A Father’s Day Tribute, 2020

In honor of Father’s Day, I’d like to share a piece written by my dad on behalf of his dad. I’m grateful for Dad’s dedication to his family, work, and ministry. The same values he lauds of Grandpa, well, I can say the same about him. For example, I can’t think of a single time he missed one of my basketball or baseball games! He and Mom recently celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary. In addition to helming a successful dental practice for over 40 years, Dad is the national Secretary Emeritus for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. I’m happy to carry on the incredible legacy wrought by my forefathers. The following article was originally featured in the June 1980 issue of the Christian Church of North America’s Vista magazine. It was published two years after the birth of my older brother, David, and a year before I entered the world.

My Father—My Pastor

By Dr. Timothy Palma, on behalf of the Rev. Alfred Palma

My life as a pastor’s son has been very rewarding for surely living in the same household with a man who loves God and God’s work as much as my father does can create only an ideal environment for spiritual development.

Having sat under my father’s teaching until his recent retirement, it is easy to appreciate those qualities which made him not only a competent pastor but also a competent and successful father.

Alfred Palma, 1966

Dad always had time for his family. Many are the times I remember him rushing from an evening service to watch a baseball or basketball game I was involved in. How often we would choose to incorporate our annual vacation with the CCNA convention.

No matter what problems arose in our cluttered young lives, we could always trust Dad for his prayerful encouragement and guidance. When my brother and I set our professional goals, Dad and Mom (we can’t leave her out—they were a team) never failed in lending their support—spiritually, financially and emotionally.

Every father should be the spiritual leader of his home, so in a sense all of us are, or should be, pastors. Now that we have given Dad his first grandson, it’s my desire to develop some of those attributes my father exhibited—his caring, selflessness and sensitivity, to name a few. And I know I’d like to give my David some of those memories I cherish. 

Published by Paul J. Palma

Paul J. Palma is a professor of Christian history and theology at Regent University. His new book, