After an exciting 22 year career in the United States Air Force and a lucrative 48 year career in dental practice, Dr. Robert L. Phillips retires. Born in Wetumka, Oklahoma in 1940, Dr. Phillips, an avid Christian and member of the Greater New Zion Baptist Church of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is not only retiring from his dental practice, the longtime resident of MidWest City, Oklahoma is contributing his dental equipment and instruments, valued at approximately $1 million to the dental ministry of the National Association of Christian Educators. The organization will ship the equipment and instruments to its dental ministry located at Grateful Hill Baptist Church, St. Ann Parish, Jamaica.
As a member of the board of directors of NACE, which has its headquarters in Nashville, Dr. Phillips sought to fulfill his philanthropic duty through this Christian organization. He said to NACE’s president, Dr. Amos Jones, Jr., of Nashville, TN., “Selling the equipment would only have meant money.” Reflecting on the true meaning of giving his equipment and instruments would, in his words, “Make people happy. That is what I want to do.” After all, he said, the Bible says “It is more blessed to give than it is to receive.”
Dr. Phillips’ career bristles with excitement and stellar accomplishments. Following an exciting career as a star football player at Langston University, Robert Phillips entered the United States Air Force as an enlisted man, receiving his training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. His energy and academic prowess caused him to spiral upward to more lofty spheres in military life. Ultimately, Phillips’ sagacity and cerebral excellence propelled him from the enlisted ranks to become an officer in The USAF. He became a pilot of fighter jets, flying all over the United States and distant parts of the world. His military service called on him to do two tours of duty in Viet Nam. One distinction he had while in military service was an invitation to become a member of the Redtails of the Tuskegee Airmen. The invitation came from Harold Gaulden who was a part of the 368 Service Squadron TAAF of the Tuskegee Airmen. He spent 22 years in the military’s United States Air Force, retiring in the year 1987.
After his duty in the United States Air Force, Robert Phillips was encouraged to enter the field of dentistry. With the support of the US Military, he entered the school of dentistry at the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. His intensive study and pursuit of excellence earned him a 3.78 grade point average. Graduating from this prestigious institution, Phillips spent from 1980 to 1982 in residency at Lackland AFB, San Antonio, Texas. From there, he was assigned to Edwards Air Force Base, California. In 1982, he became a dental surgeon and was stationed at Altus Air Force Base, Altus, Oklahoma. While there, he was assigned as director of Family Dental Services and as such he saved military families over a million dollars in dental service. Because of his prowess and expertise in Family Dental Care, Dr. Phillips sought for and got approved by the United States Congress a Family Dental Care Act that passed in July 1985.
Following his retirement from the United States Air Force, Dr. Phillips established his own private practice. For a brief period of time, he located an office at Reno Avenue and Air Depot. The lion’s share of his time of practice was spent at his office located at 23rd and Post Road in MidWest City, Oklahoma. He estimates that he provided dental service for thousands of patients.