Phil Aguilar has been called many names over the course of his life.
Phil. Pastor Phil. Chief. Chief of Sinners. And, much worse.
A descriptor that may fit more than any other is “Tenacious.”
In the face of tremendous challenges (some socio-cultural and many self-imposed), Phil founded Set Free Ministries in 1982 and continues to minister to drug addicts, black sheep, and anyone else in need of the Good News he’s been preaching for decades.
High school dropout.
Drug user and dealer.
Member of an outlaw motorcycle club.
Married and divorced.
Imprisoned for child abuse.
All before the age of 30.
Yet, while incarcerated at Chino State Prison in 1977, Phil chose to follow Jesus through the ministry of Glenn Morrison, and a radical transformation began. Not only did he get married to his girlfriend, Sandra, in prison, but he was soon released and enrolled in Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College. By 1982, Phil determined that the Baptist culture was not a good fit for his passion to reach “street people”, so he rallied a small group of people to launch Set Free Christian Fellowship.
Thousands of people attended Set Free in Anaheim, California.
Hundreds of drug addicts were set free in over 5o discipleship homes.
Bikers were drawn to follow Jesus through unique ministries.
Set Free churches were started around the US and even globally.
Phil has been no stranger to controversy, but his commitment and dedication to minister to the least, last, and lost continues on.
Street ministry evangelist.
Drug rehab counselor.
Friend of sinners.
Husband. Father. Grandfather.