Fashioned By God... ''Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you" Jeremiah 1:5
Phyllis Valerie Robinson was born on November 8, 1952 in St. Louis, Missouri to Bernice and Charles Robinson, Sr. She was the oldest of five children. Both parents and one brother preceded her in death. Phyllis was educated in the St. Louis Public School System, attending such schools as Blewett, Harrison; she also attended St. Bridges Catholic School and graduated from Beaumont High School in 1971. Phyllis went to the Nursing School of St. Louis Public Schools Adult Ed. Training and received her LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) License in 1979.
Destined by God. . . 'Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate." Mark 10:9
Destined is a way of saying "Intended For", which is what Phyllis was for Al. Being born a day apart in the same hospital ward growing up on the 4200 block of Athlone down the street from one another, courting at thirteen years old and then high school sweethearts while attending Beaumont High School. YES, it was EVIDENT God destined that these two shall be one. After growing up together and a teenage courtship, Phyllis married her first and ONLY Love, Al as she blushingly called him, on March 31, 1973. They have four children: Eboni, Eric and Lonnie, then later in life added another daughter, Marguerite. This union has been a true reflection of God's Grace, Mercy, Forgiveness and Love. Together the Palmer's have been an example of a transformed life and marriage to many couples and singles alike. Phyllis had strong work ethics being employed at such places as St. Louis University Hospital and St. Louis Public Schools until 2005. For many years she had the privilege of being a stay at home mom at the request of her husband in order to raise the kids. She was a volunteer in the schools until all the kids graduated and she was recognized as a Star Parent of Beaumont High School in 1991. She loved working with children and teaching them the Good News of Jesus Christ. She was a mentor to many young girls and women. Having been transparent with sharing her testimony and life experiences from childhood to marriage it was easy to love one so real and honest.
Chosen by God… "but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide" John 15:16
While visiting family in Gary, Indiana, Phyllis attended a revival and accepted Christ as her personal Lord and Savior at the age of eleven and was later baptized at the age of twelve at Pleasant Green M.B. Church by Rev. G. H. Pruitt. She and Al deepened their relationship with the Lord and learned about ministry while attending Believers Bible Fellowship with Pastor, friend and mentor, Cliff Carpenter. This led her to Blessed Hope Bible Church where she was a Sunday school teacher and involved in many community outreaches under Pastor Fred Hendricks. It was at Corinthian M.B. Church she witnessed Al get ordained as a minister of the gospel under the tutelage of Pastor Matthew Turner, there the two of them did Children's Ministry and she was a part of the Women's Ministry, Missions and the Senior Choir. She became a member of Grace Bible Church where she and Al were sent out to plant a church under the leadership of Pastor Roderick Walker. For over thirty years, the Palmers have been involved with CEF (Child Evangelism Fellowship) holding Good News clubs in their home for the neighborhood as well as big Carnivals in the backyard leading many kids to Christ. Phyllis was the First Lady of City Hope Bible Church (though she didn't like that title, she would in her Phyllis like way say ''I'm not the first, I'm his ONLY lady, Honey"). Phyllis thought it a privilege to have her husband as her Pastor. She wore many hats in the ministry a few being, Women's Sunday School Teacher, Director of hospitality, Children's Ministry and the First Wives Club where she would give a Diamond Necklace to Pastor's wives as an appreciation gift when their husbands would preach at City Hope for the first time. She was a great supporter and encourager of Pastor's wives and understood that Pastors could not do what they do without great support from their Helpmate. So like the diamond she wanted Pastor's wives to understand their worth not only to their husbands but to the ministry as well. She volunteered at the church food pantry and was one of the founders of the Women's Hope Support Group which is a group for women who deal with depression or any form of strongholds in their lives. She firmly believed in empowering women to be Godly in all their ways, to respect themselves, their bodies and their faith. When asked, she said that she would want people to know that "she loves the Lord and His People and that she has no greater Joy than to know that her children love the Lord as well." Phyllis or "Mrs. Pastor", as some referred to her, LOVED City Hope and ALL of its members and they loved and showed love to her in return.
Returned by God . . . “His Lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord." Matthew 25:21
In May of 2016, Phyllis was diagnosed with stomach cancer and was later placed in hospice care on Tuesday, November 29, 2016. At 9:15 p.m. on Thursday, February 9, 2017 after the Lord decided that Phyllis masterfully completed all that He entrusted her to do in this earthly tabernacle, absent from the body and present with the Lord has now become her life. Aunt Phyllis, as many family and friends affectionately called her, loved teaching arts and crafts, garage sales and bargain shopping. If you needed something you could go to her and she would have a gift for whatever occasion you needed. Known for her realness and telling it like it is, you knew that she loved you and only wanted God's very best for you. To know her you knew that her bark was worse than her bite and that she would give you the shirt off her back and open her home to anyone who needed a place to stay, having at one point sixteen people living in her home at the same time. Phyllis loved her family, she was a great support and encourager to and for her husband, children, grandkids and siblings. She loved her father-in-law, whom she called Dad because that was the close relationship they had since she was a teenager. Phyllis loved the Palmer, Robinson and Brown families as well and they loved her in return and have been a source of great strength for her. Phyllis practiced what she preached and you knew that the advice she gave, you were going to need and use it at some point in your life, she just impacted your life like that. She has NEVER met a stranger and it was evident that to be in her presence you were with one of God's anointed and a lifelong friend. To know Phyllis, you quickly understood you were standing in the midst of GREATNESS, someone who had a story to tell and you were honored to say you knew her.
Loved by God. .. “May you live to see your children's children" Psalm 128:6
Phyllis leaves a Phenomenal Legacy of Love and Faith for: her husband and best friend- Al; her children - Eboni Armour (Jerome), Eric Palmer (Connie), Lonnie Palmer-King and Marguerite Spates; her grandchildren - Marvante King, Elijah Edwards-Palmer, Nyla King, Ryan Palmer and Elise Palmer; siblings - Carol Ross, Lester Robinson, Myrtis Johnson, Jonathan Lopez (Carolyn), LaTecia Blackmon, Tiara Merriweather (David) and Darnell; step-mother- Ozella J. Foster- Robinson (Marie, Lynn, Rhonda, Allysha and Christopher), Mona Lisa and Emma Jean; father-in-Law and friend - AI Palmer, Jr.; sisters-in-law - Sondria OsageMorgan (Harry), Renee Payton I (Mozell), Jackie Palmer and Kim Taylor (Jeff); brothers-in-law - Eric Banks and Ernie Banks (Angie); the entire Palmer Family; special daughters and their families - Herschylle (Keith) Durham and Diana (Duke) Taylor; special sons - Marvin King and Kenny Jordan (Rollyn); a special and devoted niece - Christy Woodfork; Godchildren - Elijah Hill, Orlando, Alonzo and Deanna Lloyd, Lester Robinson, Jr.; her Beloved and Devoted City Hope Church family and Grace Bible Church Family; Dear Friends - Delores Lloyd, Dorothy Moses, George and Marcia Williams; special thanks to - The Converge MidAmerica Baptist Conference, SSM DePaul Hospice Care Staff (Thelma, Jane, Elise and Katie); skilled doctors - Dr. Wilkes, Dr. Eckert, Dr. Everett and Dr. Tipler; and a host of supportive pastors and their wives, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.