Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Rev W.A. Phillips

The death of the Rev W.A. Phillips at the age of 79 removes from the fellowship of South African Baptists a greatly beloved brother, whose name will always be inseparably associated with the founding of the Lambaland Mission.

Brought up under the immediate influence of C.H. Spurgeon and in a home whose evangelical influence sent a large number of sons and daughters into Christian work, he was baptised at an early age. He reached adolescence in the days when missionary zeal among Baptists had been fired by the heroic exploits of Comber, Grenfell and many anothers, who, at fearful cost to life and health, were opening up the Congo River for the work of the Kingdom. This caught the imagination and directed the desires of the eager young man. As a child he had had a clear call to give a life’s service, and he had hoped that it would be as a missionary and in Africa, but ill-health interfered.

The pioneer spirit burned unquenchably within the spare frame of W.A. Phillips and eventually he opened up the country of the Lambaspeaking peoples for the Gospel.

He was pre-eminently a man of prayer and one who enjoyed constant and intimate fellowship with God. He had a more than ordinary gift for personal evangelism. An engagingly direct and earnest manner of speech, transparent sincerity, super-abounding kindliness and sympathy, together with something of the indefinable aura of the mystic; he had power to break down barriers of reserve and to open the heart and mind to an appeal. Many, both black and white, owe their experience of Christ and the deepening of their spiritual life to an encounter with the Rev W.A. Phillips.

Written by: Syd Hudson-Reed

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