When Paul Pressler and Paige Patterson launched a revolution within the Southern Baptist Convention, they found an eager soldier in Ron Phillips.
Phillips, 58, has been pastor of Central Baptist Church of Hixson, Tennessee, near Chattanooga, since 1979—the year the so-called “conservative resurgence” began within the SBC. In the early 1990s, Phillips served as chair of the Home Mission Board, since renamed the North American Mission Board.
But in 1989 he had “an experience with the Holy Spirit” that changed his life and ministry significantly. Though once an insider in the conservative movement, Phillips now sees himself as excluded from SBC life. “I do believe Paige [Patterson] and others have betrayed every one of us,” said Phillips, whose church is now known as Abba’s House and draws about 3,000 worshipers each Sunday.