Faith United Methodist Church
Downers Grove
432 59th Street
Downers Grove
IL  60516 map

Faith Church
Helping Christians Grow...
Helping to Grow Christians

Pastor Charles I. Yoon

Senior Pastor

Rev. Charles Yoon began his life and faith journey in Korea. He was born into a Christian (a Methodist pastor’s) family and He was called to ministry during a summer revival retreat when he was a junior in high school. After high school, he entered Methodist Theological Seminary in Seoul to study theology (B. Th.) and continued to study further focusing on church history at the graduate school of Methodist Theological Seminary (M. Th.).


After graduating from the seminary, Rev. Yoon served several churches in Korea. He started his ministry as a local pastor at Yol-Mi Methodist Church in a rural area. Then he served as a pastor of Christian Education at Sung-Eun Methodist Church and an associate pastor at Kum-Ho First Methodist Church in Seoul, Korea. He was ordained at Kyung-Ki Annual Conference of the Korean Methodist Church in 1992 and became a full-member at Seoul Annual Conference of the Korean Methodist Church in 1994.


Upon coming to the United States to further his theological training, Rev. Yoon earned his Master of Divinity (M. Div.) degree from Theological School at Drew University in Madison, NJ and continued his academic journey as he earned Master of Philosophy (M. Ph.) degree and Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph. D.) at Drew University. While he was studying at Drew, he started a new Korean-American congregation, Mok-Yang Methodist Church in Springfield, NJ and served the church until he was appointed to Prophetstown United Methodist Church in Prophetstown, IL in 2005. During his pastorate at Prophetstown UMC, he transferred his membership from the Korean Methodist Church to the United Methodist Church and became a full member of the Northern Illinois Conference in 2008. Since 2011, he has served as an associate pastor at First United Methodist Church in Crystal Lake, IL.


Rev. Yoon has been serving in several leadership capacities on various church related boards and committees at district, conference, and national levels. He was the chair of the Commission on Archives and History of the Northern Illinois Conference (2012-2016) and a member of the Elgin District Superintendency Committee (2012-2016). He is one of the board directors of the John Wesley Theological Institute, a member of the Historical Society of the United Methodist Church and a member of the John Wesley Theological Society.


Rev. Yoon’s family includes his wife, Esther and his three daughters: Kristine, who will be a junior at Washington University in St. Louis, MO, studying biology (pre-medicine track); Sarah, who will be a freshman at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, planning to study economics; and Eunice, who will a sophomore at IMSA (Illinois Math and Science Academy) in Aurora, IL.

Maria Wilcox

Director of Children and Youth Ministries

Maria is a 2015 graduate with a Masters Degree in Christian Education with a certificate in Children's Ministry from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL.  She lived in Georgia from 2002 to 2010, where she got her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Literature from Georgia State University.  Maria has worked in various roles within children and youth ministries in Georgia, Hinsdale, and here at Faith Church.  She is currently in the process of ordination for Deacon's Orders in the Aurora District of the Northern Illinois Conference.

Maria taught Spanish at her churches and has interpreted for a short-term mission team to Honduras for 7 years, and currently travels to Venezuela every year with Water With Blessings, an ecumenical not-for-profit based out of Kentucky.  She has a prison detainee listener for Hispanic men at the verge of being deported at Kankakee Prison with ICDI.  She learned Spanish in a foreign exchange student program through American Field Service (AFS) in Venezuela from 1990 - 1991 and has tutored Spanish ever since, currently partnering with a non-profit in Darien, The Fran Center.  She understands Hispanic/Latino culture through these experiences.

Maria is our Northern Illinois Conference representative for youth and young adults in the Northern Central Jurisdiction Volunteers In Mission, and also a shadow to be the Volunteer In Mission trainer for Northern Illinois Conference currently under Dr. Meynen.  Previously, she helped to implement the Spanish as a Second Language program under Bishop Sally.  She helped to implement the program while also teaching at churches, and has advanced into a book for sale at

Maria's passion is in providing opportunities for children and youth to experience God's love, and to respond to God's love in missions, as well as to call others into leadership so that we may together bring up disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.  Through think tank organizations like CEF (Christians Engaged in Faith Formation), Maria continues her drive to provide the best balance and opportunities for youth in our connection of churches and community.

Maria is the mother two youth, Lucas and Elyssa.  In her free time, she enjoys doing mission work, spending time with family, researching genealogy, walking her two labradoodles, Furgi and Cutie Pie, and making new friends.

Barbara Abarro

Music Coordinator

Barbara Abarro received her Undergraduate Degree in Music Education from VanderCook College of Music in 1995.  Having taught elementary and middle school level band for 8 years, she pursued her Master's Degree in Music Education from VanderCook and was granted her MMED in the summer of 2003.  Barb then went on to teach band and choir at the high school level until the birth of her son in 2005.  She was invited to teach music at St. Frances of Rome School in the fall of 2011.  In addition to SFR, she also teaches music, choir, and band at Epephany Catholic School in Chicago (2006 - present).

In her spare time, Barb has been a performing member of the Tinley Park Community Band since 1993, playing bass clarinet, baritone saxophone, and trombone.  She took over the role of conductor in the spring of 2998 and is one of a few handful of women in the country leading a community band.  For her continuing dedication to the band, she was the recipient of the band's 2015 Stephen J. Platko Award, named after it's long term director.

Sharon Kelly

Church Secretary

Sharon, a member of Faith Church since 1982, has held the position of secretary since June 1998.  Downers Grove is where she grew up and attended Whittier, O’Neill, and Downers Grove North H.S., then on to Western Illinois Univ.  She is married to Dennis Kelly, who is the sound technician for Faith Church.  They have two children, Christine and David, and four grandchildren.  Sharon also serves on the Worship Committee and Finance Committee.  Sharon says, “This is the most important job I have ever had – serving Christ and the people in His church.”
Barnett Palmer
Barnett has worked for Faith Church periodically beginning in Rev. Rebuck's time (~1998-2001).  He started working as our custodian since around Thanksgiving, 2014.  Barnett lives in Bellwood, IL, and has a daughter, Chineye.  He enjoys working here at Faith Church.