Phillipses Sail Off to Caribbean

HOLD ON!– (l-r) Commissioner David Edwards, Colonel Noella Phillips, Commissioner Doreen Edwards, and Colonel Dennis lead the congregation in an enthusiastic and joyful rendition of “Hold On!”, sung to a rhythmic Caribbean beat.

Chief Secretary, Col. Noella Phillips Farewell; will Command Work In Caribbean


By Robert Doctor –

The West expressed a warm farewell to Colonels Dennis and Noella Phillips, chief secretary and territorial secretary for women’s organizations, on the eve of their departure to assume command of the Caribbean territory with headquarters in Kingston, Jamaica.

Joining them and Commissioners David and Doreen Edwards on the platform of the Pasadena Tabernacle, the Phillips’ home corps in the West, were Commissioners Alex and Ingeborg Hughes, international secretary for the Americas and Caribbean and secretary for women’s organizations for the Americas and Caribbean, respectively.

In expressing appreciation to the Phillipses for their outstanding service to the territory, Edwards stated: “Speaking first as the Territorial Commander on behalf of the officer and soldiers of the territory, I would like to thank Colonels Dennis and Noella for the tremendous contribution they have made to this territory in the time that we have been here. They have been good leaders–very sensitive to the needs of people, always interested in helping people in need. We wish them well. I am sure they will be warmly welcomed in the Caribbean.

“Then, speaking personally, my wife and I feel ourselves quite fortunate to have served alongside the Phillipses during this short time together,” Edwards continued. “They, along with the rest of the Cabinet, have been quite helpful to us during this period of adjustment. We have appreciated having the benefit of their knowledge, experience and friendship. We are going to miss them and wish them well as they leave us for the Caribbean.”

In commenting on their time here, Phillips said: “Our two years in the West have been but one leg of God’s planned journey for our lives, but a very important one–for we have been blessed, stretched, challenged and changed. Regardless of where we go, no matter how far, or how long we are away, a large part of our hearts will always belong to the people of the Western Territory.”

Administrative leaders from territorial headquarters and from all divisional headquarters throughout the West joined several hundred in the Tabernacle to express a fond farewell to the Phillipses for their conscientious and dedicated period of service.

Six members of the Leslie family enchanted the audience as their calypso rhythms and melodies accompanied magnificent views of the islands of the Caribbean. Both Edwards brought the entire congregation to their feet with rhythm and movement as everyone got in a “Caribbean mood” with the chorus “Hold On.”

Major Ivy Hood and Tabernacle Songster Leader Bill Flinn spoke on behalf of the officers and soldiers of the territory in expressing appreciation for the dedication, commitment, and gracious spirit demonstrated by the Phillipses during their stay in the West.

Hood drew on characterizations from the artist Mary Inglebright, a favorite of Noella, whom she described as exemplifying many of them. She noted her marvelous sense of humor, the strength of her friendship, her generous sharing of ideas and her spiritual sensitivity. Flinn noted that Phillips had never strayed from his roots. “He never forgot where he came from. He’s a soldiers’ officer,” he said. “He walks the talk in his steadfast loyalty to the corps program.” Flinn went on to describe the strength of Phillips’ character and his skills in working with people.

In response, Mrs. Phillips thanked the officers and soldiers of the West for embracing them so warmly. In speaking of her soldiership at the Tabernacle, she said: “This has been a wonderful oasis for us.”

Phillips stated: “Leaving you is not easy. We do it with mixed emotions because we are thrilled with where we are going.” He then described a call to the mission field he experienced as a young teenager. “I knew God wanted me to serve there, and I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to follow his plan for my life. God has a plan for all of us from the very beginning. He reveals it to us only when we abandon ourselves totally to him. ‘If God has called us to be missionaries,’ a writer has said, ‘don’t stoop to be a king.’ God would not let go of me.”

Phillips concluded his remarks with an invitation to service even on the mission field, and the alter was lined with seekers. In addition to the Leslies, music for the evening was provided by the Tabernacle band, songsters and timbrels.

The members of the audience included Mr. and Mrs. Erwin Scott, who first knew the Phillipses in their first appointment in the Westport Temple Corps in Kansas City, Mo., more than 45 years ago.

Phillips moves to command of the Caribbean with broad experience in a wide range of leadership responsibilities. Prior to his appointment in the West he served as Chief Secretary in the Central USA Territory as well as Program Secretary, in command of two divisions, and service in a number of staff and corps appointments. He entered training in 1960. His wife Noella served as a CFOT training officer and in leadership roles in women’s service work.

They were married in 1962 and are the parents of two children, Patricia, who resides in the Bay Area and Paul, who lives in Chicago.

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