The Center for Healthy Churches is pleased to announce Dr. Phil Christopher has joined our team of Consultants. Dr. Phil Christopher is a dynamic leader with 45 years of experience in various ministry settings. He retired from First Baptist Church, Abilene, Texas in 2021 after twenty-six years as Senior Pastor. During his years in ministry, he served on staff in Second Baptist, Lubbock, and Broadway Baptist, Ft. Worth. He went on to pastor Northwest Baptist in Ardmore, Oklahoma, Highland Baptist in Louisville, Kentucky, and First Baptist, in Abilene, Texas. These churches gave Phil a broad understanding of the unique challenges each congregation faces. In each of these settings, Phil cultivated an understanding of team ministry among the staff and church members.
At First Baptist, Abilene, he led the church through five Capital Campaigns. One of the campaigns, called “Faces and Places”, raised $5 million strictly for local and global missions rather than brick and mortar. The last campaign raised $8 million to purchase and renovate the First Christian Church facility and transform it into the Hope Center. This hub downtown will be home to the church’s community ministries to the working poor and homeless, the Daycare Center, and the annex to the church’s counseling ministry. Phil understands the need for the church to develop a missional identity in today’s world.
He understands the importance of the church being connected to the community and the role of servant leadership. He served as chair of the Abilene United Way Annual Campaign and as chair of the Board. He was selected as United Way’s “Volunteer of the Year.” He also served as chair of the Hospitality House which built a housing facility across from the local prison to provide a place to stay for families visiting inmates. When he retired, the local newspaper carried a front-page article naming him “Pastor to the City.” Phil and Mary were featured in the “Abilene Scene” magazine in 2020 as “Abilene Influencers.” You can reach Phil at Philc@chchurches.org.
CHC Assistant Director Matt Cook says:
Phil Christopher brings decades of wisdom to our team at CHC. He has lead churches to do creative things toward making a missional impact in their community. We are honored to have Phil join the Center for Healthy Churches.
CHC and Pneumatrix Announce Strategic Partnership
In addition to the excitement of bringing Phil onto the team, we’re also excited to announce that The Center for Healthy Churches and PneuMatrix are now formally partnering to offer a joint consulting ministry, under the banner of TheChangingChurch.org.
PneuMatrix is a west coast-based organization with ties to Presbyterian life and has been working with CHC informally for a number of years on a variety of initiatives to serve such congregations. Our partnership will offer a broader array of services to congregations across the trans-denominational spectrum. While both organizations will continue to operate as independent entities, their collaboration offers a shared list of consultants able to serve congregations through either organization, enabling us to pair consultants with various specialties laser-focused on your church’s particular needs.
CHC offers Interim Ministry Training Course
Our Interim Ministry Training course emphasizes the need to discern the unique DNA of the church, its context, and its compelling mission and vision for ministry in the 21st Century. Those are the factors that drive the profile of the next leader of the church. Training locations in Raleigh, NC or Atlanta, GA in 2022!
Download the informational flyer HERE.
CHC Books and Resources Available
The Center for Healthy Churches is proud to promote books written by our very own team members. These books include:
- “To Dream Again, Again!” by Bob Dale
- “Weaving Strong Leaders” by Bob Dale and Bill Wilson
- “Call Stories” by Barry Howard
- “Just What is a Healthy Church?” edited by Bill Owen
Learn more about these books on our Resources page.
CHC continues to offer general consulting and coaching around:
- Leadership Cultivation, Future Visioning
- Staff Development
- Team-Building, Mental and Physical Health Ministry
- Entrepreneurial Ministry
- Community Engagement
- 360 Assessments, etc.