Pastor Phil Edgerly, 85, passed away on Dec. 26, 2021, of natural causes at the Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna, Alaska.
The family is planning a celebration of his life in the summer of 2022.
Phillip Edgerly was born in Ellsworth on Jan. 20, 1936. He attended Ellsworth Elementary School and graduated from Ellsworth High School in 1954. He accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior on Aug. 14, 1954, and soon after traveled to Philadelphia to attend Philadelphia College of the Bible, where he graduated in 1959 with a BS degree in theology. He also attended Temple University (Graduate School of Psychology), where he studied psychology. He received his ordination from Emmanuel Baptist Church in Ellsworth on Nov. 25, 1963.
Pastor Phil was called to serve as pastor of Reflection Lake Chapel of Soldotna, Alaska, in August 1989 and served the congregation until 2019, when he retired from active ministry. During his 32 years in Alaska, he was honored to serve as a volunteer chaplain at CPGH. He served as a member of the Statewide Independent Living Council from 2004 through 2009 and also enjoyed the opportunity to serve as a counselor at the Alaska Christian College. Through most of his years at Reflection Lake Chapel he also served as a volunteer counselor for those who had drug and alcohol addictions. Phil lived in Washington state from 1984-1989, working in business management positions in finance and Insurance. He lived in Colorado from 1974-1984 working as an assistant administrator and administrative consultant for alcohol treatment facilities and the County Health Department Drug Dependency Division.
After college, he was called as pastor of Oakwood Baptist Church in Kearny, N.J., and served there from 1960-1971. Pastor Phil was actively involved in the needs of his community and established a hospital chaplaincy program at West Hudson Hospital and later became a member of the Board of Governors of West Hudson Hospital. He also served as an educational consultant for the Gospel Light Publications and was selected by World Vision International to help evaluate United States expenditures in 12 orphanages in Eastern Asia. He lectured and taught throughout the East and Mid-America on the subject of the “Church and the drug abuser.”
Pastor Phil had fond memories of his years as a basketball player (number 21) for the Ellsworth Eagles and the positive impact his coach, Charlie Katsiaficas, had on his life. The Eagles were state champions in 1953 and 1954, winning at Madison Garden. Phil loved flowers and worked in the flower industry for many of his school years. He was also an avid reader and loved woodworking. He will be especially remembered by many as a great listen who loved serving his Lord. He wanted to be remembered only as a servant and I am certain he heard those words from Matthew 25:21 “his Lord said to him, ‘Well done good and faithful servant.’”
Pastor Phil is survived by his wife, Ingrid; his brother, James Jr., of North Carolina; and his children, Deborah Ann of New York and Robert Morton of Kansas. He has four grandchildren and one great-grandchild plus many cousins.
He was preceded in death by his father and mother, James and Lila Edgerly and his son, David Stanley.