Rev. Franz Rigert
Rev. Franz Rigert
Rigert has deep roots in Wisconsin having been raised in Delavan where his
father served the Congregational United Church of Christ for over 30
years. Franz studied Pre-law and
Religion at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire where he earned a Bachelor
of Arts degree in 1989 and received the Exceptional Leadership Award. He declined an invitation from UW Madison Law
School when called by the Holy Spirit to attend seminary. Franz graduated with a Master of Divinity
degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois
where he received the Distinguished Preaching Award. He was ordained in 1992.
served as Associate Minister at Kingwood United Methodist Church in Buffalo
Grove, Illinois before being called in 1995 to serve Pilgrim United Church of
Christ in Grafton, Wisconsin. While at
Pilgrim, Franz led 25 mission trips domestically and internationally. The congregation developed a partnership with
an African-American Baptist church, sponsored a refugee resettlement family and
participated in several Habitat for Humanity projects. Franz facilitated a local ecumenical group,
fostered numerous interfaith conversations and participated in clergy support
groups. Over the years, the congregation
grew from 300 to 740 active members. He
led Pilgrim through a capital fundraising initiative and a major building
expansion. Franz was on the Southeast
Association Church and Ministry Team for six years, serving as the Chairperson
for four years. He recently served three
terms on the Conference Board of Directors.
Franz was instrumental in the founding of Common Ground, a grass roots
organization that works for positive change in the greater Milwaukee area, and
served on its Strategy Team for several years.
wife, Trinn, has taught Early Childhood Special Education in the Cedarburg School
District for 19 years. They have two
sons and a daughter: Mitchell, a college
student in Colorado, Jordan, a high school senior and Marianna, a high school
freshman. Franz enjoys hiking,
traveling, music and nature.