PCWS Clergy and Staff

Rev. Lesley Weir, Interim Pastor

We are excited to welcome Reverend Lesley Weir as our Interim Pastor! Lesley lives in Downers Grove, IL. Lesley began her service to PCWS on July 11, 2022. Her first Sunday of Worship was July 17, 2022.

Lesley began her career in the private sector, working for 6 years in the computer/information technology sector. Following the birth of her children, she spent 15 years at home before returning to the paid workforce. She worked for over 9 years at Flossmoor Community Church in the south suburbs of Chicago. Her tenure included four years as the Director of Church Operations, overseeing the staff, multisite facility, and a $1M+ budget. She then moved into the Director of Lay and Adult Ministries role, providing leadership training for staff and laity. She oversaw adult education, new members, and the nominating committee.

While at Flossmoor, she answered the call to ordained ministry and began her seminary education at McCormick Theological Seminary. While in seminary, she served a year-long internship at Calvary United Protestant Church (PCUSA) in Park Forest. Upon graduation from seminary, Lesley completed a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education with VITAS Innovative Hospice. VITAS employed her as a staff chaplain upon completing her CPE unit.

In 2012 she began her call as pastor to St. Luke Church (PCUSA) in Downers Grove. While there, she partnered with the Presbytery of Chicago to move the congregation from their location on the north side of town to the former First Presbyterian Church of Downers Grove location. The move included owning two facilities for six months, filling the role of landlord to an 80-student high school located in the new building, transitioning that school out of the building, and renovating the sanctuary and first floor of the new building prior to St. Luke moving.

Lesley has provided volunteer service to the Presbytery of Chicago since 2012. She has been a team member on the Boundary Training/Safe Space programs. She has also served as a member of the Commission on Ministry, assisting churches with a variety of needs.

Lesley can be reached by email or by calling the church office – 708-246-5220.


Benjamin Mertz Director of Youth Ministry

We are pleased to introduce Benjamin Mertz as our new Director of Youth Ministry.  Ben’s background is in church leadership with experience leading worship, directing youth groups, and preaching/teaching. He is a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University with a B.A. in Christian Ministries. Growing up, Ben was active in youth programs, and he has a passion for helping others on their faith journey.

As the Director of Youth Ministry, Ben will work to engage with youth (primarily 6th-12th grade); coordinate, plan, and lead mission opportunities for youth, including an annual week-long mission trip; and build connections with families of younger children in support of Children’s Ministry.

Ben describes himself as “an avid reader, a coffee fanatic, a plant dad, and a lover of new adventures!”

“In talking with Ben and his references, we were very impressed with Ben’s inventive and creative nature, his great love for youth ministries, and that community is a big focus for him.  I’m excited for Ben to join PCWS, and I’m especially excited for our middle school and high school families.” – Paul Banovic, PCWS Personnel Committee

We extend a warm welcome to Ben!

Ben can be reached by email or by calling the church office – 708-246-5220.

Meet our Great Staff at PCWS


Terri Angaraone
Church Administrator
Stephanie Coates
Music Director
Patrick Rivers
Financial Secretary