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education Staff

PASTORAL STAFF

   Rev. James Preston                Lead Pastor    Prior to serving at Kingswood, Rev. Preston served six years as the Chicago Northwestern District Superintendent. Rev. Preston has served churches and ministries in Rockford, Chicago, Oklahoma, and Texas. A native Texan, Preston attended Texas Tech University and then Perkins School of Theology in Dallas where he graduated with a Master of Divinity in 1990.  Rev. Preston 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 loves gardening, music, theater, travel, hospitality, world foods, conversation, the Cubs, and time with friends and family.

Rev. James Preston          

Lead Pastor

Prior to serving at Kingswood, Rev. Preston served six years as the Chicago Northwestern District Superintendent. Rev. Preston has served churches and ministries in Rockford, Chicago, Oklahoma, and Texas. A native Texan, Preston attended Texas Tech University and then Perkins School of Theology in Dallas where he graduated with a Master of Divinity in 1990.  Rev. Preston 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 loves gardening, music, theater, travel, hospitality, world foods, conversation, the Cubs, and time with friends and family.

   Rev. Josh Lee                            Assistant Pastor    Prior to serving at Kingswood, Rev. Lee worked at Urban Village Church in Chicago and is currently attending Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. He has also served in many other flavors of the church. Growing up in Elgin, IL, he served as an Associate Pastor at an Assemblies of God Church, Youth Pastor at an American Baptist Church, and then, after obtaining a Bachelors of Arts in Pastoral Studies from the Moody Bible Institute, he served as the Senior Pastor of an Independent Christian Church in Madisonville, KY. Josh now serves in the United Methodist Church because of their commitment to  full inclusion. His hobby is Netflix, photography and shopping!   

Rev. Josh Lee                      

Assistant Pastor

Prior to serving at Kingswood, Rev. Lee worked at Urban Village Church in Chicago and is currently attending Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. He has also served in many other flavors of the church. Growing up in Elgin, IL, he served as an Associate Pastor at an Assemblies of God Church, Youth Pastor at an American Baptist Church, and then, after obtaining a Bachelors of Arts in Pastoral Studies from the Moody Bible Institute, he served as the Senior Pastor of an Independent Christian Church in Madisonville, KY. Josh now serves in the United Methodist Church because of their commitment to  full inclusion. His hobby is Netflix, photography and shopping!

 

   Barb Symonds                            Minister of Children & Family Life & Director of Parents Day Out     Barb has been on staff since 1997, and started the Parent’s Day Out program in 2002. Her job includes Sunday School, Children’s events and programs in addition to Parent’s Day Out. She has been a member since 1988. She is married and has two adult children. Barb enjoys working with children because “they keep you young”!

Barb Symonds                      

Minister of Children & Family Life & Director of Parents Day Out

Barb has been on staff since 1997, and started the Parent’s Day Out program in 2002. Her job includes Sunday School, Children’s events and programs in addition to Parent’s Day Out. She has been a member since 1988. She is married and has two adult children. Barb enjoys working with children because “they keep you young”!

   Clayton Edwards       Minister of Youth & Serving Ministries    Clayton works with our junior and senior high youth, as well as oversees our missions and serving ministries. He has been a youth pastor and missions staff for churches in Ohio near Columbus for over six years.  Clayton is married to Caitlin and they live with their dog, Molly, in Hoffman Estates. Clayton loves to read, write, and watch baseball.

Clayton Edwards

Minister of Youth & Serving Ministries

Clayton works with our junior and senior high youth, as well as oversees our missions and serving ministries. He has been a youth pastor and missions staff for churches in Ohio near Columbus for over six years.  Clayton is married to Caitlin and they live with their dog, Molly, in Hoffman Estates. Clayton loves to read, write, and watch baseball.

office STAFF

   Elizabeth Hicks                        Church Administrator    Elizabeth is responsible for the managing the church office and church building. She volunteered in the office at Kingswood for many years, until becoming part of the staff. She and her family have been members of Kingswood since 2006. Her organizational skills keep the church running smoothly!

