Our Pastors

Rev. James Preston, Lead Pastor


Rev. James Preston is the lead pastor of Kingswood United Methodist Church. 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. Luke Pepper, Deacon of Youth Ministries

Rev. Luke Pepper is a native of the Northwest Suburbs, having grown up in Schaumburg and Palatine areas. He attended American University in Washington, D.C. where he earned a B.S. in Political Science with a minor in education studies. Deacon Luke holds a Master of Divinity degree with a concentration in Christian Education from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL. He is currently enrolled part-time at National Louis University working on his Master of Arts in Teaching Special Education. He is passionate about guiding people in growing spiritually while helping them to discern and live out their calling in the world. At Kingswood UMC, Deacon Luke facilitates the confirmation program and youth ministries. Deacon Luke’s student teaching placement is in the special education department at Aptakisic Jr. High in Buffalo Grove.  In his spare time, Deacon Luke enjoys spending time with his family and friends, traveling, following politics and government both at the national and global level, fine dining, and collecting penguin paraphernalia.

Rev. Josh Lee, Minister of Growth & Communications


Rev. Josh Lee serves as the Minister of Growth, Communications and Pastoral Care. He most recently 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 was 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 enjoys Netflix, canoeing, dancing and spending quality time with people he cares about.