After high school graduation, Phil served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps (1991-1995), then earned degrees from Gardner-Webb University (B.A., 1998), New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div., 2000), Duke University (Th.M., 2001), and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Ph.D., 2004). Along the way, he led Southern Baptist churches in Louisiana, Florida, North Carolina, and Illinois.
In 2004, God called Phil into the U.S. Army Chaplaincy where he served sixteen years with units such as the 82nd Airborne Division and the Army Rangers and deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan nine times. He also led Army chapel congregations throughout his career, most notably as Lead Pastor for Crossroads Chapel at Fort Benning, Georgia—one of the largest congregations in the U.S. Army. He also authored and published three books: A More Elite Family, The Proximity Principle, and A More Elite Man.
In December 2019, Phil retired from the Army and answered God’s call to become the Lead Pastor for Crossgate Church.
Phil is married to Shara, and they have five children: Emma, Libby, Baur, Lightsey, and Adrian. In his free time, he enjoys running, biking, and the outdoors.