Desperation Church adds 2 new pastors to Cullman staff

Matt and Alisha Phillips with their children (Facebook)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Desperation Church last Sunday morning announced the recent hiring of two new pastors to assist in day-to-day operations at its Cullman campus.

Matt Phillips and his wife, Alisha Phillips, were named new pastor and associate pastor for the Cullman location.

Pastor Andy Heis will remain the lead/senior pastor; the new pastors will help with daily work obligations, freeing Heis’ and other staff members’ workloads. 

“As campus pastors our primary goal is focusing on the care and pastoring of all of our staff, team, volunteers and members,” Alisha Phillips said. “We will provide operational, administrative and comprehensive support to Pastor Andy and the Cullman campus. We will be continually building systems that will create growth and development at a campus level. We will continue making connections with local partners to meet the needs of people not only in our church, but also our community.” 

She said she and her husband have been married since 2019 and they have three daughters. 

“Matt is originally from Kansas City,” Phillips said. “There, he served with his local church in their young adult ministry. We met at a conference in Kansas City and Matt eventually moved to Alabama to pursue marriage with me. I attended a church in Falkville called Fairview the Grace Place for nearly 30 years.” 

She said she was pastored by Dr. Milan Dekich, who shaped a huge part of who she is today.

“He was, and still is, one of the greatest pastors and leaders I know,” Phillips said. “His heart for missions, servanthood and discipleship shaped a huge part of who I am today. There I served in several ministries including youth, college, local, global missions and women’s ministry. I also still currently sit on the board of directors for Buenavistia Ministerios, which is partnered with Fairview. Milan recently retired from pastoring that church and took on a role as a state pastor for the COG. When he retired, my family and I evaluated our next steps.”

(Reporter’s note: She shared with me that the first time she visited Desperation Church was when I invited her to worship night nearly a decade ago.)

“It’s interesting to see all this come full circle, almost 10 years later,” Phillips said. “I met Pastor Andy in passing while attending worship night with you but was introduced to him on a personal level when Pastor Andy had come to Fairview to do our revival.” 

She said the move to Cullman was very unexpected. 

“We joined DC in early 2022 and it just felt like home to us,” said Phillips. “It didn’t take long for us to be welcomed into the community by staff and other members at the Cullman campus. We felt loved, seen and encouraged by the church. Naturally, we gravitated toward it. The heartbeat to love God and love people was so strong, we wanted to be a part of it. We served consistently for two years as high-level volunteers and were eventually designated for the role of community group coordinators.  We brought all of our children to be a part of First Saturday Serve projects; our oldest is heavily involved in the student ministry, and out of that is now serving in a role on the photography production team. With being so involved in the community and the church, we just found ourselves wanting to be closer. We moved to Cullman in May of 2023 and have been able to build so many relationships with our community.”

For more information about the Cullman campus of Desperation Church, or to get involved, visit

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