Reverend Elibariki Phillip Kutta
Phillip was born on June 29, 1975, in Springfield, Ohio, one of eight children born to Rev. Dr. Phillip K Kutta and Mrs. Stella Kutta. Phillip's father, the Rev. Dr. Kutta was a minister at Grace Lutheran Church in Springfield. The 70's were a turbulent time in our nation's history when civil rights moved to the forefront of our country's conscience, and the Kutta's became actively involved in the Civil Rights movement. Disillusioned with the progress of the movement, the Kutta family returned to Tanzania when Phillip was only 4 years old. Tanzania was Phillip's home for the next 25 years. It was there that Phillip met his future wife Veronica, who comes from the Kilimanjaro region. They married, and their family grew to include three adopted children, two are here in the U.S., and one is in Tanzania. There names are Queen, Editruda, and Franklin; and two biological children, Phillip Jr. and Victoria.
God's plan for Phillip:
In Tanzania, Phillip had graduated with honors from the Mennonite College and Seminary with a degree in theology. Phillip returned to the United States in October, 2003, staying with a family member who lived outside of Boston. More determined than ever to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, he enrolled in the Episcopal Divinity School in Massachusetts. This was a difficult time for this young family; Veronica and 6-month old Phillip Jr., remained in Tanzania, while Phillip worked several jobs until such time he could earn the money to bring them to Boston. Phillip worked at several jobs, eventually raising the money to bring his family over. At this same time, he enrolled in the Episcopal Divinity School in Massachusetts. Phillip's graduate studies also took him to Virginia Theological Seminary, where he also majored in counseling. Returning to Massachusetts, Phillip graduated from the Boston University School of Theology, receiving a Masters in Theology. During this time, Phillip also studied psychology, specializing in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and in Clinical Pastoral Counseling. Phillip's degree work has included coursework in Clinical Pastoral Education and Clinical Pastoral Counseling. As a tribute to his father and grandfather, Phillip chose to return to Tanzania, to be with his extended family for his Ordination.
With experience as a pastor, teacher, and mental health counselor, Phillip brings many talents to his ministry here at Grace. Phillip has overcome a great many obstacles on his way to his goal of becoming a priest, and now he is filled with joy to have been appointed our priest. Among Phillip's many goals are to involve parishioners in liturgy and worship, and to strengthen pastoral care. We applaud these objectives, as we eagerly anticipate to whatever God has in store for Grace Episcopal Church.