Elizabeth Hicks                   

Church Administrator

Elizabeth is responsible for the managing the church office and church building. She volunteered in the office at Kingswood for many years, until becoming part of the staff. She and her family have been members of Kingswood since 2006. Her organizational skills keep the church running smoothly!

   Anita Tasher                            Finance Coordinator     Anita has served at Kingswood for over nine years! She is responsible for managing church finances (i.e. budget, accounting, payroll, etc.)  She also compiles and prepares the Sunday bulletin and newsletter. Her attention to detail for our printed materials  is greatly appreciated. Anita is also a proud mother of two ! 

Anita Tasher                      

Finance Coordinator

Anita has served at Kingswood for over nine years! She is responsible for managing church finances (i.e. budget, accounting, payroll, etc.)  She also compiles and prepares the Sunday bulletin and newsletter. Her attention to detail for our printed materials  is greatly appreciated. Anita is also a proud mother of two ! 

Program Staff

   Carianne Short                           Coordinator of Connecting & Welcoming     Carianne has the privilege of connecting new members, welcome, community life, hospitality/greeters, etc. She is a cradle Methodist.  She moved to the area from Kansas with her husband.  She has two adult children.  Carianne loves to meet new people and help them connect their gifts and talents to the church.

Carianne Short                     

Coordinator of Connecting & Welcoming

Carianne has the privilege of connecting new members, welcome, community life, hospitality/greeters, etc. She is a cradle Methodist.  She moved to the area from Kansas with her husband.  She has two adult children.  Carianne loves to meet new people and help them connect their gifts and talents to the church.

  Sheri Brubeck     Coordinator of Sr. High Missions    Sheri organizes the senior high mission trips . After attending Children’s Ministries University in 1992 she caught “puppet fever” and founded the Glory Fingers Team in 1994 at Kingswood and retired from the Glory Fingers Creative Arts Ministry in 2018. 

Sheri Brubeck

Coordinator of Sr. High Missions

Sheri organizes the senior high mission trips . After attending Children’s Ministries University in 1992 she caught “puppet fever” and founded the Glory Fingers Team in 1994 at Kingswood and retired from the Glory Fingers Creative Arts Ministry in 2018. 

Music Staff

   Randy Lawrence                  Director of Music Ministry     Randy directs the Chancel Choir, Handbell Choir, Men's ensemble, and Cherub Children’s Choir. He has participated in music ministry for over 20 years. For over 12 years he has directed vocal and instrumental groups, as well as arranging music and and is an experienced accompanist. Randy has a Bachelor of Music from Wheaton College Conservatory, as well as graduate education from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and United Theological Seminary. He is also a Certified Lay Speaker in the United Methodist Church, providing worship leadership and preaching for UMC churches.

Randy Lawrence            

Director of Music Ministry

Randy directs the Chancel Choir, Handbell Choir, Men's ensemble, and Cherub Children’s Choir. He has participated in music ministry for over 20 years. For over 12 years he has directed vocal and instrumental groups, as well as arranging music and and is an experienced accompanist. Randy has a Bachelor of Music from Wheaton College Conservatory, as well as graduate education from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and United Theological Seminary. He is also a Certified Lay Speaker in the United Methodist Church, providing worship leadership and preaching for UMC churches.

   Jim Koppenhaver                      Contemporary Music Leader   Jim has been a member of Kingswood for over 30 years and met his wife, Valerie, at Kingswood.  They were married at Kingswood, their two boys were baptized and went through confirmation at Kingswood. Jim works in the Information Services industry by day and on nights and weekends runs a start-up company providing information and insights to the golf industry.  In his spare time, he’s a recreational runner, piano player and (not as much as he used to) golfer.  He lives in Buffalo Grove, just across from the church.

