The Rev. Eddie Phillips, a Baptist minister for more than 60 years who founded and led churches in Sacramento and Reno, died June 9 of age-related complications, his family said. He was 93.
The Rev. Phillips started his ministry in Sacramento during the early 1950s. He was ordained at Mt. Zion Baptist Church and earned a degree from a Texas theological seminary. He served as pastor at Friendship Baptist Church and founding pastor at Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church, both in the Oak Park neighborhood.
"He was one of the first to really study and get a college degree in the black ministry in Sacramento," said his niece Barbara Daniels.
Called to Nevada, the Rev. Phillips spent 14 years as founding pastor at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church in Reno. He rose in Nevada as president of the Congress of Christian Education, moderator of the Progressive District Baptist Association and first vice president of the Nevada Baptist State Convention.
He returned to Sacramento in 1975 as pastor at Friendship Baptist Church until he retired in 2000.
Born Oct. 28, 1918, in Vidalia, La., the Rev. Phillips previously lived in Washington state. He worked for Southern Pacific railroad and Red River Lumber Co. and was a janitor at the state Capitol.
He is survived by his wife of 20 years, Fredonia. He had two children during a 52-year marriage to his first wife, Rosia Lee White, who died in 1991. He was predeceased by his son, the Rev. Roosevelt Coleman.
Survivors include a daughter, Gwen Hubbard of Sacramento; sister, Annie Edwards of Sacramento; stepdaughter, Lovetta Gibson of Sacramento; stepson, Leonard Gibson of Sacramento; more than 15 grandchildren; more than 40 great-grandchildren; and more than a dozen great-great-grandchildren.
A viewing is set for 4 to 6 p.m. today, followed by a quiet hour from 7 to 8 p.m. today, at Morgan Jones Funeral Home, 4200 Broadway, Sacramento. A home-going celebration is set for 11 a.m. Friday at St. John Missionary Baptist Church, 2130 Fourth St., Sacramento.
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