Pastor Philpott was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1942, of parents who fled the dust bowl conditions in Nebraska. He attended high school and the first two years of college in Los Angeles. Marrying early, he joined the US Air Force, where he served as a medic for four years.
Kent became a Christian in 1963 through the ministry of Bob Lewis, then pastor of the First Baptist Church of Fairfield, CA, an SBC-aligned church. He then graduated from Sacramento State University with a degree in psychology, continuing on to a master’s program in psychology as well.
When Kent was called to the ministry in 1965, he switched to Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, CA, where he earned a MDiv and completed work for a ThM without graduating.
During his seminary years, Kent pastored the Excelsior Baptist Church in Byron, CA, for 2.5 years. In February of 1967 he began a street ministry to the hippies in the Haight-Ashbury
District of San Francisco. As this ministry grew, he migrated back to San Rafael in Marin County, where he founded the Church of the Open Door. From 1976 to 1980 he completed a DMin Degree at San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo.
In 1980 he resigned from the Church of the Open Door and went through a divorce. He then attended San Francisco Law School and developed a legal service company in San Rafael. In 1982 he served at Corte Madera Community Church for 2.5 years before making a new church start at the First Baptist Church of Mill Valley, operating as Miller Avenue Baptist Church.
In 2008 he went through a second divorce, remarried, and with wife Katie, still serves at MAC. Twice Kent offered to resign from the congregation, but the congregation refused to accept the resignation.
During the 1970s Kent wrote five books, two of which resulted in the largest ex-gay ministry in the USA. Beginning in 1995 Kent began writing again, and the fruit of this can be seen on Amazon.com, other online retailers, and at evpbooks.com.
Kent is a long-time high school baseball coach in Marin and has volunteered at San Quentin Prison for 32 years. For 16 years he was the baseball coach at the prison and is now about to begin a new team at the prison.
Since 1984 he has produced The Bible Study television program. Two additional programs have been added in recent years, Why We Are Christians and The Imam and the Pastor.
In 2000 he developed a publishing company, Earthen Vessel Media, LLC.
Favorite ministries for Kent are the Divorce Recovery and Loss Workshop, begun in 1986, and two support groups for the relatives of those who have mental illness and a peer support group for those struggling with mental illness.
Kent has five children (his son Vernon pastors with him at MAC), eight grandchildren, and two great-grandkids.