Jim Koppenhaver                 

Contemporary Music Leader

Jim has been a member of Kingswood for over 30 years and met his wife, Valerie, at Kingswood.  They were married at Kingswood, their two boys were baptized and went through confirmation at Kingswood. Jim works in the Information Services industry by day and on nights and weekends runs a start-up company providing information and insights to the golf industry.  In his spare time, he’s a recreational runner, piano player and (not as much as he used to) golfer.  He lives in Buffalo Grove, just across from the church.

   Dawn Karis                     Director of Women's Choir   Dawn sang with the womens choir for many years before serving as the director. She and her husband Tom have been members for 36 years! Outside of church, she has many opportunities to get involved in music; as a Preschool Music Teacher and as a member of the Buffalo Grove Symphonic Band. At Kingswood, she and her husband, Tom, are also the Food Pantry Coordinators and are involved in several other ministries at Kingswood.  Her and husband enjoy spending time focusing on the joy of grandparenting.

Dawn Karis               

Director of Women's Choir

Dawn sang with the womens choir for many years before serving as the director. She and her husband Tom have been members for 36 years! Outside of church, she has many opportunities to get involved in music; as a Preschool Music Teacher and as a member of the Buffalo Grove Symphonic Band. At Kingswood, she and her husband, Tom, are also the Food Pantry Coordinators and are involved in several other ministries at Kingswood.  Her and husband enjoy spending time focusing on the joy of grandparenting.

   Dr. Lyudmila Lakisova     Organist & Accompanist   Dr. Lyudmil Lakisova is a Steinway performing artist with degrees from the Belerussian State Conservatory of Music in Minsk. Lyudmila is also a graduate of Caris Bible College in Elmhurst. She is a private piano teacher, as well as a chamber coach at Midwest Young Artists. She also is the accompanist for Chicago Master Singers. She is also a proud mother! She joined the Kingswood staff in December 2017 and works with our choirs as well as coordinating our special music selection in the summers. Her talent greatly enhances our worship exerperience!

Dr. Lyudmila Lakisova

Organist & Accompanist

Dr. Lyudmil Lakisova is a Steinway performing artist with degrees from the Belerussian State Conservatory of Music in Minsk. Lyudmila is also a graduate of Caris Bible College in Elmhurst. She is a private piano teacher, as well as a chamber coach at Midwest Young Artists. She also is the accompanist for Chicago Master Singers. She is also a proud mother! She joined the Kingswood staff in December 2017 and works with our choirs as well as coordinating our special music selection in the summers. Her talent greatly enhances our worship exerperience!

Facilities Staff

   Anton Obrecht     Coordinator of Media Arts   Anton is responsible for creating visual presenttions to create a more dynamic worship experience for our Sunday morning worship services, operating the sound board and overseeing a team of people who assist with enhancing the technical arts of our worship experiences at Kingswood.Anton is the proud father of two of our youth who also are involved in life the church. 

Anton Obrecht

Coordinator of Media Arts

Anton is responsible for creating visual presenttions to create a more dynamic worship experience for our Sunday morning worship services, operating the sound board and overseeing a team of people who assist with enhancing the technical arts of our worship experiences at Kingswood.Anton is the proud father of two of our youth who also are involved in life the church. 

  Tim Sroka                 Coordinator of Facilities & Maintenance   Tim coordinates the facility maintenance for the church properties. Tim has attended Kingswood with his wife Susan for 40+ years along with their children, Neil (Detroit, MI) and Victoria (London, England). Tim works with the Board of Trustees and our Church Administrator to keep our physical facility in the best possible shape. Tim has taught Sunday School and Confirmation, was a Boy Scout Leader for 15 years, loves to cook and bake, and is an avid reader. He also supervises a maintenance assistant, as we have a sizable campus! 

Tim Sroka             

Coordinator of Facilities & Maintenance

Tim coordinates the facility maintenance for the church properties. Tim has attended Kingswood with his wife Susan for 40+ years along with their children, Neil (Detroit, MI) and Victoria (London, England). Tim works with the Board of Trustees and our Church Administrator to keep our physical facility in the best possible shape. Tim has taught Sunday School and Confirmation, was a Boy Scout Leader for 15 years, loves to cook and bake, and is an avid reader. He also supervises a maintenance assistant, as we have a sizable campus! 

