First (Scots) Presbyterian Church


Youth Ministry Mission Statement

The Youth Ministry of First (Scots) Presbyterian Church, supported by all members of the church community, is committed to nurturing young people into lifelong Christian discipleship by:

  • Involving youth and their families in a safe and exciting Christian community
  • Encouraging them to live spiritually rich, Biblically based, God centered lives
  • And preparing them to extend the love of Christ to their community and beyond
Helpful Links:

Our Values:


We are called to love one another and treat one another with compassion, understanding, and respect.


We strive to create an environment that is physically and emotionally safe where youth feel comfortable asking questions and seeking guidance and support.


We seek to live as a community of faith in which everyone feels welcome.


We live with contagious excitement about our faith that draws others to become a part of our church family.


We explore the many gifts God has given us and we share them with one another.


We worship and serve God as part of a larger Christian community both as Presbyterians and as followers of Jesus Christ.

Weekly Activites

Sunday Mornings
(Sunday after Labor Day - Sunday before Memorial Day)
  • Worship is at 8:45 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. in the Sanctuary (53 Meeting Street).
  • Kirk Café is from 9:30-10:00 a.m. in the Kirk House (62 King Street).
  • Sunday School is from 10:00-11:00 a.m. in the Kirk House (62 King Street). Middle school youth meet on the second floor of the Kirk House and high school youth meet on the first floor. 
  • Confirmation Class (typically completed in 8th grade) meets on second floor of the Kirk House (62 King Street) or in Room 227/228 in the Massie Building. 

Confirmation is an eight-month process that prepares youth to publicly profess faith in Jesus Christ and become adult members of the church. Confirmation typically occurs during the eighth-grade year, however older students who have not completed the program are able to participate as well. This class is conducted by Dr. James Rogers and Elder John McNeill during the Sunday School hour from September through April. Service projects and retreats are also a part of the program. Classes are based on the Big God Big Questions: Confirmation for a Growing Faith curriculum by PC(USA), and the students have the opportunity to join the church and be welcomed by the congregation on the first Sunday of May during the 11:15 a.m. worship service.

Wednesday Nights
(September - March)

Kirk Club for high school and middle school youth meets on the first and third Wednesdays of the month from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. in the Kirk House (62 King Street), before attending the Church Family Dinner at 6:00 p.m. (RSVP for dinner by noon on Monday to Karen Kuhn).

Youth Group

From September until May the high school and middle school youth typically meet on Sunday nights from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. for fellowship, service, congregational care, study, and worship. During the summer youth events are typically during the week. 

For upcoming event dates, times, and locations, please check out our Weekly Youth Ministry Update or the High School Youth Group Schedule or Middle School Youth Group Schedule.

Youth Ministry Leaders

Rev. James Rogers

Associate Pastor for Youth & Their Families

James oversees the youth ministry of the church including Sunday Night Youth Group, Confirmation, retreats, conferences, and mission trips. He regularly assists in worship leadership on Sunday mornings, occasionally leads worship on Wednesday nights, and coordinates recreation activities at Kirk Club. He serves as staff liaison to the Christian Education, Local Missions and World Mission Committees and works with the Youth Leadership Team as they plan and lead youth ministry activities. 

Originally from Lexington, South Carolina, James completed his undergraduate studies and deepened his spirituality at Clemson University. After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering in 2003, James felt God’s call to ministry and enrolled at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. In 2006 he graduated with a Master of Divinity degree and was ordained and installed as Associate Pastor at First (Scots) Presbyterian, where he loves seeing the youth of the church living out their faith in Jesus Christ. In 2017, he earned a Doctor of Ministry from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. 

In his free time James enjoys spending time with his wife, Kate, and their son, Barnes. If they aren’t enjoying a local park or taking a walk around the neighborhood, you might find James searching for buried treasure from the 1980’s or rocking out on the guitar.

Email James.

Ian Giancursio

Youth Ministry Coordinator

Ian is the Youth Ministry Coordinator, having previously served in youth ministry at Seacoast Church. Ian attended Bentley University in Boston, serving on the executive board for Campus Crusade. After graduating in 2015, Ian moved to Charleston in 2016 to start a band, going on multiple national tours. Ian began volunteering with Seacoast student ministry in 2018, and it was this experience that led him to work with youth and families. He volunteered with Charleston-area Young Life from 2017-2019. Ian’s entire soul and purpose is to work intentionally with youth, to invest in their lives, and to provide an example on how to pursue a Christ-focused life.

In his words, “it is beyond clear that I’ve been led spiritually to work with youth and families in a deep, intentional way, to truly mentor and serve them in any way possible. There is literally nothing else that resonates in my spirit and soul like this has.” Ian is also a solo pop singer/songwriter and drummer, releasing his own music and playing around Charleston. Additionally, Ian is very passionate about sports, with his hometown Buffalo Bills his favorite team.

In his free time, Ian loves to travel, explore new cities, try new restaurants and coffee shops, and hang with friends.

Email Ian.

Youth Advisors

Carrie Simpson

Carrie Simpson works as a speech pathologist at Fort Dorchester Elementary School. She enjoys doing anything outdoors and spending time hanging out with her family and friends. She loves to eat—pretty much anything but especially chips and salsa/guacamole, Chick-fil-A, and peanut M&M’s. Her favorite thing about working with our youth group is getting to know everyone, exploring our faith, and learning about God by meeting people from different backgrounds and cultures through serving together in Charleston and around the world.

Janet White

Janet White grew up near Seattle, Washington. She graduated from Washington State University, GO COUGS! (and the University of Washington School of Medicine.) She practices pediatrics in Mt. Pleasant, where she lives with her husband John Sr. and kids (John Jr., William, and Susan). Janet is happy to live in South Carolina where the sun shines more than it rains!
She has been a member of First (Scots) since the 90’s. She was a youth advisor before she got married, and is thrilled to be back now that her kids are all active in the Youth Program. Her favorite part of youth ministry is the retreats. Janet enjoys walking, shopping, visiting family in Washington State, and hanging out with friends.

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Bob Nutley

Clarissa McKenzie

Clarissa is excited for the opportunity to serve as a Middle School Youth Advisor again this year! She loves cooking, sports, and getting to know people. She met her husband, Greg, while at Clemson and they have been members of First (Scots) for more than 20 years. They have a daughter, Mattie, who recently graduated from Clemson after studying Travel and Tourism. She grew up at First (Scots) and loved every minute of her time in our church’s youth program and still talks about all of the wonderful experiences our church offers to our youth. Her son Hewitt is in 9th grade and thus far, he has enjoyed his youth group experiences — even though things were interrupted/modified by the pandemic. He looks forward to participating in mission trips, youth conferences, and weekly youth activities and is eager for any opportunity to reconnect with his friends in youth group. They have a three year old Cavachon named Muffin who is adorable and sassy at the same time!

Erin Kelly

Erin Kelly is a native South Carolinian who grew up in Spartanburg, SC. She attended the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA, and works as a graphic designer with a NY-based ad agency.
Erin spent her first year in Charleston deepening her faith by becoming a member of First (Scots) and serving as a mentor for the worshipping community “Journey” at the College of Charleston. In her free time, she loves to run, play with her golden retriever Buddy, and is currently trying every type of Oreo Cookie released (she is currently up to 64).
She cannot wait to see all of the students as she begins another year as a High School Youth Advisor this fall!

Chris Bucknam

Hank Martin

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Matt Bucknam

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Dorothy Thaxton