our website for dates, pricing and how to apply.


Meredith Domanico Avatar

Meredith Domanico

Director of Student Ministry

Clayton Ganziano Avatar

Clayton Ganziano

Middle School Coordinator

Kendra Johnson Avatar

Kendra Johnson

Student Ministry Administrative Assistant