I Am the Missouri Conference
By Fred Koenig
When you look over Paul Derks’ resume, it looks like a course catalogue of all the available extra-curricular activities in high school. On the sports side, you have football (senior captain), basketball, track and wrestling. In performing arts, he was in the select Chamber Choir, participated in music contest as a soloist and part of ensemble, and lettered in theatre.
He took advanced classes, and graduated high school last May with 15 hours of college credit.Outside of school, he rose to the rank of Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts, and was founding president of Voice of the Youth (VOY), which organized drug and alcohol-free activities and discouraged distracted driving. His work with VOY led to him being chosen as one of eight youth to receive the Missouri Outstanding Youth Award, presented to him by his state representative.
One might think that life wouldn’t leave much time for church, but Derks sang and played guitar in his church’s praise band at First UMC in Warsaw. He was also president of IGNITE, the youth group. He’s even preached the sermon at the church.
“You just have to keep to a schedule, and designate certain times and days for things you need to get done,” he said. The Conference Council on Youth Ministries made it to the top of that priority list for Derks. Through his youth group and CCYM he participated in eight week-long mission trips.
“I love mission work, and being involved in the process of planning and organizing events for CCYM was a blast,” he said.
Derks is currently attending Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, where he is a red shirt freshman on the football team, and is majoring in nanophysics. He is the son of Rev. Eric Derks, pastor of First UMC Warsaw, and his wife Jamey.