Dr. Phil West was born in Atlanta, Georgia on December 16, 1950. In 1963 his family moved to Cobb County, where he graduated from South Cobb High School in 1968. He graduated from West Georgia College in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science in Education degree, and in 1978 with a Master in Education degree. He also received a Master of Divinity degree in 1988 and a Doctor of Ministry degree in 1992 from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
Dr. West has been a pastor for 44 years in the state of Georgia. He retired in 2013 after serving 12 years as senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Valdosta. He has served in numerous positions in the local, state and Southern Baptist Convention. In 2016, Dr. West completed a ten-year term on the Board of Trustees at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
He and his wife Cheryl, were married in 1969 and have three children and seven grandchildren. Since retiring, Dr. West and his wife have settled in Warner Robins, Georgia. He has continued his ministry by serving five churches as interim pastor in the middle Georgia area.