Our Pastor


Rev. Tom Kingery grew up in a suburb of Chicago.  During his confirmation Class as a Freshman in High School at the Winnetka Congregational Church, Tom felt a conviction to go into the ministry.  He always knew, from that time forward, that he wanted to be a Pastor.  So, after High School, he went to Illinois State University where he received his degree in Philosophy.  Tom met Carol during his last semester of college (Spring of 1977).  Then after a semester abroad at the University of Grenoble in France, He went to Seminary at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver.

Tom married Carol in 1979 after his first year of Seminary.

In 1981, he began his ministry at the Brookville and Elkhorn United Methodist Churches near Polo, Illinois.  His son, Tim was born a month after Tom began his ministry.  In November of 1983, Tom was appointed to the Harlem UM Church, and Emily was born two months later.  After four full years at Harlem, Tom was assigned to the Plano UM Church, where he served from 1988 till 1995.  It was then to Galena until 1998, then eight years in Pecatonica, and eight years in Rockton, before coming to the Wilmington Church.

Tom loves Bible Study.  His preaching is Biblical.  And he particularly enjoys preaching straight through a whole book of Scripture verse by verse.  Carol also loves to offer a women’s Bible Study from Spring to Fall most years.  They are grandparents of Zachary and Valerie, the children of Tim and Jen.  And Emily is married to John Benson.  Although Carol is disabled from her battle with Multiple Sclerosis for 27 years, the Church is their greatest joy.  And of the First United Methodist Church of Wilmington, Tom says, “The heart for mission here is the best I’ve ever seen.”

Let’s prove this true!


Administrative Assistant


Judy Francis

Membership Coordinator & Financial Secretary

Marcia Mellott

Music Director

Gayle Robinson



Tracy Smith

Handbell Director & Pianist

Lisa Lestina

Joyful Noises Director

Tony & Carol Merkel

Youth Group Leaders