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This profile was last updated on 10/28/12  and contains information from public web pages.

Phyllis Ann Koehnline

Wrong Phyllis Ann Koehnline?


Local Address:  Presbyterian Church , United States

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations


  • master's degree
  • doctorate
  • master of divinity degree
Web References
Phyllis Ann Gentry ..., 28 Oct 2012 [cached]
Phyllis Ann Gentry Koehnline
CHAPEL HILL- Phyllis Ann Gentry Koehnline was born December 10, 1924, in Richmond, Va., the only child of Henry Eldridge Gentry and Evelyn Spindle Gentry.
Phyllis and Bill had three children, all born in Columbus, Evelyn Monroe Koehnline, born 1953, James Irvin Koehnline, born 1955, and Carolyn Eldridge Koehnline, born 1958.
By the time their youngest child was in high school, Phyllis began attending courses at McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, Ill. She was ordained a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. and was called to serve Evanshire Presbyterian Church, Skokie, Ill., where she continued as pastor for 19 years.
Chapel Hill News | Living, 3 Dec 2005 [cached]
Phyllis and her husband, Bill Koehnline, have two daughters and a son.
Phyllis graduated in 1950 and married Bill later that year.
Phyllis received a master's degree in 1952, and Bill a doctorate in 1966.
Shortly after settling in Skokie, Phyllis Koehnline entered McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago to begin studies that eventually led to a master of divinity degree in 1977, and to being ordained as pastor of Evanshire Presbyterian Church and the only woman pastor in town.
Soon after her ordination, Skokie was in the news.A small group of Neo-Nazis in Chicago threatened to make an appearance there.Why Skokie?Almost certainly because that community had become known as a "safe haven" for Jews who had fled from Hitler's Germany and arrived in the Chicago area.By the late 1970s, Skokie had become home to more than 70,000 Jews, some 7,000 of them survivors of Hitler's death camps.
Koehnline and her church were part of an inter-faith group of religious communities that realized how devastating any suggestion of a Nazi presence would be in Skokie.Great solidarity grew between Christians and Jews during that time that still continues.The threat was never carried out and the survivors were spared.
While pastor of Evanshire, Koehnline was moderator of the Chicago Presbytery one year and a member of the board of trustees of McCormick Seminary.
"My claim to fame," she said, "is that I chaired the search committee which selected the Rev. Cynthia Campbell to be president of McCormick, the first woman to lead a major seminary."
After retirement, the Koehnlines decided to move back to Chapel Hill and moved into a villa at Carolina Meadows.
"We love being back 'home,'" she said, "with so much to enjoy from Carolina Meadows, the church, UNC campus, and Chapel Hill in general.There's no place like it!"
In 2000, Phyllis, with the help of other Carolina Meadows residents from University Presbyterian, began worship services at Carolina Meadows for those who were unable to get to church on Sundays, especially those who disabilities make it almost impossible to enjoy regular services in town.
"We started the services because there was a need for it," Phyllis said.
The meetings started with a small group that would meet in the Carolina Meadows Health Center.Over time, the congregation had grown so much in both size and spirit that it had to be moved to the Carolina Meadows auditorium.It meets on the second Sunday afternoon of each month, with communion whenever there is a fifth Sunday.In addition, Koehnline continues to teach a monthly Bible class in the health center.The congregation greatly appreciates her services.
"I'm grateful still to be able to do what I love doing," Koehnline said."And we all like the fact that nobody comes in to lead these services for us; they're all in-house."
Last year she agreed to preach monthly at Carol Woods, where residents there do all the preparation.
Carolina Meadows :: Publicity, 1 Feb 2006 [cached]
When Bill and Phyllis Koehnline arrived at Carolina Meadows in 1995, they had thoughtfully instructed their movers to unload first a well-worn rug cut to fit the garage floor in their new villa.
Bill and his wife, Phyllis, have deep roots in Chapel Hill.
The two met while Bill was a graduate student at UNC and Phyllis an undergraduate.
When they became engaged, Phyllis decided that if she were going to marry someone deeply involved in modern art, she should at least be conversant with the subject.After some courses at UNC, she was able to join in his enthusiasm.They were married in 1950.
Phyllis carried on her own career as an ordained Presbyterian minister and pastor of the Evanshire Presbyterian church in Skokie, IL, their home for 25 years.A touch of the artist has moved down the generational line.The Koehnlines' son, Jim, assembles two-dimensional collages in a wild variety of materials, then uses a computer to adjust colors and composition to produce images of beauty that never existed in the real world.He is also an accomplished painter in oils, adhering somewhat closer to objective reality in his subjects than does his father in his.
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