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1st methodist youth

Youth Fellowship

Echo Groups meet weekly and get together once per month for 1st Sunday Funday

To get plugged into an Echo group call or email Nathan

We are a community devoted to God, excited to serve, open to new and different people,

and eager to make anything fun. 

Nathan Irwin is the director of youth ministries.  

You can reach him by email at nirwin@1stchurch.org or

call him at 982-1273, ext. 202.

If you would like to receive text updates about youth events, you can either download the Remind App and join the group @1stumyouth, or text @1stumyouth to the number 81010. 

Scroll down for a look at upcoming opportunities for youth fellowship

and information about  the leaders of the new Echo Groups and when and where they meet!

youth events

Scroll to see what's happening with 1st Youth!

  • Sunday School

    9:15 am each Sunday

    Room 153

  • 1st Sunday Funday

    Culver's and Main Event

    March 4th

    Leaving the church at 6:00 pm

    Join us on Sunday March 4th for  dinner at Culver's and arcade fun at Main Event. Youth only need to bring money for their dinner. Unlimited arcade play for an hour is included! Leaving from church at 6pm and arriving back at 8:30pm.

meeting times

and places

Junior High Guys

7pm Wednesdays


Nathan Irwin 591-5234

Charles Brinkley 604-9260

Meeting at the home of Amy and Phil Large

1508 Claremont Dr, 37803

Junior High Girls

6pm Wednesdays


Greta Smith 385-2668

Beth Kyburz 356-9814

Meeting at the home of Ann and Joe Leatherwood

310 Tackwood Trail, 37803

Senior High Guys

7pm Sundays


John Kerr 250-2246

Phil Wilks 386-4137

Meeting at the home of Phil and Lisa Wilks

1117 Mountain Breeze Court, 37803

Senior High Girls

4:30pm Wednesdays


Cathy Finney 216-4038

Meeting at the home of Ginny West Case:

1417 Cedar Park Dr, 37803

guys echo group leaders

  • Nathan Irwin

    • Director of Youth Ministries at 1st UMC.
    • BA in Religious Studies, University of South Florida
    • MA in Christian Ministry, Asbury Seminary

    Nathan has been a Youth Minister for nearly a decade, and hopes to stay in the game for a lot longer. He has been married to Crystal for 11 years and they have two kids. Isaac is 8 and Alara is 5.  They live in Springbrook, and have an old cat named Norris. Nathan likes to read, watch football and Netflix, alpine ski, fish, and take naps. He could eat pizza for every meal and his spirit animal is a donkey.

  • Charles Brinkley

    • Electrical Engineer in the Quality Assurance department at DENSO

    Charles has been married to his childhood sweetheart, Tonya, for 25 years and they have 3 kids. His older kids, (boy/girl twins) Katie and Preston, are Seniors at William Blount High School. His youngest, Jackson, is in 8th grade at Carpenters Middle School. 

    Charles is an avid Science Fiction fan and self described "geek". He loves Star Wars and attended a convention years ago in his own Jedi uniform.

  • Phil Wilks

    Retired teacher and coach:
    • Chesapeake High School in Ohio
    • Marshall University in WV
    • Oxford College at Emory University
    • Georgetown University
    • Wofford College
    • Maryville College
    • Powell High School

    Phil  is married and has 5 adult children. He  served as the head football coach at Maryville College from 1988-2002. Over his career Phil has taught grades 1 through college mostly teaching physical education and driver’s ed. Phil is active at 1st UMC in many adult bible studies and Celebrate Recovery and is excited to work with our youth. 

  • John Kerr

    John lives on a farm in Rockford where he raises cattle. He was a teacher for over forty years, most recently teaching English and coaching boys and girls soccer at Maryville High School. He enjoys playing the guitar and singing.  Over the years, he has worked with the youth at 1st on Sunday nights and has been a chaperone at both Resurrection and Assembly.

Ladies Echo Group Leaders

  • Cathy Finney

    Cathy is a mother of three grown children. She began regularly volunteering with the Youth when her youngest was 16, about 12 years ago.  Cathy taught Special Education at Maryville High School for 18 years, including 10 years in the alternative schools. 

    She retired from there and now teaches English Language Learners (ESL) at Whittle Springs Middle School in Knoxville half days.   This is Cathy's fourth year doing that. 

    An interesting fact about Cathy,  is that she lived in Belgium and the Congo for a while as a child because her parents were missionaries for one term.  She still keeps up with some of the “missionary kids” she knew back then.   

  • Beth Kyburz

    Beth Kyburz is excited to be working with our youth. She is a School Counselor at Carter Middle School, and she has worked with children, youth and families for over 20 years.  Her son Adam recently graduated from high school and loved his time with the 1st UMC youth group. 

    During this time, she helped with youth group meetings, chaperoned the Resurrection trip, and even learned how to drive the church bus. She enjoys traveling, reading, going to the theater, and kayaking. She is  looking forward to getting to know our youth even better, and is very excited to be part of Echo groups.

  • Greta Smith

    Greta joined 1st UMC Maryville in 1995 with her husband, Joey. They have two children, Ellie, 13, who is an active youth member, and Ryan, age 7. Greta has been a licensed psychologist for more than 15 years. She has worked with children and youth in that capacity, and for many years as a Sunday School teacher. 

    Greta  is a candidate for ordination as a deacon in the UMC and a current student at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. On a lighter note, her family aspires to visit every Major League baseball park before Ryan graduates from high school in 2028.