Lamar Phillips

Lamar Phillips

9312 Janeen Lane
Ooltewah, TN 37363
(423) 827-9801


Originally from the Central Valley in California, Lamar was raised in a rural environment, and migrated to Collegedale in 1957 at the age of 18 in order to attend Southern Adventist University. He graduated with a degree in theology in 1963. After one semester at the University Of Missouri School Of Journalism, and later working as an editor in one of his church’s magazines in Nashville, Tennessee, he was married to Felicia LeVere; also a graduate from SAU from California. Shortly afterwards, they moved to the Republic of Panama, where Lamar was principal of a boarding academy. This began 32 years of overseas work in various professions and countries, which included Costa Rica (where he obtained a master’s degree in Community Development by extension from Andrews University), Bolivia, Russia, Philippines, Haiti, Honduras, and Albania. Additionally, Lamar worked as a pastor in New Mexico and Tennessee for more than seven years. Altogether, he and his wife have traveled in more than 50 countries.

After retiring in 2010, Lamar and Felicia settled in the Collegedale-Ooltewah area near their three sons and their families, and where one of Lamar’s sisters lives.

During many of those overseas years, especially during the last ten of his career, he started taking pictures of a wide variety of scenes from many countries; especially of flowers, which became his passion. He has planted hundreds of irises and gladiolus, plus many other types of flowers, around his house. They are the source of most of his flower pictures. Altogether, Lamar has a stock of more than 15,000 pictures from the United States and abroad.

During the years before his retirement, it was not in his conscious agenda to matt, frame and display his photos. But, when he started attending a monthly photo meeting at his church in Collegedale, and met Shirley Engel, he began to see a wider scope for his pictures. After taking photo classes from Shirley, who directed the meetings and had years of experience, Lamar got earnest about possible displays. This eventually led to a number of art shows, beginning with a Reflections Gallery’s exhibition in the former East Brainerd mall , then later in Reflections Gallery’s art building, the McKee Library at SAU, Collegedale Community Church, SAU Church Social Hall, Ringgold Library, SAU flea market, Chattanooga Episcopal Church, and the Harris Arts Center. Lamar joined the Civil Arts League in October of 2014.