In 1909 Rev. and Mrs. Z. Z. Johnson along with Mrs. Avant, Mrs. Lillie Wiggins, Mrs. Dwellington and Mrs. Tommie Lewis organized the first C.M.E. Church of Phoenix, AZ. During this time a building was built on the corner of 7th St. and Jefferson. It was named Lucy Phillips CME church in honor of the First Lady of the Episcopal District, Mrs. Lucy Phillips, Wife of Bishop Charles Henry Phillips.
Lucy Phillips was often dubbed the “Friendly Church on the corner.” Early church events included bbq’s, fish fries and other events hosted at Eastlake Park in order to support church ministries. Rev. Johnson served until 1917. Some early pastors of Phillips Rev. Norris 1917-1918, Rev. A.C Caldwell 1918-1919, Rev. M Thompson 1919-1925, Rev. Allen Clark 1925-1926, Rev. F. Haines 1926-1928, Rev. G. L. Hayes1928-1930, Rev. Hilyard 1930-1932 Rev. Edmonds 1932-1934 and Rev. Alexander 1934-1936.
In 1936, Rev. L. Rucker was sent to Lucy Phillips. Under his 8 year leadership, the old church at 7th and Jefferson was paid in full and money was set aside for the purchase of a new facility.
In 1944, Rev. C. E. Burns was assigned to Lucy Phillips. His pastorate was marked by undertaking a $10,000 rally that allowed the church to purchase the lots at our current locations 14th st and Adams in 1945. The congregation worshipped in a tent during this time of construction and was joined in worship by the new Presiding bishop and His spouse, Bishop F. L. Lewis. The building was completed in 1947 and held the first session of the Arizona- New Mexico Annual Conference.
The next Pastor assigned was Rev. W. M. Thomas 1948-1950. Rev. Thomas increased the membership, organized a Youth church and worked closely with Bro. Booker T. smith to make improvements to the landscaping and additions of the church.
In 1950, Rev. L. J. Harper was assigned. He made many contributions including building the Parsonage, Church classrooms, ladies lounge and pews. Rev. C. W. Williams followed as Pastor bringing with him the Mammoth Tea.
Rev. M Harrison followed and as a great talent, painted a Mural and Cross for the Church as well as purchasing 3 lots to the east.
The Next Episcopal Leader, Bishop Walter H. Amos changed the name of the church to its current name Phillips Memorial Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. Rev. J. A. Covington was assigned to Phillips for four years. In that time, the church was able to pay off the three lots to the east, tile and carpet the floors.
Rev. H. J. Johnsons was only with Phillips for a short time, but due to his Administrative gifts, the church was able to pay all of its obligations. After his home going Presiding Elder Al. Jones stepped in and served as Pastor.
The Next Episcopal Leader, Bishop Norris S. Curry assigned Rev. Lawrence P. Lakey to Phillips. He was only able to serve a short time. He was succeeded by Rev. V. L. Brown, who established the Voices of Phillips and the Second Mile Club as well as Vesper Services. Sadly, Bishop Curry passed away during Rev. Brown’s tenure. Bishop James Cummings was called to replace him. And during that transition,
Presiding Elder Al Jones served as pastor until Rev. Loomis Dillard was able to come and serve the remainder of the Conference year.
Succeeding Rev. Dillard were the following pastors: Rev. Albert Foreman, Rev. Dr. Edward L. Smith and from 1984-1988 Rev. Willie Mays. Bishop Cummings passed away during his tenure as bishop and was followed by Bishops Nathaniel Lindsay and Bishop E. Lynn Brown, who served from 1986 to 2002.
In July 1988 Rev. Jack Brown was assigned to Phillips. He brought in 30 new members and under his leadership and the help of Bro. Robert Warren, the Modular building was purchased.
Pastors that Followed: Rev. B. Emmanuel Luther, Rev. Jacob Colbert, Rev. Deanna Gipson, Rev. William J. Johnson and Rev. J. L. Henderson.
In 2002 Bishop Henry Williamson was assigned to the Ninth Episcopal District. In 2005 Rev. Felix M. Jones was assigned to Phillips. Under his leadership, the Parking lot was paved.
In 2010, Bishop James B. Walker who is a native of the Ninth Episcopal District was assigned as bishop. In August of 2012, Rev. Dr. Reginald D. Walton was assigned as Senior Pastor. Working in partnership with the members of Phillips, new persons have united with Phillips; the modular building has been remodeled, new chairs purchased, multiple electronic giving platforms, a 501c-3 nonprofit status, a new logo was created, the choir purchased a new sound system, the parsonage renovated and renamed the Guiding Light Administrative Building, and the grounds have been updated. First Lady Dominique Cannon Walton helped to create an award-winning website and the church began streaming services, weekly prayer and weekly Bible Study through its Facebook page (Phillips Memorial CME Phoenix). Some of the ministries of The “Little Red Brick Church on the Corner” has done over the past few years include: hosting Town Halls on Policing, partnered with the Refugee Women’s Health Clinic, held Communion in Eastlake Park, and led protest marches for justice. An active social justice advocate, Rev. Walton serves in various capacities in the community as The Chairperson of The Eastlake Park Neighborhood Association, The Religious Affairs Chairperson for the African American Christian Clergy Coalition, City of Phoenix Human Relations Commission and more.
In July of 2014, Bishop Bobby R. Best was assigned to the Ninth Episcopal District.
Upon Bishop Best’s untimely passing in 2020, Bishop Paul A. G. Stewart, Sr. came out of retirement to serve as the Bishop of the Ninth Episcopal District until 2022.