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
First (Scots) Youth Ministry 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.

Youth Ministry Staff

James Rogers


James oversees the youth ministry of the church including Sunday Night Youth Fellowship, Confirmation, retreats, conferences, and mission trips. He regularly assists in worship leadership on Sunday mornings, leads Kindergarten Chapel, and often serves as the Dinner Dean for Kirk Club. He participates on both the Christian Education and Evangelism 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 watching House Hunters on television or taking a walk, you might find James playing golf at the Muni or rocking out on the guitar.

Email James

Ian Giancursio


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. Even though it will be a little different, she’s looking forward to another fun year!

  • 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.

  • Ashley Nutley

    Ashley Nutley and her husband, Bob, moved to Charleston sixteen years ago, with their three now young adult children: Alex, Katie, and Jack. Ashley is a partner with the law firm of Moore & Van Allen and has been a member of First (Scots) for six years. She has enjoyed being a part of the Covenant Sunday School Class and Town & Country Koinonia, and currently serves on the World Missions Committee. She enjoys working with the youth group because it keeps her young(er) now that all her kids are away in college! Otherwise, when she is not at work, she spends her time reading or traveling.

  • 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 is a Junior at Clemson 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 7th 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!

  • Hank Martin

  • Chris Bucknam

  • 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 worshiping community “Journey” at the College of Charleston. In her free time, she loves to run, play with her golden retriever Buddy, is a co-leader of a Girl Scout Troop, and is currently trying every type of Oreo Cookie released (she is currently up to 60).

    She cannot wait to see all the students as she begins her second year as a High School Youth Advisor this fall!