Biography of H.E. Phillips


Harlin Elwood Phillips was born October 31, 1916 near Bowling Green, Kentucky. His parents were Mr. Hollie and Mrs. Beatrice Phillips.

He married his high school sweetheart, Pauline (Polly) Younger in 1935, and was blessed with four daughters, eleven grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

Elwood was baptized into Christ in November of 1929 where his paternal grandfather, Charles Phillips was an elder at the Twelfth St. church of Christ in Bowling Green, Kentucky. His grandmother, Mrs. Ella (Martin) Phillips was very influential in his conversion.

As an adult, he worked with churches in Sulphur Springs and Belmont Heights in Tampa, while supporting himself with a secular job.

About 1942/43, the church in Dover, Florida asked him to labor with them on a full time basis. Later he preached in Lake City (1944), Clearwater (1945), then for the East University Avenue church in Gainesville (1953 to 1960).

In 1960, Elwood returned to Tampa and worked with the Forest Hills congregation (1960-1975).

In 1975, he began preaching for the Fletcher Avenue church which became the South Livingston Avenue church of Christ where he stayed for many years.

Brother Phillips served as an elder for both the Fletcher Avenue and the South Livingston church of Christ and was tireless in his efforts to reach lost souls.

He also conducted gospel meetings throughout most of his life at a rate of seven to twelve per year in about some twenty states, once preaching to an audience of more than 1,000 people. He traveled as far away as Germany, England, Switzerland, and Italy.

H.E. Phillips was an extensive writer. His articles have appeared in the Old Gospel Broadcast, the Apostolic Times, the Gospel Advocate, and Preacher of the Word.

In January 1960, he and James P. Miller launched Searching the Scriptures "to teach the pure gospel as it is taught in the New Testament," "to allow brethren to freely discuss controversial matters," and in all things "to be scriptural, fair, sincere, and faithful" (joint "Editorial . . . A New Paper Is Born," Ibid., Jan. 1960, p. 2).

Elwood preached full time until he reached his 80s and then continued to preach as he was needed. In April of 2000, he left this life to be with the Lord forever.

Please use the links on the right to read wonderful tributes from his wife, daughters, grandchildren, and fellow servants of Christ, showing him to be a humble, dedicated, and tireless preacher of the gospel.