Philip Vick, Austin Grad's newest Living Stones Award recipient, has always felt called to serve the church, he says.
Currently, he's an elder at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio where Max Lucado is the Senior Teaching and Equipping Minister. Philip and his wife, Donna, began attending Oak Hills Church in 1989, and he says it was an honor to be asked to serve in the eldership role.
As a church elder, Philip is often called to offer pastoral care including prayer and spiritual counseling. Philip also serves in the praise and worship ministry.
During the day, Philip serves as a Hospice Chaplain for Gentiva Hospice in San Antonio. Quite often he is called to counsel with patients, families, and caregivers reminding them of the peace God has promised. As a chaplain, Philip views faith essential to do good works.
“I find it fulfilling when God works on a person's heart bringing peace in turmoil and comfort in difficulty," he said. "When that peace and comfort shows on their faces and in their lives, it is a great feeling to have been able to serve the needs of others, therefore allowing God to use me in this way.”
Philip has also worked as a marketplace chaplain. He has found that the workers he served depended on faith in God to help them cope with the ups and downs of work. They find peace and an ability to do a good job through His guidance.
Philip received his master's degree from Austin Grad, and says he has found that when he needs to apply scripture in practical, real life situations, his studies at Austin Grad helped him know the scripture needed and the best method of approach to use in these situations.
Another way Philip honors God and utilizes the skills he’s learned at Austin Grad is through the short-term mission trips he and his wife partake in. He says they have been involved in short term missions most of their lives. They’ve been on several mission trips in the United States as well as Trinidad, Tobago, and England. Most recently, he and his wife went on two trips to India.
“It is always amazing to see God at work in the church globally,” Philip said.
While at Austin Grad, Philip found the opportunities to share with fellow students and to hear them share their stories, both at chapel and in many classes, a good memory of his time. He says the common goal to serve others and share our joys and struggles was a source of encouragement.
The Living Stones Award "honors individuals who are actively building up the church by passing on the faith and being Christ to the world through merciful service," Austin Grad President Stan Reid said. "We want to recognize Christians who are modeling how to live out the Christian faith in their church and community. Through the Living Stones Award we will tell the stories of those who are doing this with grace and humility." For more information about this award, please go here.
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Austin Graduate School of Theology is an Austin seminary offering B.A. and M.A. ministry degrees, and Austin Grad is accredited by the same agency that accredits Abilene Christian University, Baylor University, Southern Methodist University, Texas A&M University, Texas State University, The University of Texas, and others. Austin Grad -- one of the top Christian colleges in Texas and among the top seminaries in Texas -- is affiliated with the Church of Christ and is in conversation with all who confess Jesus as Lord. Austin Grad promotes faith seeking understanding and is committed to providing a high quality education for those who desire to be equipped to expand the Kingdom of God.