Charles Phillips was a grandson of David Johnson, an ex-slave, who came to Champaign-Urbana after the Civil War and was one of the founders of the Second Baptist Church, now Salem Baptist, in Champaign. Deeply involved in community activities, Mr. Phillips was a fore-runner in promoting low cost housing at Carver Park, Burch Village, Dunbar Court, and Attucks Place, from tar paper shacks to decent housing. He was active in the Boy Scout program through Arrowhead Council and Troop II for 25 years. He was appointed a member of the Champaign Housing Commission and served as honorary vice president of the Champaign County Urban League. He also served on the board of the Frances Nelson Health Center.