Our Heavenly Father called Bishop Jerry Phillips of Georgetown, Delaware to his eternal home on Saturday, July 15, 2023. His earthly life began on August 28, 1938 in Kinston, North Carolina. He was the son of the late Exaner Phillips Sample.
While in Kinston, Jerry was raised by his grandparents, George and Sarah Phillips, where he was surrounded by his extended family members, many of whom eventually relocated to Delaware. At an early age, Jerry demonstrated excellence in playing the lead guitar. His talent was recognized and appreciated by many. As his talent for music developed, he readily acknowledged that his musical ability was a gift from the Lord. In his earlier years, Jerry worked at various odd jobs; however, he had a passion for playing lead guitar that never waned. As a testament to his love for music, Jerry formed a musical group called the Spaceman. Included in the group were his brother, the late Bennie “Monk” Phillips and his cousin, George “Spongy” Williams. Together, they traveled the east coast singing and playing guitars- true talent in every sense of the word.
Jerry was very devoted to his family and his wife, the late Evangelist Margaret Phillips. Out of love for their family, they ensured that their children learned about God. They sent their children to church so that they could grow spiritually and establish their own personal relationships with Him. Eventually, as God began to touch their hearts, both Jerry and Margaret felt a strong conviction to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and personal Savior. A significant turning point in their lives occurred when Jerry decided to use his talents for God and played/sang in church rather than performing in nightclubs.
Jerry was committed to the Lord and faithful to his commitments to his church. He felt that he was called into fellowship with the Lord and as he grew in his Christian walk, he transcended into a deep rooted relationship with God. In time, he responded to God’s call to preach the Word and he did so with an intensity and fervor that cannot be described by words. Jerry remained faithful to his calling and in the fullness of time, the Lord elevated him from Minister, to Elder, and ultimately to Bishop. He was engrossed in the Word of God and fully immersed in God. Regardless of where he was or to whom he was speaking, he would find a way to introduce God into the conversation. His zeal for God was evident even when he was at work as a knife sharpener at Townsend Poultry Plant in Millsboro, Delaware. While there, he witnessed to others about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many local churches grew as a result of Bishop Phillips’ support. He would often connect with other ministers and work together to win souls for the kingdom of God.
You could find Bishop Phillips at church whenever the doors were open, whether it was a revival or church engagement throughout the week. He even traveled to different states to attend services after working all day or after his Sunday service. He faithfully served in the Mt. Sinai Church network during his Christian journey until he was led by the Lord to serve at the Pentecostal Prayer Room under the leadership of Founder and Pastor, Elder Winnie Miller and subsequently, Pastor Alberta Elliott. The Pentecostal Prayer Room was one of the smaller churches in Millsboro, Delaware. Many bigger churches sought out Bishop Phillips to support their ministries by playing guitar. Bishop Phillips remained steadfast in his commitment to the Pentecostal Prayer Room and often stated, “I’m called to stay here to help the women that labor in the Gospel,” referencing the Apostle Paul from Philippians Chapter 4 to his family or anyone who spoke to him about the fame and fortune that he could have acquired by using his musical talent.
After his wife, Evangelist Margaret Phillips, went home to be with the Lord, he was blessed with another spouse, Ann Simpson Phillips, in 2003. For the past 20 years, she labored by his side while he was still active in the ministry until his son, Elder Larry Johnson, began leading the work at the Pentecostal Prayer Room. She cared for Bishop Phillips and loved him dearly. With God’s help, she took care of him until he went home to be with the Lord.
Bishop Phillips was preceded in death by his first wife, Evangelist Margaret Phillips, his only brother, Bennie Phillips and sons Conway Davis and James Johnson.
He leaves to cherish and rejoice in his memory: His wife, Elder Ann Phillips; five sons, Elder Larry Johnson (Michelle), Brian Phillips, Darnell Phillips, Jerod Phillips (Tiameca), and Jeron Phillips (Tracey); one daughter, Cynthia Epps (Edward); sisters, Beatrice Jones (Ronny) and Renee Wynn (Michael); daughter-in-law, Tana Love Warren (Gary), brothers-in-law, Gerald Foreman (Lorie), Douglas Foreman, Kevin Foreman; sisters-in- law, Margaret Phillips (the late Bennie Phillips); Mary Lockwood (Earl), Blanche Purnell, Latisha Foreman, Joyce Silla, Brenda Wise, and Casandra Johnson. He also leaves a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, nephews, nieces, cousins, and brothers and sisters in Christ.
Victoriously and Lovingly Submitted,