The Gospel Coalition


Sandy Willson

Sandy Willson is Senior Pastor of Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, TN

In 1995, Sanders L. (Sandy) Willson was called as senior minister to Second Presbyterian Church, Memphis, Tennessee, a 160-year old church with a great legacy and a need for revitalization.  Over ten years, the church has doubled its Sunday worship attendance, tripled its missions giving, and revitalized its worship, educational, pastoral, and lay leadership development ministries.

In Memphis, Sandy is a co-founder and board member of Memphis Center for Urban Theologcial Studies; a co-founder and chair of NEXUS (leadership mentoring program for emerging adult professional leaders); a co-founder of the Clayborn Council, a collaborative urban church planting ministry; the founder of Reformed Ministries Network (a regional church planting ministry); and a co-founder and board member of the Second Presbyterian Church Foundation for missions.  He serves on the Board of Reference for Union University and Reformed Theological Seminary.  Sandy’s Sunday morning messages are broadcast on WREG TV (CBS affiliate); he also teaches 500 men at “AMEN Bible Study” every Thursday at 6:30am.

Internationally, Sandy ministers with partners in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East and speaks regularly in North American churches on the topic of world missions.  He is on the Board of Directors for World Relief. 

Sandy received a B. S. from the University of Virginia (1973), an M. Div. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (1982), and a D. D. from Crichton College in Memphis, Tennessee (2001).  He previously pastored Memorial Presbyterian Church in Elizabethton, Tennessee (1981–1986) and Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church in Lookout Mountain, Tennessee (1986–1995).

Sandy and Allison were married in 1972 and have five children, who all bring great joy to their parents.