Phillips an all-time favorite

Published 4:46 pm Tuesday, March 26, 2013

On Thursday I had the opportunity to take part in Greenville Middle School’s first ever Career Day.

Part of the time was spent fielding questions from the students. One student asked what I liked most about my job.

That’s easy.

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It’s the people.

I meet a lot of people.

One of my all-time favorites is Mike Phillips.

Phillips has served our community for more than 40 years as a member of the Greenville Fire Department, including the last 21 as the department’s chief. On Monday a unanimous vote by the Greenville City Council made Phillips’ retirement official.

Our city owes a big thanks to Chief Phillips.

He’s made our city a better place, by helping build a first-rate fire department.

But the thing that I admire most about Chief Phillips has little to do with the job he has done as chief.

It has to do with the kind of man he is.

Three months into my job as editor of the Greenville Advocate we published a special section highlighting the faith of different members of our community.

One of the first people I sought out was Chief Phillips.

At the time, I hadn’t had many conversations with him, but I had heard he was a man of faith that pastured a small church in the county.

I asked for an interview, and Chief Phillips graciously agreed.

As busy as he was running the fire department he sat down with me one afternoon and gave me more than an hour of his time.

What I learned from that conversation I what many in Greenville and the surrounding area had known for quite some time.

Chief Mike Phillips is a man of great character.

He isn’t one who seeks to draw attention to himself or what he’s doing.

He simply wants to serve others.

And for more than 40 years that’s exactly what he’s done for our community.

If you see Chief Phillips out and about in the coming weeks, make sure to thank him.