Billy Graham Center

Interivew with Shirlene Walker Philips - Collection 365

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Table of Contents

Brief Description of This Collection

Title Page and Restrictions

Biography of Shirlene Walker Philips

An Essay on the Contents of the Collection (Scope and Content)

List of Audio Tapes in This Collection (Location Records)

Brief Description.
One audio tape of an interview in which Phillips discusses her childhood, education, hospital and clinic work, her work with Voice of Calvary Ministries, and racial conditions in Mississippi, especially Mendenhall.

Collection 365 [April 20, 2000]
Phillips, Shirlene Walker; 1956-
Interview; 1987

1 Reel of Audio Tape


There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.


Shirlene Walker was born in McGee, MS, on May 30, 1956, into an Afro-American family. She was brought up in Mendenhall, MS, until she graduated from high school. Through a work program while in high school, she worked for Voice of Calvary (VOC) in a health clinic in Mendenhall where she met Dolphus Weary, who, with his wife Rosie, provided encouragement and support for Phillips in her Christian life. She attended college in Louisiana and then the University Medical Center in Jackson, MS, and was trained as a medical technician. After graduation from the latter in 1980, she worked in a hospital, then in a government-funded clinic owned by black doctors, and then in an arthritis clinic. She married Clarence Arthur Phillips; at the time of this interview they had one son.

In 1987, Phillips began work at Voice of Calvary in Jackson as the Institutional Resource Development Coordinator. The primary focus of her work was fund-raising for VOC and she was involved in developing grant proposals and working with supporting foundations and institutions.

The Voice of Calvary Ministries, founded first in Mendenhall, MS, and moved in 1974 to Jackson, MS, was led by John Perkins. The ministry operated on a holistic model of addressing community and personal needs, whether medical, social, legal, economic, educational, or spiritual in nature. (See Collection 367, Papers of John M. Perkins.)

Scope and Content

Shirlene Phillips was interviewed by Paul A. Ericksen on June 18 and 19, 1987, at the office of Voice of Calvary Ministries, Jackson, MS. The dates of the events covered by the interview were 1956-1987. The index is keyed to the cassette copy and not to the reel-to-reel original.

Tape T1 - side 1
00:00 Beginning of tape
00:45 Introduction
01:15 Birth; family; growing up as an Afro-American in Mendenhall, MS; teenage activities; varying financial conditions between whites and blacks; college in Louisiana to escape from Mendenhall
06:00 Work with Dolphus Weary of Voice of Calvary Ministries in a health clinic in Mendenhall before college; offer to enter medical profession at a university; prejudice in Mendenhall; preferential treatment of whites in classes; impact of integration order on her high school; development of racial cliques; comparison of her education while living in Chicago to that in Mendenhall; little interaction with white students in Mendenhall
13:00 Religion In black community in Mendenhall; lack of church programs for the young; reaction of her family, church, and town to Voice of Calvary programs at first; athletics, Vacation Bible school, teen work programs; few visible changes in Mendenhall since the Civil Rights Movement; difference between work opportunities for blacks in Mendenhall and Jackson; experience of job discrimination in hospital
24:0 0 Work at health clinics after the hospital, then at the Voice of Calvary; developments leading to her job at Voice of Calvary; fund-raising responsibilities at Voice of Calvary; foundations who donate to Voice of Calvary
29:45 Introduction to second part of interview
30:15 Description of Dolphus Weary, his desire to help young people; his support of Phillips; role of Rosie Weary in Voice of Calvary; differences between working at Voice of Calvary and in secular world
35:00 End of tape


The interview audio tape for this collection was received by the Billy Graham Center Archives from Shirlene Phillips in June 1987.

Acc. 87-74
October 15, 1993
Janyce H. Nasgowitz
B. Phillips

Accession 87-74
Type of Material: Audio Tape

The following items may be found in the AUDIO TAPE FILE:

T1 - Reel-to-reel (copied from original cassette), 3-3/4 ips, recorded on one side, 35 minutes. Interview of Shirlene Phillips by Paul A. Ericksen. Part one of the discussion includes information on her childhood, education, Voice of Calvary, and racial conditions in Mississippi, particularly in Mendenhall. Part two continues the discussion, especially about Dolphus Weary and the difference between working in the secular world and in a Christian organization. June 18-19, 1987.

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Last Revised: 4/20/00
Expiration: indefinite