Occasionally, a minister will retire and pass the church down to his son. And sometimes two generations may pastor some of the same members of the same congregation. However, it is truly rare indeed that three generations get the chance to pastor the same person.
Mrs. Mable Phillips, an 86-year-old member of the Apostolic Life Center Church in Marvell, says she has been truly blessed to have been pastured by three generations of the same family.
“I have sat under three generations of the Reed family preachers,” Phillips proudly commented.
In her younger years, Phillips' family lived south of the Schaffhauser Cemetery. It was there she attended Mount Moriah M.B. church west of Marvell where Rev. David Van Reed served as pastor.
Later, Phillips was baptized into the Apostolic Church while residing in Niles, Mich. In 1992, she and her husband, Ceifus Phillips, moved to Postelle and became members of the Apostolic Life Center Church. Rev. Reed's youngest daughter, Sarah Reed Jackson, was the founding pastor of that church.
“She was my pastor for about 20 years,” recalled Phillips. “I was 71 years old when she talked me back into going back to school to get my GED, and I did.”
In 2012, Jackson's son, LeRoy D. Jackson Jr., became the pastor of the Apostolic Life Center Church and Phillips' third Reed family pastor in her golden years. Phillips went on to say that all three preachers are similar in that they are powerful preachers and good teachers.
“They sing, they care about the members, and they take time with the children, commented Phillips. “I have also heard the fourth generation.”
Bishop Jackson's granddaughter, Elder Felecia McGee, from Kentucky, sang and preached at the Marvell church a couple of times.
“They are all special to me and I love them dearly,” stated Phillips.
“What a privilege and honor it is to pastor such a precious individual that my father pastured,” Jackson commented while holding a photo of her revered father. “This is special to me because my father passed before I was three years old, so, I didn't get to know him. Mother Phillips has told me of similarities of how the children ran to my father after the service as they have run to me and now my son.”
Jackson added that she is so appreciative of the Phillips.
“They are a precious, faithful, giving and gentle couple in their 80s that still at times work with the flowers on the church grounds,” she added.
Pastor LeRoy Jackson continued, “I count it an honor to pastor Mother Phillips. She and her husband, Ceifus, are an absolute joy. I am blessed to be able to pastor them, especially after my mother and grandfather have pastured Mother Phillips.”