Phil and his bride Kim have been married since the summer of 1985. They have three fantastic children and live in Chicago.
Phil is the founder and lead pastor of the House Covenant Church (The House)—Chicago’s first Christ-centered, hip-hop worship service reaching people every Saturday. He also serves as an associate pastor for Lawndale Community Church (LCC) on the west side of Chicago. For more than two decades, Phil has served God full-time on the front lines of urban youth ministry. The House has been featured on BET, Fox News Chicago, MSNBC Nightly News, PBS, WGN, Jet (2006), Ebony (2010), Campus Life (2005), The New York Times, and The Chicago Sun-Times.
Phil is co-author of the book The Hip-Hop Church (InterVarsity Press, 2006) which is in its fifth edition. His writing is published in theological journals and in several magazines each month—including Gospel Today—and he has also contributed chapters and articles in several books relating to youth ministry. In addition, he is a contributing author and editor for the Urban Devotional Bible (Crossway Publishing, 2008) and a contributing writer for A Heart for the Community: New Models for Urban and Suburban Ministry (Moody Press, 2009).
Phil founded The House Development Corporation (HDC) to purchase and convert an abandoned firehouse into The Firehouse Community Arts Center (FCAC). In partnership with LCC and The House, the former Chicago fire station currently serves as an important venue for providing hands-on cultural programming and training.
Phil has his Bachelor of Arts degree from Trinity International University in communication and is currently a John Perkins scholar at Northern Theological Seminary, pursuing a Master of Divinity degree with an emphasis in Christian community development.
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Nearly 50 People Murdered in Chicago and No One Gives a *&%^$
My city of Chicago, known as the City with Big Shoulders, is now on its knees. But it’s not prostrate in some humble submission to God. No. Instead Chicago is weeping from the emotional exhaustion of having to bury too many youth who have been murdered.
Last year Chicago recorded 2,400 shootings and more than 505 murders, of which more than 108 were teenagers of color from seven violent communities. Already 2013, with less than two months into its birth, has seen 49 murders. Those of us on the ground seeking to bring change to this pandemic of violence know that if the Chicago cold winters are this violent, then the hot summers will not cool off. On top of the hard and constant news about those who are killing and being killed, Chicago Police stats show that only 34 percent of the murders get solved within one year. If the detectives have two years on a case, then the rate barely reaches 50 percent. The national average of murders solved is 64 percent. New York’s rate is only 60 percent. In Chicago, though, one has a 50-50 chance of getting away with a murder.