Mission Statement

ENCOUNTER: St. Giles Youth is a ministry committed to preparing a generation that is passionately devoted to and pursues the Lord, His Church, and the lost.


Encounter Youth Directors: Dan & Lesley Cheevers

After graduating from Central Michigan University, both Dan and Lesley engaged in many different avenues of ministry, including Cru at Michigan State University and CMU as well as serving at a local church in Edinburgh, Scotland. Lesley began seminary at Regent University in Virginia Beach before marrying Dan and moving to Charlotte, NC where they both finished their M.Div degrees at Reformed Theological Seminary in May 2014. Upon graduating they began their ministry here at St. Giles EPC!

Their heart for youth ministry springs from 1 Thessalonians 2:8, “Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the Gospel of God but our lives as well.” Their hearts overflow with love for these young people, and they are so blessed to walk with them as they grow in their faith and love for Christ.

Meeting Times

Sunday Morning – High School and Middle School sunday school classes will remain combined through September 24. Beginning on October 1, the middle school students will begin an extended look at Jesus’ life, teachings, and miracles. The high school students will spend several weeks studying the fascinating, weird, and (perhaps surprisingly) encouraging book of Revelation!

Encounter – Our weekly youth group meets every Sunday night at 5:15 and runs until 7:30. Join us for a time of fellowship, worship, teaching, small groups, and games as we enjoy community and worship the Lord together. This Fall, we will begin a new teaching series called “Rooted” where we will study the 13 letters of Paul to the early church. In Mark 4 and Matthew 13, Jesus spoke about the seed that was scattered on rocky ground and sprang up quickly, but soon withered due to the shallowness of its roots in the soil. Contrary to this, Paul instructs believers to be “rooted and firmly established” in their faith. Throughout the semester, we will focus on different teachings from these letters which will, Lord willing, help us be just that.

Wednesday Evening IGNITE – Several times throughout the year we get together as a church and enjoy a catered meal at 5:30 pm and then have classes and programs for all ages at 6:30 pm. The dates for our next mini semester of IGNITE will be Oct. 18 – Nov. 15

Encounter Missions – Students have the opportunity to evangelize the world around them through ongoing local, state-level and international mission trips.  We desire for all students to participate in the greatest story of all, the story of His Glory! 

To find out about our current events, please checkout our Youth Fall Calendar!

Contact Info

Dan’s Email: Dan@stgilesepc.org
Lesley’s Email: Lesley@stgilesepc.org

Click  ENCOUNTER: St Giles Youth  to join our Facebook group.  This is a closed group, so ask to be Dan or Lesley’s friend first.  We would love to add you! You can also follow us on Instagram and Twitter @ EncounterSTG


Supporting Adult Leadership

Kurt Berger: husband to Mary Beth, father to “Blue the dog.” Kurt, having been told many times he has a gift to work with young people, definitely demonstrates this at our Encounter youth nights. He lights up when playing the games–particularly when whipping dodgeballs at the guy students.

Mary Beth Berger: wife to Kurt, mother to “Blue the dog.” Mary Beth has a passion for pouring out to our youth girls and connecting with them in a real way. Her counselor’s heart shows up in small group times as she encourages the girls in their walks with the Lord.

Jane Burns: wife to Tim, mother to Madeline, Annalisa, Jack, Alex and Isabella.  Jane lights up the world with her gifts of hospitality and leadership.  She is committed to see Middle School students equipped and growing in their knowledge of God.

Dale Farish: wife to Paul, mother to Caroline, Anna, Ellie, and Emmie. Dale’s eye for decor and how to make a room look beautiful helps those of us who are less skilled in decorating. She will be helping us this Fall with some new and exciting improvements we plan to make in our youth rooms. She also works with our middle school girls who benefit tremendously from her role in their lives. 

Paul Farish:
husband to Dale, father to Caroline, Anna, Ellie, and Emmie. Paul is our storyteller and actor who helps catch the attention of the students with his sense of humor as he brings the word of God to life. 

Darwin Johnson: husband to Lisa, father to Nathan, Sarah, Deborah, Mary, Rebecah, Josh, Isaac, Eli, Gabriel and Grace.  Affectionately know to us as Daddy-D, Darwin is the preeminent father.  His wisdom in family and in business under gird our students with strength and confidence for their future.

Kenan Kovasckitz: one of our most recent alumni, Kenan has decided to stay on as our newest leader. She is working alongside Dale with the middle school girls and is delighted to be encouraging them in their walks with the Lord. Her heart and fervor for the Lord is contagious and she is a rich asset to our leadership team. 


Student Leaders

We also seek to raise up young leaders (11th & 12th grade students) and fine tune their leadership skills. These are students who love the Lord, set a good example for how to follow him wholeheartedly, and encourage their peers to do the same.

Eli, Josiah, Madeline, Nathan, Noah, Rebecca, Sadie