Missio Celebrates the Life of Rev. Dr. Phil Ginyard


Phil Ginyard did a DMin at Biblical after completing his MDiv degree through the Urban Lead program (in the early days of that program), all of which he’d built upon a “Diploma completion” program he’d done through Palmer Seminary. Once he graduated, and was well established in his pastorate in Swedesboro, NJ, he contacted us about his vision for starting a “Diploma program” through Missio. In 2017 or 18, Frank commissioned Dr. Ginyard and me to craft a plan and curriculum for such a program; Phil was thus the first “Diploma Program director.” We were ready to launch in the fall of 2020; but COVID halted that plan. And meanwhile, sometime in 2019, Phil began experiencing strange symptoms – numbness in his fingers, then in his face and tongue, tingling in his feet and other extremities. Doctors suspected he’d had a stroke or had had a series of “mini-strokes”, and then began testing for other things. They eventually discovered that he had ALS (aka “Lou Gehrig’s disease”), a degenerative neurological disease that gradually leaves the body paralyzed (even though the mind remains fully functional, alert, lucid), a truly terrible disease.

Phil eventually had to step out of his pastorate and out of his role as Diploma Director. Even still, he continued to be supportive and committed to ministering for the Lord however he could. He consistently prayed for Missio and for me and for Dr. Chad Hinson, his successor as Diploma Program director. He started a website called “The Disabled Disciple”.

Dr. Hinson and I visited Phil Ginyard in his home this past September, and, with the assistance of a computerized machine that converted his blinks into speech, he and Dr. Hinson engaged in genuinely substantive conversation for nearly two hours [!], talking through networking and growth strategies for the Diploma program.

I was in correspondence with Phil Ginyard just this past week. I had invited him to come to commencement – even join the faculty on the platform if he were able and comfortable doing so. Two days ago, I got a text message from him, expressing tremendous gratitude to me and the Missio faculty for the invitation, but declining the prospect of being on the platform or even attending in person; he assured me that he would be viewing the commencement online, even still. He also let me know that he was continuing to pray for us and the ministry of Missio – particularly the Diploma students and the Diploma program.

I just got a text from his wife, Donna. Phil Ginyard went home to be with the Lord this morning [Friday, May 5]. The tears could not help but flow upon reading that text – even though I praise God for the power of salvation in Christ, the assurance that for the disciple of Christ to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, and for the hope of resurrection. I am deeply happy and relieved that his suffering has ended.

I assume he’ll be watching the Commencement ceremony the morning of June 3 through even better live-streaming than what Joel Limbaun and the A/V team of Sharon Baptist Church will provide.

Todd Mangum, PhD
Academic Dean
Lester and Kay Clemens Professor of Missional Theology
ThM Program Director

Phil and Donna Ginyard with Todd Mangum - September 2022
Phil Ginyard, surrounded by graduates of Biblical Seminary's Urban LEAD program, at this retirement celebration as Pastor of 1st Baptist Church of Swedesboro, NJ
Phil Ginyard, Dr. Chad Hinson, and Todd Mangum - September 2022
Phil Ginyard with a diploma from Palmer Theological Seminary and his DMin degree from Biblical Theological Seminary (now Missio)