I want to restate why we are developing the outreach to those without a church (CWC). There are so many people who, for any number of reasons, cannot attend a local brick and mortar church. And we are doing more than inviting people to view our Sunday morning worship service. We are hoping to be as much of a real church as we can possibly be. I suspect it will take us many years to realize this goal. So then, little by little, we move toward this work. And it is work. My favorite part of all this is the numbers of people who will be directly engaged in the work.
Pastor Kent Philpott
Born in Portland, Oregon, 1942, Kent is the oldest of three boys with the family roots in the mid-west, mostly farmers.
He graduated from Verdugo Hills High School in Los Angeles. After two years at Glendale Junior College, was married. Joined the Air Force at age 19, served four years as a medic from 1961 to 1965. Kent was converted at age 21 through the First Baptist Church of Fairfield, California under the ministry of Pastor Bob Lewis. Graduated from Sacramento State University with a BA in psychology. Attended Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, California, (Southern Baptist) in 1965 and graduated in 1968 with an MDiv. degree.
Kent pastored his first church, Excelsior Baptist Church in Byron, California, from 1966 to 1968. Began a street ministry in the Haight-Ashbury District of San Francisco in February of 1967. This ministry continued through what was known as the Jesus People Movement from 1967 to 1972 and beyond.
In 1972, he founded the Church of the Open Door in San Rafael, California along with other leaders that were part of House Ministries. This 501c3 founded Christian communities, opened Christian bookstores, began Bible studies in high schools and colleges, and this from the town of Sonoma to San Jose and centered in San Rafael.
Although he completed all class work for a ThM degree at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, majoring in theology, Greek, and evangelism, he did not receive the degree due to his being “a tongue speaker.” In 1976 he enrolled in a DMin. Degree program at San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, California. (Presbyterian USA) and graduated in 1980. He resigned from the Church of the Open Door in 1980, went through a divorce, attended law school and developed a legal service business that extended from 1982 to 1995.
From 1981 to 1984 Kent then was invited to serve at an American Baptist church in Marin then known as the Corte Madera Community Church, under the leadership of Prince Altom, and remained there for 3.5 years. This was his reentry into church ministry after he had been convinced, that due to his divorce, he would never be in Christian ministry again.
In September of 1984 he was asked by American Baptists to open a new church in Mill Valley where he continues to be pastor. The corporate name is First Baptist Church of Mill Valley with a dba of Miller Avenue Baptist Church.
Kent invested in media outreach since the early 1970s, first by authoring books. Earthen Vessel Media LLC, in its twentieth year with more than two dozen publications. These books can be viewed at Amazon.com.
Then by means of television the outreach expanded. First with the program the Bible Study, commencing in 1984. Currently television programs are being broadcast locally and by means of YouTube. These are: The Bible Study, Why We Are Christians, The Imam and the Pastor, and The Rabbi and the Pastor. Kent enjoys debating leaders of other religions and has made Islam a special study.
In addition to direct Christian ministry, Kent has been a high school baseball coach since 2004 in Marin, and as part of his 35 years doing volunteer work at San Quentin State Prison in Marin County, has coached the baseball team at the prison for 17 years. He is currently engaged in both arenas at the present time.
Now with his wife Katie, nearly 11 years married, and she a Jewish believer and MDiv. graduate of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, Kent, at age 77, intends to continue in ministry until his last breath. The Philpotts’ focus is presenting the message of Jesus as widely as possible and teaching disciples to do the same.