Meet the Staff
Chris Bennett

Chris Bennett

Student Ministries Director

I have been a part of the Ft. Walton Beach community since moving here in 1992 as a military brat. My family loved the area so much, my dad cross-trained career fields so that we would not have to move again. I graduated from Choctawhatchee High School in 2001. During my high school years, I became involved in church and began to form a personal relationship with God.

After moving away for a few years, I returned to the area and became heavily involved with various ministries at FWBFUMC. It was during this time that I felt a call on my life to be in full time ministry working with youth. God has given me a passion for it that burns so deep it is hard to describe. With this call on my heart, I enrolled at Regent University to obtain a BA in Biblical Studies and Theology, which I will complete in the spring of 2019.

I bring with me my wife, Mandy, and our son, Cayden, as we are excited to see what God has in store for us as we faithfully serve MEUMC. We look forward to building lasting relationships with the youth as we minister into their lives, help them to grow closer to God, and strengthen their faith as they become young adults.

Deanna Yahney

Deanna Yahney

Little Angels Preschool Director and Children’s Director

My name is Deanna Yahney and I am the Director of Little Angels Preschool. I grew up in Philadelphia, PA, and have lived on the Emerald Coast since 2011 with my husband and son. I enjoy spending time with my family, reading and visiting amusement parks

I graduated from Holy Family University with a B.A. in Computer Management Information Systems. After graduation, I worked as the Admissions Manager for a seaside amusement park on the Jersey Shore for 13 years until I moved to Florida in 2009. I have always loved children and began working in the childcare field shortly after my son was born. Since 2010, I have worked as a two year old teacher, school-age teacher and an Assistant Director, before finally settling into the Preschool’s Director role here at Mary Esther UMC. I have completed my DCF 45 hours of mandated training along with my Staff and Director Credentials. I also hold a First Aid and CPR certificate.

I feel that working with children is one of the greatest blessings from God. Being the Preschool Director provides me with a wonderful outlet to love, teach, and grow with God’s children and their families.