Pastor Wil Franco is a rock star on stage at Highpoint Church in Memphis. Wil’s passion for Christ and preaching the Gospel is quite inspiring. Pastor Wil moved to Memphis in the fall 2019 to serve as Lead Pastor at Highpoint.
Wil was born and raised in Chicago, and his parents are both immigrants who came to the United States for a better life. His mom is from Puerto Rico, and his dad is from Cuba. Wil was raised Catholic, but in high school he attended a non-denominational church with his mother and started attending the youth group. He really enjoyed it, and it was during this time that his passion for Jesus and faith in Jesus grew. It was also at youth group that he met his wife, Lylli. They have been married for 10 years and have two little girls.
Wil attended Northern Illinois University for two years studying accounting. During this time Wil was going to Bible study, and one day the leader invited him to teach one of the Bible study classes. Wil was a bit shocked but he studied the Bible, taught it, and the leader and students were highly impressed! Wil was inspired and followed this path, putting his faith in God.
Wil has been in pastoral ministry for 14 years, serving in nearly every role imaginable: children's pastor, youth pastor, college pastor, and, most recently, as Campus Pastor and Teaching Pastor at Wheaton Bible Church (Tri-Village Church) in Streamwood, Illinois. While there, about once a month he preached to the 3,000 plus people. Wil enjoyed preaching, but felt the calling that it was time for him to go figure out what God wanted him to do, so he prayed about it and applied for the position at Highpoint.
Wil was thrilled to get the position as Lead Pastor at Highpoint, and loves the diversity in Memphis. Each week, he leads the congregation and believes in grace and gratitude rather than guilt. “I have seen that a much greater motivation for people is grace and gratitude instead of guilt. That is going to be much more wind in your sails.”
“One of the biggest reasons I became a pastor is because I had five best friends in high school, and none of them would think of going to church, so I wanted to start the type of church that my friends from high school could walk into and not feel judged. I wanted to be the type of pastor that no one expected, someone they could talk about life with,” Wil says.
“I want Highpoint to be a place where people from any background or religious affiliation can show up, and what they are going to hear when they get here is that everybody in God’s eyes are the same, we are all loved by Him, but we all miss the mark and have sin, but this is a place where we are OK, and when you walk in you can take off your religious mask and admit you don’t have it figured out, but it’s OK because Jesus had it figured out for me,” Wil says.
“I am excited about being a pastor in Memphis...I love the culture of Memphis...I want people to come here every week and be overwhelmed by the grace of God. A wave of grace and gratitude; going out into the world with an overflow of grace and gratitude,” Wil says.
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