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Senior Pastor & Founder

On a cold night in February of 1983, estranged from his young wife and convinced that he had gone insane; Phil determined to end his life. For two hours in the middle of the night, he wrestled desperately with himself. At 3 a.m., exhausted and emotionally overwhelmed, he concluded that if he were to die at his own hands, he would only be sending himself to hell—and there the soulish torment would be eternal. So he resolved instead to seek help.


 “I need a psychiatrist!” he sighed.

 “No,” said a voice, clearly and audibly.  “You need me.”

 “Who are you?!” gasped Phil as he sank back onto the sofa in the darkened living room.

“I am Jesus,” said the voice.  “Come back to me.”


Falling to his knees on the floor, Phil began to weep. For the next three and a half hours he knelt there, confessing his sins and pouring out forgiveness to all those in his life who had ever done him wrong. By 6:30 a.m., Phil Hernandez rose to his feet a transformed man and he has never gone back to the old lifestyle.


Shortly after this life-changing experience, Phil and his wife Yvonne came to Lancaster, where Yvonne also surrendered her life to the Lord. Three children have been born of this resurrected marriage: Buddy (1984), Daniel (1988) and Jaime (1989).


Phil worked for 15 years in the juvenile justice system, and was the first Hispanic director of the Lancaster Boy’s and Girl’s Club. In the late 80’s, he served as associate pastor of Praise Chapel in East Petersburg, PA. Then in 1991, with 8 people in attendance, Phil started In The Light Ministries in his living room in Lancaster City. Since then, ITLM has grown to over 600 people each weekend. Out of this one church, over 20 churches have been birth locally and abroad. The church has been part of an ongoing miracle of changed lives as hundreds have given themselves to Christ. In addition to church planting, ITLM has served as an incubator for the development and birthing of more than 50 licensed and/or ordained ministers of the gospel.


In their 20th year of pastoring ITLM, at this celebration, the mayor of Lancaster made a declaration that from this moment on, October 14 would be known as “Phil and Yvonne Hernandez Day”, in the city of Lancaster. Pastor Phil has also been recognized at the state level, being invited by one of our state senators to serve as Chaplin for the House Senate where he opened the session with prayer. This is just one of the many ways in which Pastor Phil, Lady Yvonne, and ITLM have been honored and recognized in their labor, in helping to change lives at the local and state level. Along with all of this, he serves on different Ministeriums, as well as various Boards in Lancaster. ITLM has been recognized at the international level by leaders in Medellin, Colombia, as well as Nicaragua, Central America.


Pastor Phil was recognized and interviewed by the 700 Club TV program on May 7, 2015.

Currently, he is involved in networking Christian leaders in the city of Lancaster as well as other parts of the world. Phil also formerly served on the Leadership Council of the Regional Church of Lancaster County. He has ministered internationally as an evangelist and teacher. He was the founder and host of Empower to Process, a TV program designed to impact people’s lives with God’s Word. He is the co-author of God’s Heart for Ministering to God’s People, a guide to authentic Christian leadership and practical ministry for every believer. He carries an Apostolic mantle, which is recognized locally, nationally and  internationally.

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