Rev. Jake S. Phillips, 94, went home to be with his Lord Friday, April 25 at his home in Madison, surrounded by his wife, daughter and Big Bend Hospice caregivers.
Jacob Silvanus Phillips was born on May 6, 1919 in Granite Fall, North Carolina to Parks Lee and Eva Ellen Moore Phillips. Welcoming his birth were siblings, Oscar (Ott), Edna and Ethel. When Jake was three-years-old, his youngest brother, Paul was born. The Phillips lived “in the mill village,” part of the year and on “the farm,” at Dudley Shoals part of the year. They attended Concord Baptist Church and Jake served as a deacon.
Most folks worked at Shufford Mills as did Jake for a while beginning at age sixteen. Jake and Edna were married June 11, 1938, and their daughter Jean was born in 1939. Jake took his family to Wilmington, N.C. to work in the shipyard but moved back to Granite Falls, where he worked at the Granite Falls Machine Shop and later sold insurance. It was during this period of time that Jake sand lead in the Songsters Quartet.
Jake served his country during World War II as an automatic rifleman with the 114th Infantry, Company F of the United States Army from September 1, 1944 to April 19, 1946. He was awarded the American Theater Service Medal EAME Service Medal with two Bronze Service Stars and a World War II Victory medal.
It was at Ridgecrest Baptist Assembly, N.C. in 1957 that Jake hear and responded to the call of the Lord to move to Monroeville, Monroe County, Alabama to serve as associate pastor at the Southside Baptist Church. In 1960, he moved to Evergreen and to the Conecuh Baptist Association. When he came to Covington Baptist Association, Covington County, Alabama in March of 1964, it was with deep conviction that God was calling him to serve Him in that place. West Highland Baptist Church, Andalusia, Alabama was Jake and Edna’s home church where they faithfully served for thirty plus years. During his tenure he was elected President of Directors of Missions for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions. When he resigned June 30, 1984, he did so with the conviction that God was once again leading him to retirement. His retirement as DOM did not include retirement from preaching and teaching of God’s Word, for the call to preach is a life-long call. He continued to do interim work in Alabama until he moved to Florida in 1995 after the death of his first wife Edna. After moving to Madison and finding himself without a helpmeet, he courted and married Judy Wheeler from Andalusia, Alabama. Even in Florida, he did interim work and taught the Men’s Bible Class at Madison First Baptist Church. Even into his early nineties he was still serving faithfully.
Brother Jake is survived by his wife, Judy C. Phillips of fourteen years; daughter Jean P. McWilliams; grandson Clayte McWilliams (Vickie) of Madison; granddaughter, Linda M. Boyer (Ron); great grandchildren, Carley Luke and Jake Luke of Darien, Ga.; stepsons: Joseph Wheeler of Valdosta, Ga. and John Wheeler and family of Andalusia, Al.; Sister-in-law, Rilla B. Phillips (Paul) of Granite Falls, N.C., a host if nieces, nephews and extended families in North Carolina, Alabama, etc., countless “preacher boys,” ministers and other friends. He was preceded in death by his first wife of 57 years, Edna McGee Phillips, his parents, Parks Lee and Eva Ellen Moore Phillips and his siblings Ethel P. Rum, Oscar Phillips, Edna P. Weaver, Paul Phillips and his son-in-law Buddy McWilliams.
The family received friend on Monday, April 28 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Beggs Funeral Home in Madison. A celebration of his life was held on Tuesday, April 29 at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church in Madison. Internment will be at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Madison.
For those wishing to make memorial donations, these may be made to GuideStone Financial Resources at 2401 Cedar Spring Rd, Dallas, TX. 75201-1498, designated to ARMS, Big Bend Hospice at 1723 Mahan Center Blvd, Tallahassee, Fl., 32308-5428 or Madison First Baptist, P.O. Box 307, Madison, Fl., 32340, designated to the mission fund.
Beggs Funeral Home Madison is in charge of the arrangements (850) 973-2258. You may send your condolences to the family by visiting our website www.beggsfuneral.com.