Born in 1937 during the Great Depression, Phil Emmert was raised near Lebanon, Indiana. At the age of thirty-three, he left a well-paying job with Dow Chemical Company, sold his little farm, and took his family to Knoxville, Tennessee, where he enrolled and completed four years at Johnson Bible College (Johnson University).
Phil preached in several small congregations in Tennessee and North Carolina. At the same time, he held several different secular jobs to supplement his income. As a school counselor, he wrote weekly inspirational thoughts for teachers and staff.
At age seventy-seven, he published his first book, When War Was Heck, followed by The Afterglow of War: Lessons Learned, which were reflections from his childhood and teen years. Phil of late has changed his focus toward more Christian-based stories. The Overcomers, America Rebooted, and this latest one, The Reprieve.
Phil acknowledges that he was a poor student in high school and even later in college. He often jokes that he wishes his teachers and professors could see him now. However, through his varied life experiences, he has become an appealing communicator and storyteller.
Phil and his wife Bea live in Washington, North Carolina. They drive fifty-five miles twice a week to a neighboring county where he still preaches in a small congregation.