meet Our Staff

Buffalo Grove  (847)-398-0770

Deerfield  (847) 945-3040

Rev. James Preston

Lead Pastor & Buffalo Grove Campus Pastor

James serves as our Lead Pastor with responsibilities for preaching, leading worship, administration, teaching, pastoral care, adult formation, stewardship, and shepherding our vision. With a passion for hospitality and welcome, he is committed to reaching new people for Jesus Christ, seeking God’s justice in the world, and proclaiming a message of full inclusion within and outside the church. James also serves in many ways with our surrounding communities and within The United Methodist Church. He is a foodie who loves reading, sports, travel, theater, movies, and time with good friends.

Clayton Edwards

Deerfield Campus Pastor

Clayton serves as our Deerfield Campus Pastor with responsibilities for preaching, leading worship, administration, teaching, pastoral care, and discipleship. He is married to Caitlin, and they have a son, Clark.  A huge baseball fan, Clayton loves to read, write, and, of course, watch baseball.

Dr. Michael Fritsch

Organist/Accompanist, Buffalo Grove Campus

With a Doctorate of Music in Piano Performance from Northwestern University and a Bachelors of Music from Wheaton College, Michael serves as our organist and piano accompanist for worship, weddings, funerals, and special services. As a highly skilled and creative musician, Michael has a passion for worship, sacred music, people, and instructing children and youth in piano.

Steve Greene

Associate Director of Music Ministries, Deerfield Campus

Steve has served as Music Director of the Deerfield campus since 2017 and prior to that was Keyboard Accompanist beginning in 2015.  His responsibilities include planning and arranging all service-related music and leading the Deerfield Choir in song during service events.  He also provides accompaniment services for life events (baptisms, weddings, funerals).  Steve has a Masters in Music degree from the Yale University School of Music and a Bachelor’s degree in Music & Economics from Amherst College.

Elizabeth Hicks

Director of Administrative Services

Elizabeth serves as the Director of Administrative Services, responsible for managing the church office, calendar, and building.  Elizabeth and her family have been long-time members of Kingswood and have served in various places. Elizabeth has a passion for hospitality, welcome, and making our facility the best possible venue for mission and ministry.

Lauren Hill

Director of Communications

As Director of Communications, Lauren is responsible for our web page, weekly newsletter, electronic and social media communication, worship program production, and promotion of events and mission. Lauren and her husband, Mike, raised their three children in Buffalo Grove and are enjoying this season of life as empty nesters. She has a passion for sharing the story of ministry at Kingswood.

Don Johnson

Administrator of Building Services, Buffalo Grove & Deerfield Campuses

Don serves as custodian during the week at the Buffalo Grove campus. He also assists with room set-ups, coordinating with outside service contractors and works on other special projects. He and his wife, Rose, have lived in Wheeling for over 35 years, where they raised their three children. Don serves on the Wheeling Plan Commission as well, and volunteers with the Wheeling Police Department and at Indian Trails Library, where Rose serves on its Foundation Board.

Larry Johnson

Director of Financial Services

As our Director of Financial Services, Larry is responsible for managing church finances (i.e. budget, accounting, payroll, etc.)

Dawn Karis

Associate Director of Women’s Choir, Buffalo Grove Campus

As an accomplished musician and long-time Kingswood member, Dawn serves as the Director of the Allelus, a women’s music and singing ensemble. With a career as a Preschool Music Teacher and  a member of the Buffalo Grove Symphonic Band, she and her husband, Tom, have been members of Kingswood since 1981.
They are also proud parents of two adult children and grandparents to three amazing kids.

Kate Lapetino

Coordinator of Youth and Serving Ministries

Kate serves as the Coordinator of Youth and Serving Ministries, bringing her passion for education, community, serving, and faith together. Her journey reflects a commitment to fostering learning and spiritual growth in both traditional and digital spaces as a seasoned educator with over 20 years of experience as both a classroom teacher and an instructional designer building online courses in higher education. Along with her husband Chris and kids, Molly and Gavin, Kate's goal is to hike all 63 U.S. National Parks.

Felicia Patton

Director of Music Ministries

Felicia is a lifelong Chicago native who currently serves as our Director of Music Ministries. She also leads our children’s music program. A talented singer and musician, she continues to sing professionally as a solo artist and with her band, Chicago Soul Revue. Felicia lives with her husband and two daughters in Chicago.

Patty Pickett

Membership/Volunteers/ Projects Coordinator 

Bio coming soon!

Terry Rassette

Custodian, Deerfield Campus

Bio coming soon!

Wesley Reno

Media Engineer, Buffalo Grove Campus

A native of the St. Louis area, Wesley serves as our Media Engineer, responsible for coordinating our audio-visual ministry as well as our livestream worship services. He also coordinates and trains volunteers to assist in these areas as well. Wesley has a passion for music, digital life, and sound and video production

Jenn Sawyer

Director of Children, Families and Welcoming

Jenn serves as our Director of Children, Families and Welcoming. She is married to her husband, Jim, and they have three children. Aside from having the best job as mom, Jenn leads all ministries for children and their families as well as coordinates our welcoming and including ministries to connect with guests at Kingswood. She likes to read, cook, exercise and help take care of their many pets at home.

Paula Swanson

Associate Director of Parents Day Out Program, Buffalo Grove Campus

Paula services as the Director of Parents Day Out (PDO) program, our weekday ministry of learning and care for children, 2 years to 5 years. Through PDO, Paula is able to live out her passion and commitment to caring for children and helping them grow in faith and knowledge. She also likes to read and scrapbook/craft in her free time.