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Mt. Calvary pastor celebrates 23rd anniversary

Philip McPhee says one of his personal highlights over the years was witnessing a mother give her life to Christ after losing her son
  • Mt. Calvary Baptist Cathedral Pastor Reverend Philip McPhee celebrates his 23rd pastoral anniversary. PHOTOS: TORRELL GLINTON

Guardian Lifestyles Editor

Published: Jul 18, 2013

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I don't want to leave when I'm unable to leave. I want to leave while I still have some strength to enjoy my life outside pastoring of the church. So my next five to six years will be geared towards transforming the church and preparing the church for the next leader who will succeed me in a couple of years.

After 23 years of pastoral ministry at Mt. Calvary Baptist Cathedral, Reverend Philip McPhee says he leads a church with many successful ministries he’s proud of. But during his two-plus decades of delivering God’s word to the people, one of McPhee’s personal highlights was being able to minister to a mother who just lost her son and witnessing her give her life to Christ that very same day.

“She came and joined the church and from that day to now it was one of the highlights of my life – to see how she changed her life after the losing of her son. Now she sings in the choir and is committed. She does not miss a Sunday service. She loves her church. She loves her pastor,” said McPhee.

McPhee, 60, recently celebrated his 23rd pastoral anniversary with a service presided over by Reverend Tellis J. Chapman, from Pastor of Galilee Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, who spoke to McPhee’s membership about moving to the next level.

McPhee said Chapman’s sermon challenged him in a powerful way, and encouraged him to never give up, and that he has to stay focused and be willing to move to the next level.

“Even though at times there may be people who don’t understand and don’t appreciate you at the beginning, they will later have a sense of appreciation after you have fulfilled your call in terms of doing what God has called you to do,” said McPhee.

The Mt. Calvary leader said leading the membership for 23 years has been God’s gift to him.

“It’s God’s gift to any pastor who is allowed to lead the flock of God for a number of years and remain in good health in a very productive ministry in terms of saving of souls,” he said.

“Being called pastor is a gift that God gives to unique people, as the word pastor is the most powerful word in terms of ministry because it gives credence to the point that you shepherd a flock and are their spiritual leader. That’s a God-given privilege.”

McPhee leads a church with a membership he said amounts to several hundred; but he does not think a flock should be measured by size. He said he measures his flock in terms of people’s lives being changed and transformed and being able to see the evidence of it as people go about their everyday lives.

“We are a growing church, and we are excited about what God has called us to do which is feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, minister at the prison – and that’s where I get my happiness from – which is doing what God has called us to do as a church,” said the leader of 23 years.

“I’m proud of the feeding program. I’m proud of helping young people to understand their worth and value in life, and the impact that we have in the Bain Town area, and just reaching out to those that are less fortunate.”

McPhee, who thinks he is an atypical pastor, said he believes in reaching out to people, helping people, touching people’s lives and helping young people to obtain education to better themselves. He said he is a leader who has a strong belief in family structure and building strong family relationships.

“I don’t measure my members... all of them from the most ignorant to the most sensible from the black to the white, to the rich to the poor they all belong to me and I make myself accessible to them at all times. They don’t have to make an appointment to see their pastor, they just need to come and if there is a need I try my best to fulfill that need to the best of my ability,” he said.

McPhee, who pastors the church started by his father, Rev. W.G. McPhee 68 years ago, and who pastored for 45 years, said the celebration of his 23rd pastoral anniversary was special to him. But that he’s not looking forward to another 23 years at the helm.

“I don’t want to leave when I’m unable to leave,” said McPhee. “I want to leave while I still have some strength to enjoy my life outside pastoring of the church. So my next five to six years will be geared towards transforming the church and preparing the church for the next leader who will succeed me in a couple of years. I’m excited about that and want the church to continue to grow and be a voice in the nation and heard, and a voice that people respect. I’m working towards that in terms of my conclusion of my pastoral job and that’s one of my major focuses now, transforming the church for new leadership in the next few years because we have a powerful youth ministry, a Sunday School, young adult ministry, a senior ministry and a ministry that goes to the prison. So we have a very powerful church that touches every aspect of the world in pursuit of doing ministry for the whole man.

During McPhee’s anniversary service, Canadian fashion designer Peter Nygard, who visited McPhee’s church “blessed” McPhee with $10,000.

“God has been good to me, and I thank God for the multiplicity of blessings that he has bestowed upon me, and that celebration [for my 23rd anniversary] put me on a level beyond my comprehension,” said McPhee.


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