All posts in “Middle School”

Meet Clayton Ganziano

Clayton Ganziano has served First Free Rockford for two years as middle school coordinator. Now he’s also coordinating Rooted, our young-adults ministry. Clayton and Hannah just celebrated their first wedding anniversary.

We talked with Clayton about church youth groups, what kids are looking for … and how middle school and young adult ministries actually have a lot to do with one another.


What did your faith look like, growing up?

I grew up in an EV Free church. My family was very involved there. But once I was in high school, my older brother and I just didn’t connect well in the youth group. So we tried a lot of different churches, places that our friends were going or that we had heard about.

The Chapel, a multi-site church in the Chicago area, had just opened a campus at my high school, McHenry High School. We checked it out as a family and it was a place we were OK with going. My mom wanted us to get plugged into the youth group, but I didn’t want to go. That was a whole lot of new people. It was a bigger church and that youth group was going to be big and overwhelming.

The group met in Grayslake, so for the McHenry campus, the students would gather at a Burger King. Then a church bus would pick everyone up and drive them to youth group. So at my mom’s insistence, I tried it one night. As I’m sitting in Burger King, this lady walks in. And she’s like, “Hey, are you getting on the bus?” And I’m like, “Yeah … who are you?”

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Middle School Fall Retreat Promo Image

Middle School Fall Retreat

Register now to join the Middle School ministry on the Fall Retreat to Phantom Ranch Bible Camp
Cost: $125 ($140 if paid after September 11, 2019)
There is a $50 non-refundable fee!
Depart: We will be using church vans/Bus. Please be at the church by 4:45pm on Friday!
Arrive: We will return on Sunday at 3:00pm to the church.
Special Instructions: Students should eat before they come. We will be eating a pizza snack later that night.
Mission Impossible 2017

Mission Impossible 2017

All 6th – 8th Graders are invited!  Join us for May 5th, 2017 from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. this fun night of games, prizes, pizza, and pop!