  David Baltz      Custodian   David Baltz works alongside Tim Sroka, our Coordinator of Facilities and Maintenance, to perform weekly. quarterly and annual cleaning duties. He has been a member of KUMC his entire life. He has served at the church by being on the puppet ministry for 6 years and participated in 5 years of youth mission’s trips and one adult mission trip. This past July he graduated from Western Illinois University with an Bachelors degree in Emergency Management and a Minor in Homeland Security. He is currently looking for a job in this field, to start his career.

David Baltz  

Custodian

David Baltz works alongside Tim Sroka, our Coordinator of Facilities and Maintenance, to perform weekly. quarterly and annual cleaning duties. He has been a member of KUMC his entire life. He has served at the church by being on the puppet ministry for 6 years and participated in 5 years of youth mission’s trips and one adult mission trip. This past July he graduated from Western Illinois University with an Bachelors degree in Emergency Management and a Minor in Homeland Security. He is currently looking for a job in this field, to start his career.

LAY LEADERS

  Bill Chandler IV             Lay Leader   As lay leader Bill function as the primary lay representative of the laity of the congregation. He fosters leadership development,  meets regularly with the lead pastor, and has membership in various committees.  He has been a member of Kingswood for over 35 years. Bill and his wife Lori have two children Bill and Cassie. They have celebrated the kids baptisms, confirmations and work camp experiences at Kingswood. Bill is  charge of a distribution center in Melrose Park and enjoys his free time biking, going to the gym and reading.

Bill Chandler IV         

Lay Leader

As lay leader Bill function as the primary lay representative of the laity of the congregation. He fosters leadership development,  meets regularly with the lead pastor, and has membership in various committees.  He has been a member of Kingswood for over 35 years. Bill and his wife Lori have two children Bill and Cassie. They have celebrated the kids baptisms, confirmations and work camp experiences at Kingswood. Bill is  charge of a distribution center in Melrose Park and enjoys his free time biking, going to the gym and reading.

  Ken Johnson  &     Sue Fujiu    Co- Group Leaders of Serving    Both Ken and Sue serve as Co-Lay Leaders to the the following ministry teams in the church:  Missions Team  Social Justice   UM Men  UM Women  Harvest Fest Team  New Beginnings   Food Pantry  PADS

Ken Johnson &    Sue Fujiu

Co- Group Leaders of Serving

Both Ken and Sue serve as Co-Lay Leaders to the the following ministry teams in the church:

Missions Team

Social Justice 

UM Men

UM Women

Harvest Fest Team

New Beginnings 

Food Pantry

PADS

  Lauren Dion  &   Laura Hardy             Co-Group Leaders of Worshiping and Growing   Both Lauren and Laura serve as Co-Lay Leaders to the the following ministry teams in the church:  Worship Team  Adult Formation  Children's Ministry  Youth Ministry Team  Music Ministry Team

Lauren DionLaura Hardy       

Co-Group Leaders of Worshiping and Growing

Both Lauren and Laura serve as Co-Lay Leaders to the the following ministry teams in the church:

Worship Team

Adult Formation

Children's Ministry

Youth Ministry Team

Music Ministry Team

  Julie Dagenais  &  Mark Rohde    Co- Group Leaders of Connecting    Both Julie and Mark serve as Co-Lay Leaders to the the following ministry teams in the church:  Congregational Care  Welcoming/Community Life Team  50+ Ministry  Girls Night Out  Membership  Other Affinity Groups

Julie Dagenais & Mark Rohde

Co- Group Leaders of Connecting

Both Julie and Mark serve as Co-Lay Leaders to the the following ministry teams in the church:

Congregational Care

Welcoming/Community Life Team

50+ Ministry

Girls Night Out

Membership

Other Affinity Groups