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UPCOMING EVENTS


  • back to school blast

    august 11th @6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

    Friendship shelter at 1st UMc

    Join in on the fun as we mark the end of summer.  Pizza and messy games are all on the menu for this fun event.  Be sure and dress to get wet and bring a towel and/or a change of clothes.



ECHO GROUP LEADERS


  • Rev. 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.

  • 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.   

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.