Pastor Nate Phillips
Senior Pastor/Head of Staff
Office: 302-998-0434 Ext. 108
Nate Phillips (Pastor Nate) grew up in the hills of central Maine, the son of a logger and wedding dress seamstress. He was shaped by the church through Mission at the Eastward (MATE) - a nine church cooperative parish in rural Maine. Though each of the churches is very small, he enjoyed the fruits of their cooperation at the summer camp, partnership with churches in South Africa, housing ministries, and a youth group.
Following seminary at Princeton Theological, Nate was ordained and called to serve Red Clay Creek Presbyterian Church in 2006. As associate pastor and then co-pastor, Nate led primarily in youth ministry and mission, but also served through preaching, worship design, small group facilitation, pastoral care, and staff leadership.
Most recently, Nate served as the Senior Pastor/ Head of Staff at Kirk in the Hills in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. At "The Kirk," he served as the primary preacher and teacher, oversaw a large staff, led the church in a missional strategy program, and organized high quality church programming which included small group ministry and large-scale outreach efforts. He is most proud of his popular weekly men’s Bible study and the establishment of a satellite church location in a retirement community. He recently capped his five-year ministry at the Kirk by leading a $4.1 million capital campaign - the largest in the history of that church.
Nate received his Doctor of Ministry from Columbia Theological Seminary where his focus was “Gospel and Culture." He was the recipient of the John Nelson Award, “The Bible and the Missional Church” for the best Columbia Seminary Doctor of Ministry thesis project focusing on scripture in aiding the transformation of a congregation into a missional church.
He has served as the chair of the Committee on Ministry for New Castle Presbytery, but he is especially proud of establishing the F.I.R.S.T. (Freeing the Imagination of the Recently Seminary Trained) Initiative for the Presbytery. F.I.R.S.T. offers a mechanism for churches to connect young ministers with church plants and emerging ministries in and around New Castle Presbytery. F.I.R.S.T. birthed the Riverfront Church which recently launched an exciting kitchen collective in Wilmington.
Nate has published a book called "Do Something Else" (Wipf and Stock - Cascade Books). It profiles some of the most hopeful innovations in the mainline church. He has also served as Presbyterian consultant to Ian Markham, Virginia Theological Seminary President, as he worked on a new textbook for practical church ministry.
Nate and his wife, Ari, have four children, Grace (18), Lily (14), Max (9), and Lucy (4). He enjoys the Boston Red Sox, mountain biking, jogging, volleyball, Wendell Berry, and growing things.