608-846-7880, ext. 211
Email Rev. Franz Rigert
Franz 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.
Franz 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 over 700 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 then served three terms on the Conference Board of Directors. In the fall of 2014 Franz was called to serve as the Wisconsin Conference Minister for the United Church of Christ.
His wife, Trinn, has taught Early Childhood Special Education in the Cedarburg School District for 24 years. They have two sons and a daughter: Mitchell, who works and resides in Tacoma, Washington, Jordan, a student at UW La Crosse, and Marianna, a student at UW Eau Claire. Franz enjoys hiking, traveling, music and nature.