Meet Pastor Phill

It surprises me to realize I’ve been called to Crown of Life for 12 years now – time just seems to zoom by, doesn’t it?

I am a Southern California native who, while living in the Chicago area, met Hollis, my wife. She grew up with a church home, something new to me, so when I woke up, I was in the Missouri Synod, thank you Jesus. Together 50 years, we have one daughter, living with her family – which includes our grandson – in California.

Second career pastors are common in our Synod these days; I am one of them. I was a small business operator in California when God called me to be Administrator at Grace/Escondido. If that wasn’t enough, He waited 4 years, then sent me to seminary at Concordia/Irvine in the Cross-cultural Ministry Center. My MDiv is from CMC, my certification is from Concordia Seminary St. Louis; I was ordained at Grace in 2006 and served there as Associate Pastor until 2009. Called to Crown of Life in that year, I became Senior Pastor here when our Associate, Rev. Gary Smith, was ordained in 2012.

The Old Testament and the New Testament, being called into being by the Holy Spirit, and intended finally to be one book with 66 parts. I’ve always felt it a privilege to try to link the parts together in preaching and teaching. I find many folks have a misapprehension about God’s infinite grace so visible in the Old Testament, yet perhaps hidden in circumstance and history.

Lutheran Christian education is and has always been important to me personally. I’m pleased to say that is shared by the worshipping community at Crown of Life and the Mission Board it supports here. We have a responsibility in the kingdom to help, as we can, raise up the next generation of Christians, especially in a world changing so rapidly as it is.

We do like to travel, not so possible in these Covid years. I am a historian at heart, and an Anglophile by study and predilection, a collector of things that clutter, and an appreciator of the rich musical history of the Lutheran Church.

Oh, and – did I mention our grandson? I’m a fan of his, too.

I pray we can meet one day and share the Lord’s Supper in the Lutheran tradition of our parish here in Sun City West.