Board of Trustees
L. Wilson Kilgore,
Board of Trustees
passed away on
May 8 at the age
of 95 in Scottsdale,
Ariz. Wilson was a
well-loved Presbyterian minister,
known for his passion for preach-
ing, dedication to the Presbyterian
Church, intense desire to share the
news of God’s love to all, and to live
life with an abundance of love and
laughter. He graduated from Col-
gate University in 1939 and from
Colgate Rochester Divinity School
with a Masters in Divinity in 1942.
He received an honorary Doctor of
Divinity degree from Lincoln Col-
lege in 1955 and from his alma ma-
ter in 1964. He began his pastoral
calling at First Presbyterian Church,
Hartford, Conn., in 1943 and then
as pastor at Lakewood Presbyterian
Church, Lakewood, Ohio. Wilson
was next called in 1964 to serve as
senior pastor at Cherry Hill Pres-
byterian Church, Dearborn, Mich.
His last call before retirement was
as senior pastor of Valley Presbyte-
rian Church, Paradise Valley, Ariz.,
in 1972. While serving at Valley, he
started Mountain View Presbyterian
Church and supported the birth of
Pinnacle Presbyterian Church in
North Scottsdale. After his retire-
ment in 1986, Valley Presbyterian
named the new chapel after him in
recognition of his service to God
and the congregation. Lakewood
Presbyterian recently honored him
by dedicating a new addition as the
Wilson Kilgore Education Center.
He accepted several interim assign-
ments for churches that were search-
ing for fulltime pastors, including:
Third Presbyterian Church, Roch-
ester, New York; First Presbyterian
Church, Tulsa, Okla.; Kirk in the
Hills, Bloomfield, Mich., and two
small churches in the Phoenix area.
He continued preaching and teach-
ing up until the end of his life. A
published author, he wrote the book
When the River Runs Backward
the grieving process and articles for
Christian Century Pulpit, Church
Management, Presbyterian Life
Master Sermon Series
. His ac-
complishments also included the
development of television ministries
at multiple churches including Val-
ley Presbyterian and appearing on
television to discuss family life.
Eleanor Miller,
Board of Trustees
died April
19 in Irvine, Calif.
She was a woman
of faith, a beloved
mother and grand-
mother, a steadfast and adventurous
friend and, for nearly six decades, a
leader in the St. Andrews Presbyte-
rian Church community. She will
be remembered and honored for her
faith, purpose, graciousness and joy.
Former SFTS Staff
James M. Phillips, Professor of
Church History 1975-82
died on
Aug. 2 at the age of 83 in Westbor-
ough, Mass., from complications of
a fall in June. Phillips was a profes-
sor of church history at SFTS before
he served as associate director of the
Overseas Ministries Study Center,
until his retirement in 1997. His
From the Rising of the Sun:
Christians and Society in Contem-
porary Japan
(1981), described the
history of Japan’s Christian commu-
nity from 1945-75. He graduated
from Princeton University with a
degree from the Woodrow Wilson
School of Public and International
Affairs. He taught history, politics
and Bible at Yonsei University in
Seoul, Korea, from 1949-50 until
the start of the Korean War, when he
worked with Korean refugees fleeing
from the communist regime in the
North. He then attended Yale Di-
vinity School, graduating in 1955,
followed by a return to Princeton
where he completed his doctoral
studies in Christian Ethics in 1958.
He was professor of church history
at Tokyo Union Theological Semi-
nary from 1959-75 and also served
as a Presbyterian pastor. Phillips was
truly a “man of the people” and one
of his greatest passions was working
with, and trying to help, people of
all different cultures and walks of
life. At the age of 76, he volunteered
for three months as a chaplain in a
hospital in Vellore, India.
Mary Lou Dobbins,
Wife of Trustee/
passed away
peacefully on Aug.
17 at the age of 76
in Portland after
battling Alzheimer’s
disease. She and her husband, Al-
len Dobbins, have been generous
donors to SFTS and Lloyd-Dobbins
Hall is co-named in their honor. Al-
len Dobbins first joined the SFTS
Board of Trustees in 1985 and served
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