Phillips Metropolitan C.M.E. Church was named for Bishop Charles Henry Phillips, the 8th Bishop of the C.M.E. Church. Our congregation began with a group of devoted believers who banded together to praise and serve God in the Methodist way, which they had come to know and love. This band of believers met in March of 1932, in a multi-family home located on 205 Bellevue Street and founded a congregation to be known as Phillips Temple Colored Methodist Episcopal Church. The founding members were as follows:
Mrs. Marie Godfrey Rev. James Purke-Founding Pastor
Mrs. Annie B. Hart Mrs. Mayola Napper
Mrs. Richard Porter Rev. Burton Owens
From 1932-1938, three men of God served as pastor of this new body of believers, Rev. James Purke, Rev. E. R. Coleman and Rev. J. A. Fuller. The first Presiding Elder was Elder Blaine who was followed by Elder Walker. Between 1932 and 1941, Phillips Temple C.M.E. Church worshipped in five different locations; from 205 Bellevue Street to Avon Street…to Russell Street, under the leadership of Pastor McBeth. On February 25, 1941, the name of the congregation was changed to Phillips Metropolitan Colored Methodist Episcopal Church.
In 1952, Rev. John Wesley Nance and his wife were welcomed as Phillips’ pastoral family. Pastor Nance served the church for 18 years (1952-1970).
On February 12, 1970, Rev. John Wesley Parker and his community Sunday School (approximately 100 youth), joined our congregation and in August of 1970, Rev. John Wesley Parker was appointed by Bishop Henry C. Bunton as pastor of Phillips.
On March 28, 1977, Rev. Dean Jones was appointed Pastor of Phillips. Rev. Jones was a young man, new to the ministry and full of zeal. On February 26, 1978, under the leadership of Rev. Jones, and under the guidance of Bishop Nathaniel Linsey and Presiding Elder McCloud, a new church home was purchased at 700 Blue Hills Avenue.
On April 8, 1978, Rev. John L. Ghee and his lovely wife, Christine, came to lead our congregation.
In July of 1979, Phillips received Pastor John L. Adams and his wife, Mary T. Adams. Rev. Adam’s first sermon was, “Satan Goes to Prayer Meeting”.
Rev. Don C. Morgan was appointed to Phillips in October of 1980 and Rev. L. K. Bennett succeeded him in January of 1981. In August of 1982, Rev. John D. Hadley became our pastor. Rev. Hadley was an experienced leader and an anointed singer.
On December 19, 1982, Rev. Austin L. Harold was appointed pastor.
On July 31, 1983, the congregation was blessed when Rev. James B. Walker was appointed Pastor by Bishop Oree Broomfield as Pastor. During Rev. Walker’s tenure, Phillips has been blessed to accomplish many things…the liquidation of a $30,000 debt through the sale of our 127 Mather Street property, the liquidation of the mortgage on our 700 Blue Hills Ave property in 1986 and other accomplishments related to the property at 2550 Main Street. In 2010, Rev. Walker was elected as the 56th Bishop of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church and was assigned to preside over the Ninth Episcopal District, which encompasses our churches on the West Coast of the United States.
From 2010 to 2014, Rev. Dr. Arthur S. Green was appointed by former member of Phillips and Presiding Prelate of the Seventh Episcopal District, Bishop Thomas Lanier Hoyt, Jr. Under Dr. Green’s administration the church liquidated the mortgage on the 2550 Main Street property.
In 2014, Rev. Juliano Andujo was assigned by Bishop James B. Walker, the freshly assigned presiding prelate of the Seventh Episcopal District, which spans from Massachusetts to South Carolina. Rev. Andujo had a passion for souls and presided over one of the most successful Friendship Evangelism Sundays that left standing room only in the sanctuary.
From 2015-2017, Rev. Paul and Rev. Dr. Valerie Everett where assigned as co-pastors of Phillips, the first ever co-pastorate at Phillips and one of the first in the entire denomination. They delivered memorable tag team sermons. The Everetts expertise in pastoral care was second to none.
In 2017, Rev. Kevin A. Brown II was assigned to pastor Phillips. His administrative acumen proved invaluable for providing stability to the church.
On August 9, 2019, Rev. Jeremy L. Williams, M.Div., was assigned by Bishop Walker as the lead pastor. In the brief time that he has been at Phillips over 40 people have joined and the Church. Also, Phillips has fully embraced Mission 1500, which is a goal to weekly reach 1,500 people weekly. We are excited about what God is going to do in this connection of pastor and people.
Additional information about our founders:
There are numerous precious memories of Phillips revolving around our founding members and other persons who were positioned as mothers and fathers of the congregation.
Mother Napper is remembered as a Missionary and Stewardess leading the congregation as a person who shared much in giving.
Mother Richard Porter loved the Methodist tradition of hymn singing. She was always a part of the business aspects of the church as well as a faithful stewardess and missionary.
Rev. Owens was a faithful man of God, quiet, but always supportive in the ministry.
Mother Vicie Robinson will be remembered for her work as a stewardess. She loved the communion liturgy. Many may remember her insistence on singing “What can wash away my sins, nothing but the blood of Jesus…”.
Mother Robinson was a missionary, stewardess, Superintendent of Sunday School and very active with the youth.
Mother Mary Holmes served wherever she was needed. She worked with the trustees, took care of the building on Bellevue Street, and she was a member of the Stewardess Board.
Our history would be incomplete without the mention of Mrs. George, from Pittsville, Massachusetts. Mrs. George associated with Phillips for a brief time, but during that time, God laid it upon her heart to initiate the effort to renovate the 315-317 building. She successfully challenged the members to raise funds to remove partitions and expand the sanctuary.
Joe Easton, a steward, and recording secretary of the church, kept records for the church. He was a man who made sure that the business of the church was kept in order.
James Marshall was a faithful steward in the church.
Many will remember Sis. Marie Jones, who was “there” for everything and no one could line a hymn like Sis. Jones.