GATLINBURG — Candy Phillips, executive director-treasurer, Tennessee Woman’s Missionary Union, based in Brentwood, announced during the Missions Get-Together/Connection she will retire Dec. 31. She told a crowd of about 1,400 women attending the Tennessee WMU Annual Meeting which was a part of the Missions Get-Together held here last weekend. When she concluded she was given a standing ovation.
Phillips has served as executive director for 11 years and prior to that was president of Tennessee WMU for four years.
Bobby Turner, current president of Knoxville, said Phillips “has always been open to our ladies, our leadership. She has encouraged us to ask questions and is a good listener.
“I am thankful for her leadership and encouragement. We will miss her. I am glad she will remain in Tennessee and know she will continue to be involved in missions education,” continued Turner.
She recalled prayerwalking in Montana several years ago to support the Tennessee/Montana Baptist Partnership with Phillips, Kim Margrave of the Tennessee Baptist Convention staff, and Janice Scruggs of First Baptist Church, Dandridge.
“It was a day with God and three godly women,” said Turner.
Randy C. Davis, TBC executive director, said the day he learned the news became “bittersweet.”
“While I rejoice that she has the opportunity to spend quality time with family (particularly grandchildren!), we will miss her gracious service with Tennessee Baptists.
“For more than a decade she’s modeled good servant leadership for the WMU.
Davis added, “On a personal level, I deeply appreciate her kindness and encouragement as I began my work with the TBC.”
During her tenure Phillips has supported TBC missions efforts by serving in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; London; Montana; and Italy.
Under her leadership Tennessee WMU has celebrated its 125th anniversary, begun construction of a missionary house in Mount Juliet, welcomed the return of Royal Ambassadors and Challengers, promoted the state missions offering, adjusted the responsibilities of the state staff from nine to six members, established and promoted giving to endowments to support WMU, and increased the number of sites for Christian Women’s Job Corps and Christian Men’s Job Corps in Tennessee.
Additionally Phillips and her staff has provided training for church and associational missions leaders, published a new history book, established permanent archives at the Carson-Newman University library, promoted prayer for Thailand and Java, accepted responsibility for literacy missions, and overhauled promotion materials for the week of prayer for state missions and the Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions.
Married to Bill R. Phillips for 48 years, they are parents to three children and have seven grandchildren between the ages of 15 and 5. Her parents, who recently celebrated their 70th anniversary, live independently in Texas. She was born in Oklahoma.
Following her father’s and husband’s career moves, Phillips has lived in Virginia, Kentucky, Texas, California, Nebraska, and Nevada. She first became involved in WMU in Nevada in 1980.
During her announcement Phillips asked for prayer for the search committee which has been named and “for the woman that God has already prepared to be your next executive director-treasurer.
“Thank you for all your support and encouragement during these 15 years. May God continue to bless Tennessee Woman’s Missionary Union.”