ASAPH B. PHILLIPS
PASTOR [of the First Methodist Church, Sharon], 1895-1898
The story of the conversion of Asaph B. Phillips as told by himself is one of the literary gems to be found in the memoirs of Methodist ministers contained in the "History of Erie Conference."
He was born in Margaree, Inverness County, Cape Breton, September 22, 1860. His parents, Henry and Annie Phillips, were for many years members of the Congregational Church. In his memoirs Mr. Phillips says:
"From my earliest recollection I have endeavored to live a Christian life. Special religious instruction was given me, not only in the Sunday School, but also by devoted parents, and in early childhood I felt the consciousness of my sins and wept over them again and again, and prayed for forgiveness and salvation. My burdened soul found no rest only at the cross, but still had not the evidence of acceptance with God. At the age of sixteen, during a sweeping revival, I earnestly sought the Lord, and at the midnight hour while in the pleading prayerfulness of my heart, my faith took bold of God, and I experienced the mighty change. My soul was flooded with His glory and the joy of a new life in Christ Jesus was inexpressible. It was then I felt a call to the ministry, the divinity of which I have never for a single moment doubted, and from that day to the present I have endeavored, by utilizing my time and the means at my command to the best possible advantage, to gain a proficiency for that work which is as dear to me as life itself."
Mr. Phillips came to America in 1881. In 1882 he was married to Miss Ella Moore, of Luthersburg, Pennsylvania. He was licensed to preach in 1883, his license being signed by the presiding elder of Clarion District, Rev. P. P. Pinney, a former pastor of First Church, Sharon. He was admitted to the ranks of the itinerant army in 1884. He spent four successful years in Sharon, his Wednesday evening class meetings were well attended and remembered for many years after he had moved on to new appointments.
After leaving Sharon First Church, Rev. A. B. Phillips served at Erie, Simpson Church for five years and was later Conference Evangelist. He loved to recall his years of service in "that splendid old church in Sharon."
One Hundred Fifty Years of Methodism, by Roscoe C. Wilson, pages 61-62