Asheville, NC (November 29, 2018) — Legendary tenor and former Kingsmen Quartet member Ernie Phillips, “The Little Giant,” has passed away at the age of 68 at his home in Asheville, North Carolina.

Ernie was the son of the late Vernon and Pauline Phillips of Cool Ridge, West Virginia. Ernie loved the Lord, his family, his church, his Southern Gospel music ministry, and his country.

Ernie served his country for three years (1970-1973) in the United States Army stationed in Baumholden, Germany. While in Germany, Ernie worked as a missile repair parts specialist and radio relay technician, resulting in an Army Commendation Medal for working two jobs at the same time.

Ernie was a member of the legendary Kingsmen Quartet from 1977-1983, during which time he was affectionately dubbed “The Little Giant.” Ernie was nominated as Favorite Tenor by the subscribers of Singing News for six years. He won the award in 1980 and 1981.

Ernie was also a part of Squire Parsons Ministries for several years. He then had a solo ministry before becoming a member of the Land of the Sky Boys Quartet from February 2000-October 2018. Ernie also sang with the Landmarks Quartet from Erwin, Tennessee, from 2006 -September 2018.

Ernie retired in 2010 from the VA Medical Center in Asheville, North Carolina, with 30 years of service, and he was a member of Trinity Baptist Church in Asheville, North Carolina.

Ernie was preceded in death by a son, Chad Aaron and a sister, Lois Linkous. Left to cherish his memory are his wife Bonnie; son Eric (Lauren) of Gadsden Alabama; two daughters, April and Stacey (Brooks), of Asheville, North Carolina; grandchildren Carli and Blake; sisters Lana Bell (Larry) and Lorraine Hart (Sam); and nieces and nephews.

The family would like to thank members of Care Partners Hospice for their care and kindness to Ernie, especially his nurse Aaron and sweet CNA Morgan. The family is being assisted by Anders-Rice Funeral Home. Memorials may be made to Trinity Baptist Building Fund, 216 Shelburne Road, Asheville, North Carolina, 28806.

A homegoing celebration will be held Monday, December 3, at Trinity Baptist Church with Pastor Ralph Sexton, Pastor Donnie Walker, and Pastor Allen Rash officiating. Family will receive friends starting at 12 noon prior to the service at 2:00 p.m. The church is located at 216 Shelburne Rd., Asheville, NC, 28806.

Please keep the Phillips family in your thoughts prayers during this difficult time.

Source: Chuck Pettyjohn/Staff

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