Life Through Death: Phil Meekins’ Funeral

The Rev Phil Meekins passed away on May 13, He served as the senior pastor of New Beginnings Christian Fellowship in Elkton, Maryland and he worked as a maintenance supervisor for the town of North East. Additionally, Meekins founded and served as the director of Monarch Recovery Ministries and he was a lifetime member of the North East Volunteer Fire Company and served as chaplain. Meekins was also a veteran, serving six years as a tank gunner. 

Over 1,100 came to his viewing and 300 attended his funeral. Six people made professions of faith.


Always candid about his troubled past, Meekins gave his life to serving those dealing with addiction and struggling in life. “He helped a lot of down and out people and touched us all,” said Dr. Stephen Hokuf, the senior pastor of First Baptist Church of North East, (FBCNE) Maryland.

Harold Phillips said, “Phil was a man that truly knew where his salvation came from. Jesus rescued him from a life of destruction and he was bold about sharing it.”

Born on November 4, 1962, Meekins came to know Jesus as his savior when he was a young child. In a personal testimony on New Beginnings Christian Fellowship’s webpage, Meekins candidly shares his spiritual journey. He credits his mother for modeling a Godly life, pointing him to Jesus and helping him grow in his faith. He wrote, “My Mother has been and will always be my hero. She showed me what true faith was like.” He wrote that while he was living in West Virginia he attended the Sewell Valley Baptist Church. In addition to his mother’s influence, Meekins wrote, “I was led to the Lord by the constant encouragement and love of my Aunt Marie, Uncle Bill, Aunt Dolly, and my cousins The Rev. J.D. Surbaugh and The Rev. Eddie Ray Goddard. I asked Jesus to be my Savior and Lord at a Wednesday night prayer meeting in 1975.

“My life as a teenager took on new meaning when I knew that Jesus had forgiven me of all my sin.” Later in Meekins’ life, God would use Dr. Hokuf to  encourage and mentor him. Read Meekins’ testimony here.

Hokuf wrote in a recent FBCNE newsletter, “Phil had been coming to our church since 1999. He rededicated his life to Jesus at his mother’s funeral. He was never the same man once he made that commitment. For over a decade he served in our church as a Sunday School teacher and youth director. He also became a trustee and then a deacon. I think he was willing to do anything God led him do. In 2011 we ordained him to the gospel ministry and sent him out to start a new church.

“In the last ten years with the help of God Almighty he has been faithful to that charge.  Today the church known as New Beginnings is a vibrant witness in our whole community. My hope and prayer is that those in that body of believers will continue that work which has only just begun.”

Harold Phillips, the pastor of Pleasant View Baptist Church in Port Deposit, Maryland, said “I knew Phil for 15 years and have been blessed by our friendship. Phil was a man that truly knew where his salvation came from. Jesus rescued him from a life of destruction and he was bold about sharing it.

“Phil was a Bible preacher and with his whole heart loved the Lord Jesus and the people that were sent his way. He was the go-to person in our area for addiction help. Just the mention of his name would get the attention of the addiction center leadership.  He is a dear friend and we will miss him so. May the Lord continue to bless the seeds that he planted. May his disciples carry on the work that he started.” 


Many friends and family wrote tributes on Meekins’ Facebook page, sharing how he had influenced them. Several mentioned one of Meekins’ favorite sayings, “Y’all best get to bed! Ya got church in the morning!”

He is survived by his wife: Karen L. Meekins of Elkton, MD; his children: Phillip W. Meekins, Jr. (Melissa) of Rising Sun, MD, Zachary J.T. Meekins (Ashley) and Jacob A. Meekins both of Elkton, MD; grandchildren: Piper, Jacey, Alaina, Avery, Aubrey and Wyatt; siblings: Larry Meekins of Colorado Springs, CO, Richard Meekins (Kelly), Deborah Kurtz, Cynthia Helsel, Vicky Arrowood and Michelle Osborne all of North East, MD.

 In addition to his parents, Phil was preceded in death by his sister: Abigail Meekins.

Funeral services were held on May 18 at North East Fire Company Hall.. He was interred at North East Methodist Cemetery. 

This obituary was written by Sharon Mager with passages adapted from Crouch Funeral Home’s obituary.