Phillip Hassell, pastor of the historic Independence Baptist Church near Brenham and director of the Texas Baptist Historical Museum, died Sept. 13. He was 64. Hassell was born Jan. 10, 1956, in Houston. He served two Houston churches for 31 years and also worked with the Rice University Police Department before he was called as pastor at Independence in November 2010. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Christianity from Houston Baptist University, his Master in Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and his Doctorate in Ministry degree from Houston Graduate School of Theology. He was preceded in death by his brother John Hassell. He is survived by his wife Leslie; son Paul Hassell and wife Gillian; daughter Jamie Waggoner and husband Justin; two grandchildren; and sisters Ann Hubert, Terry Jennings and Candice Herman. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to the Independence Baptist Church expansion fund.