joon & Julie hwang


Joon Hwang was born in Korea, grew up in Canada, and began his children & youth ministry as a college student of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL. After graduating from college, he continued to study (M.Div from the Trinity Evangelical Divinity School & M.A. from the North Park Theological Seminary) and led several youth ministries in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago. He came to New Life Church as a youth pastor in 2004, became an English Ministry pastor in 2010, and is now the lead pastor of New Life Covenant Church since May of 2011. He is ordained in the Evangelical Covenant Church. Joon loves to meet people, network with pastors and churches, and eat all kinds of food. He also has a burning passion to see revival and the transformation in the Chicago region. Joon is married to Julie and they have 2 sons and 3 daughters.

Julie was born in Korea, raised in the USA and Korea as an ambassador's kid. She is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute, majoring in Missions and also studied Christian Education. Her calling is to serve Jesus in anyway or form He calls her to and her mission is to live out for Jesus to the extreme. She sees everything in her life as a training session and an opportunity to be intimate with the Lord. Her favorite thing to do personally is writing a journal with a cup of coffee and yummy bread of some sort. 

Grace lee

children's ministry director

Grace Lee has a heart for the next generation as she has been involved in many different youth and children’s ministries and programs. Grace is currently a private home school co-op teacher for the pre-school and the lower elementary school students.  She has a educational background in the special ed & social work. She was also a missionary to Turkey when she was in college. She hopes to see the children at New Life Covenant Church find their identity in Jesus and become intimate, passionate, and radical followers of Christ. 

John Kim

Associate Pastor of pastoral care

John was born and raised in the Chicagoland area. John is accompanied by his wife Esther and their two daughters, Sofia and Lucille, and their son, Elisha. 

Although growing up in church it wasn’t until a life changing encounter with Jesus in his 30s that he decided to pursue a life in ministry. He quit his job to pursue ministry by attending North Park Theological Seminary in 2016 and graduated in 2019 with an M. Div. 

John has a passion for helping others encounter Christ as they embark on their journey to better their emotional and spiritual health. In addition, John has a heart for worship and prayer and continues to pray for revival throughout the Chicagoland area. If you’re struggling spiritually or emotionally don’t be afraid to reach out to him for a listening ear over a meal or a cup of joe.

Ivan A. alston

pastoral intern

Ivan A. Alston, born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, and is a veteran of the US Armed Forces, Department of the Army. 

Ivan accepted the Lord Jesus as his Savior while serving in Heidelberg, Germany. He served in various ministries positions in Vierheim, Germany, and was ordained in January 2000. In 2001, his family relocated to Rhode Island. He served in various positions at the Living Hope Assembly of God in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, whose ministry focused on inter-city residence. 

In 2004, he relocated to Atsugi, Japan. He served as Youth Pastor and eventually became Co-Pastor with his wife at International Christian Ministries (ICM) Ebina, Japan. In June 2006, he earned a certificate in Theological Studies with the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC). Currently, he is pursuing M.Div at the North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL. Ivan is married to Sonya, and they have one son, Ivan Jr.