Baptist and Reflector
FRANKLIN — Candy Phillips, retired executive director of Tennessee Woman’s Missionary Union, died Dec. 22 after a battle with cancer and liver disease. She was 70.
Phillips retired Dec. 31, 2014 after serving as executive director for 11 years. Prior to her election as executive director, Phillips served as president of Tennessee WMU for four years.
Phillips was a native of Lawton, Okla., and lived in Kentucky, Virginia, and Texas as a child. She became involved in WMU work in 1980 while living in Nevada. Prior to moving to Tennessee, she served as recording secretary for Virginia Woman’s Missionary Union.
Vickie Anderson, who succeeded Phillips as executive director of Tennessee WMU, noted Phillips “impacted countless lives of church, association, state, and national missions leaders. We are grateful for all the ways she enriched the work of WMU and our lives personally.”
Anderson cited several accomplishments which took place under Phillips’ tenure. Among them: a three-year partnership with Brazil WMU, beginning prayer advocacy partnerships with Italy and Denver/Front Range, growing Tennessee WMU endowments and funds, producing annual videos to promote state missions, and raising $300,000 to design, construct, furnish, and endow a Missionary House to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Tennessee WMU in 2013.
“Our hearts are broken over Candy’s death from a complication to cancer that was diagnosed one month ago. It was my honor to serve with Candy during the 15 years she led Tennessee WMU, four as President and 11 as executive director,” Anderson said.
Randy C. Davis, president and executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, expressed sadness over the news of Phillips’ death.
“She was a ministry pioneer in Tennessee, having been deeply involved in the beginning of Christian Women’s Job Corp (now Begin Anew of Middle Tennessee) as well as other people-focused ministries,” Davis said.
“The fruit of her Great Commission work will be felt in our state and beyond for generations to come. Her WMU leadership as executive director was exemplary. Our prayers and with Bill and the family,” he added.
Phillips was an active member of First Baptist Church, Nashville. Funeral services for Phillips will be held Dec. 28 at First Baptist at 11 a.m., with visitation at 10 a.m.
Memorial donations can be made to either WMU Foundation: Tennessee WMU Touch Tomorrow Today Endowment; Begin Anew of Middle Tennessee; Next Door; or the Baptist Center for Ethics.
Phillips is survived by her husband, Bill R. Phillips, three children, and seven grandchildren. — Compiled by B&R Editor Lonnie Wilkey