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First Lady Esther Calhoun Phillips


Esther Calhoun Phillips is the First Lady of St. Phillips Missionary Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas where her husband, Dr. C.J.R. Phillips Jr., is Senior Pastor.  God has blessed Dr. and Ms. Phillips’ ministry to reach community, state and national congregations as a true expositor of the Word. St. Phillips Missionary Baptist Church is known for their deep love for God and mankind; the church includes various ministries that serve outside of the walls of the Church to meet the needs of less fortunate people throughout the community and the city. Ms. Phillips is the President of the Minister’s Wives; Vice-President of the Grief Ministry; an active member of the Women’s Ministry; Hospitality Ministry; and Helping Hands Ministry.


Ms. Phillips holds a bachelor degree from the University of Texas at Dallas, in Business and Public Administration.  She attended the USDA Graduate School’s Leadership Institute where she was a member of their first graduating class.


Ms. Phillips has more than 41 years of diverse experience managing Human Resources, Civil Rights/EEO, Labor Relations, and Social Welfare programs while managing broad areas of finance, program delivery, and human capital.  She is the former Deputy Regional Administrator for the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), Southwest Regional Office in Dallas, Texas. 


To support Faith-Based and Community-Based initiatives, Ms. Phillips continues to foster relationships with faith-based community organizations to ensure the absence of barriers to their participation across the federal nutrition assistance programs.  She personally meets with local Pastors and to advise them of opportunities to compete for grant dollars to administer participation and outreach activities for the Food Stamp Program – the program that serves as the front line of defense against hunger.  As a result of her efforts, the outreach activities with the faith-based community continue to exceed performance expectations.  Ms. Phillips created an improved understanding among faith-based and community organizations by collaborating and participating in over 60 outreach events, mentoring, and technical support opportunities.  New program participants and organizations are now benefiting from new opportunities with federal feeding programs due to Ms. Phillips desire to feed the hungry.


Mrs. Phillips is well known for her work on civic and community projects in the Dallas area. In her private life, as well as her professional life, Ms. Phillips is known for her leadership, commitment, dedication, style, serenity, and charm.

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