Our Pastor

Rev. Charles A. Woolery, Sr.

Wesley United Methodist Church’s senior pastor is the dynamic and dedicated, Rev. Charles A. Woolery, Sr. He is a faithful and sincere preacher who is anointed for pastoral ministry and radical discipleship. He has 23 years of Pastoral experience.

Rev. Woolery hails from the capital city of Springfield, Illinois. He was called into the ministry at the age of 16. Finding the need to study to show himself approved to handle the awesome task of pastoral ministry, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from the University of Illinois-Champaign-Urbana, IL in 1991, and a Masters of Divinity from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, located in Evanston, IL, in 1994.

After graduation from seminary, his first pastorate was the historic Francis Burns United Methodist Church in Des Moines, Iowa, the oldest African-American church in Iowa (1994-2000). Under his leadership, the budget doubled, a brand new church van and parking lot were purchased, outreach ministries were birthed, and investments doubled.

In 2000, the opportunity came to move back to the Chicago metropolitan area. Pastor Woolery jumped at the chance to get back to the city, where he always wanted to be. In July of 2000, he became the senior pastor of the First Wesley Academy United Methodist Church (FWA UMC) located in Harvey, IL.

As pastor of FWA UMC from 2000-2013, he and the congregation were faithful in many things. FWA UMC fulfilled its mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. The membership grew as well as the average worship attendance. During Pastor Woolery’s tenure, FWA UMC had over 25 ministries that impacted the lives of Harvey and south suburban residents.  His vision was to create a community of faith that met people’s spiritual, social, economic, and political needs. He firmly believes that it is the mission of the church to save the community in which the church is placed and to make the kingdom of God a present reality.

In 2013, Pastor Woolery was appointed to the great Wesley United Methodist Church, located at 201 E. 95th Street, Chicago, IL. Since his tenure at Wesley UMC, the church has renovated its main church. Wesley has also increased its membership and average worship attendance. The church has also increased its visibility in the community with outreach ministries such as The Taste of Wesley and Back-to-School Block Parties. Under his leadership, Wesley is also utilizing its first church building as the Wesley Community Center that will offer programs like The Young Lions Christian Rites of Passage, The Daughters of Imani Rites of Passage, and S.T.E.A.M. tutoring. The Wesley Community Center will also be used for both meeting space for small churches and community organizations. Pastor Woolery’s vision is to make Wesley UMC a community church that makes a difference in the lives of the people by providing holistic ministry for the mind, body, and soul.

Pastor Woolery has been married to the lovely Robin Jennifer Woolery for 22 years and they are the proud parents of four children:  Nia Tiye, Charles, Jr., Cameron Alexander, and Cayden Ayinde.



(773) 821-6240 (office)

(773) 821-4016 (fax)




201 East 95th Street

Chicago, Illinois 60619