Acts 2 Staff

Philip A. Ross

Facilities Director

Meet Philip

“I was born and raised in Newkirk, Oklahoma, a small county seat town in North Central Oklahoma. My father and grandfather were small town attorneys. My mother was the church organist for 45 years at the Newkirk UMC. I have 3 older sisters. I was a 65-year member of Newkirk UMC before transferring my membership to Acts 2 in March 0f 2020.”

“I graduated from Newkirk High School in 1971; attended and graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1975 with a degree in Petroleum Land Management. I began my career in 1976 in Houston, TX then moved to Tulsa where I continued my career in the oil and gas industry and began attending law school at the University of Tulsa in the evenings. In 1984 after graduating from law school I decided to return to my hometown of Newkirk and practice with my father’s law firm. I ended up spending 13 years in private practice; 10 years as a prosecutor with 8th District Attorney’s office; and then 15 years as a district judge until I retired in December 2018.”

“My wife Debbie and I have five children between us along with 11 grandchildren. Our children are spread out over five state which gives us plenty of travel options.”

Get to Know Philip

What strengths do you feel you bring to Acts 2?

My strengths for the job I am doing come from two sources. The first is my long-time experience with the church. In my home church I held essentially every office at one point or another. We unfortunately experienced the loss of our 100-year-old church in 2007 when I was the Chair of the Administrative 

Council. The new church was designed and built while I held that office. So, I became very familiar with the church building process and the nuts and bolts of running a church.  In addition, I have developed a number of skills over the years in the construction trade. I have had jobs in construction and in the building trades while I was in high school and college.  I have continued my interest in this area throughout my life and took on the task of building most of a 3700 sq. foot home on 20 acres outside of Newkirk.

My second area of strength is my experience of being in the law and as a judge. I have been given an extensive education in dealing with people from all walks of life and the problems they are dealing with. I hope that these experiences help me to understand others and reach solutions for the problems we face.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I am a project man. I almost always have some project I am working on in my shop or around the house. My wife Debbie and I enjoy working together on many of these projects. Now that I am a “G-dad”, I have fun working on projects for my grandchildren and letting them experience working in my shop with me.

Debbie and I also enjoy our families. We have five siblings who live in Oklahoma and enjoy spending time with them and our nieces and nephews.

Debbie and I enjoy loading up our camper and heading for the mountains, or wherever else we can go. Sitting around a campfire after a day trout fishing is our best relaxation.

What made you decide to get involved in ministry work?

I have always been involved in the ministry of my church. I sang in the Newkirk UMC choir, taught Sunday School and led the Youth Ministry over a period of about 16 years. Then in 2000 I attended the Walk to Emmaus and became involved in that ministry in Woodward and Enid. That was a big turning point in my faith life. Those were wonderful days with wonderful people I worked with on the walks. It inspired our church through those who went and came back to lead locally. That resulted in the starting of a new service in our church and me becoming a worship leader (play guitar and sing)  which I did for 18 years before moving here. Like so many, finding a use for the time I spent learning to play guitar hoping to be a Beatle.

When I came to Acts 2 I wanted to get involved and be a part of the ministry that was occurring here. I didn’t have a particular plan in mind, but God acting through Pastor Mark and Jeff Hedrick found me a job. It has been a privilege and a good time to do what I do.

What inspires you?

Selfless people. When I see those, who are willing to lay aside what appears to be the important things in society to help others I am inspired. One of the greatest experiences God has granted me was to start a drug court in Kay County as a part of my work as a judge. Through that work I was exposed to many who mastered their struggles with addiction to become a better person and help those around them who were also struggling. 

Who is a hero of yours?

My wife Debbie is a hero of mine. I have watched her take young women from troubled circumstances under her wing and help them with life decisions and direction. She taught classes to those struggling with poverty helping them to understand how to navigate many life issues. I have also seen her sacrifice for her family, young and old, to make their lives better. Almost everyday you can find Debbie doing something for someone else, just because she likes to do it.

What is something quirky about you?

Depends on who you ask. So, I asked my wife Debbie. She says I always have a song in my head that I half hum, half sing. Songs that have no rhyme or reason. Music has always been a part of my life.

What is your favorite Bible verse?

Proverbs 3:5-7: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.