St. Paul’s Waccamaw UMC Staff

Rev. Dr. William H. Phillips

Buddy grew-up in rural Union County and graduated from Union High School where he played several sports and participated in numerous clubs and organizations. At 16, he became an EMT and two years later, a Paramedic. He would eventually direct the Emergency Medical Services and begin supervised studies toward becoming a Physician’s Associate.

In 1978, Buddy began the process of entering ordained ministry within the United Methodist Church. He became a Student Minister that same year and an Elder in 1988. Buddy has served country, suburban and urban churches of all sizes (from 15 to 2850 members) and personalities across the state. He has also served on numerous boards and agencies within the United Methodist Church and in various capacities for local and the state government. He is in his 41st year of ministerial service.

Buddy and Gail have been married 45 years. For 16 years, Gail has been the Regional Director for Reach Out and Read. Previously, she was the Director of OVIS in Oconee County and before that, the Deputy Director of the Bethlehem Center in Spartanburg, SC. ROR prepares America’s youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with pediatricians who prescribe books and encourage families to read together. This early literacy program helps prepare children for kindergarten. She presently serves both South Carolina and Georgia.

Buddy and Gail have two children, Tyler and Nancy. Tyler is married to Karen (a public school teacher) and they live with their two children in Suwanee, Ga. Ansley Katherine is the oldest and William Hudson, the youngest. Buddy and Gail also have a daughter. Nancy graduated from Chapin High School where she participated in highly celebrated and recognized band, orchestra and chamber choir. She is now a student at Coastal Carolina and a Swaine Scholar.

Buddy graduated Wofford College in 1983 with a B.A. in Humanities. He attended several graduate schools including Erskine Theological Seminary, Chandler School of Theology, and Columbia (M.Div., D.Ph., and D. Human.). In 1999, he was awarded the Doctor of Humanities Degree from Claflin University for his work on social justice issues in the state, and on the national and international levels. As an associate professor of Religion, he taught Old Testament, World Religions and Philosophy at SMC for several years and as a visiting professor of religion in other settings. He has been a course leader and training instructor for the United Methodist Women in both Regional and Conference Mission Universities throughout the United States.

Buddy enjoys art and literature. He paints (oils) and writes. He loves the outdoors and hunts, fishes, plays golf, and rides his Harley when the temperature allows. He is also a private pilot and rated in several aircraft types and categories. His real enjoyment comes, however, from hugging and playing with the grandchildren, being with family, meeting people, and getting really dirty doing yard work.


Alice CochranAlice Cochran

Alice is our Church Office Administrator. She moved here from Charlotte, NC to North Litchfield in 2014. She and her husband Chris just recently sold their Printing Company, in which they owned together for 30 years, so they could settle here. Alice is originally from Shelby, NC. She went to Kings College, Charlotte, NC and after finishing started working in the Clerk of Court’s office in Shelby for 5 years as an Assistant Clerk of Court before she moved to Charlotte and worked for Moore and Van Allen, as a legal secretary.

She has two grown boys, Jonathan and Matthew, and one new grandbaby, Sadie, which she thinks is adorable. Alice loves sports, especially football (go Carolina Panthers) and baseball.

She is thankful for the opportunity working here at St Paul’s Waccamaw UMC, and is looking forward to meeting everyone.


Olivia Powell Huggins

Olivia Powell Huggins is our Director of Music, as well as our organist and pianist.

She grew up in the edge of her church yard in Greenwood, SC. She has been a church pianist since age thirteen and was choir director/ organist at Georgetown Presbyterian from for ten years before joining the music staff at St. Paul’s Waccamaw as accompanist in 2003. In 1980 she received the Lander Academic Award in Music and has degrees from Lander University and the University of South Carolina.

For thirty nine years she taught choral and general music at all levels in Georgetown County School District. As director of the BEACH Singers, Georgetown County School’s auditioned chorus for middle and high school, she coordinated weekly rehearsals and a summer training program for twenty nine years. Under her direction, the program received national recognition for her sight singing/solfege curriculum and choral techniques and was selected to perform at the White House in Christmas 1998 . In addition to numerous state and regional performances, the singers were headliners in San Diego in 2001 sharing a session with James Earl Jones at the National School Board Association Conference.

As a member of professional organizations, she has performed with festival choirs here and in Europe, attended workshops with notable conductors and accompanists , and observed some of the world’s finest choirs. Her favorite vacations include organ study in NYC with David Enlow of Julliard, attending concerts featuring the Saint Olaf Christmas Festival, or participating in worship on musical pilgrimages throughout London, Rome, Florence, Salzburg, Vienna , Venice and Paris. In 2007, she received the Indigo Choral Society Distinguished Artist Award.