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“If it’s not about people, it’s broken.” For Lyle Wells, that truth has been the heartbeat of his life in ministry. Whatever the role - husband, father, pastor, business leader, coach - it’s always been about leading people with humility and integrity. Within church ministry, Lyle has led in a variety of positions from youth pastor to senior pastor to church planter. Since 2005, he’s also served as president of Integrus Leadership with a mission to equip and encourage kingdom leaders for greater impact. As the senior pastor of First Franklin, Lyle is excited to hit the ground running to preach the Word, shepherd the church, and reach the community of Franklin with the love of Jesus. Lyle and his wife, Ronda, have been married for over 30 years and have two grown children, Michael and Jordie. In addition to his devotion to family and ministry, Lyle has a passion for Alabama football, Hallmark movies, Dr. Pepper, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
Warren Simmons is a man with many hats, figuratively at least! As the church Business Administrator, he oversees maintenance, facilities set-up & reconfiguration, budget decisions, planning & implementation for church activities, and much more! Warren's favorite part of this role is working with the church staff. Favorite Bible verse: That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day. (2 Timothy 1:12) Favorite worship song: The King is Coming Current book I'm reading: The Five-Day Leader by Lyle Wells (reading it again!) Fun fact: I've learned to do timber frame joinery using traditional tools.
As the Kids Director at First Franklin since 2020, it's safe to say that no two days have been the same for Ashley Cates! From working on lesson plans to organizing community events to touching base with families throughout the week, every day brings something new. Her favorite part about ministry is the KIDS - their questions, funny conversations, and watching their faith grow. Favorite Bible verse:"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11) Favorite worship songs:Old Rugged Cross, Amazing Grace Current book I'm reading:Uncommon Marriage by Tony Dugee Fun fact:I was a high school mascot for one year!
Ministry Assistant/Financial Secretary
As the financial secretary for the church, Kara Baade (pronounced "body") is responsible for managing finances & payroll, but as a ministry assistant, she's also involved in nearly every aspect of the church. From scheduling pest control to making Sam's runs for church supplies to planning & organizing church-wide events, Kara loves serving others. "Some days are hard in ministry, but the work I see the Lord doing in myself, others and our church far outweighs any negatives!" Favorite Bible verse: "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9) Favorite worship song: Living Hope by Phil Wickham Current book I'm reading: All of Karin Slaughter's books. I love suspense! Fun fact: We have a custom-built Harley Davidson in our garage. It mostly sits covered up now, but in our younger years we rode a lot!
A "trader of all things," Fallon Morrow has been assisting the various ministries at First Franklin since 2020 - from organizing & planning to creating & purchasing, she helps keep the wheels turning behind-the-scenes. Fallon has a huge heart for people & loves those she works with and serves. Favorite Bible Verse: Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1) Favorite worship song: Midnight Cry When I'm not serving First Franklin, I'm: A taxi driver for my kids or volunteering at Franklin ISD Fun fact: I was on a reality show!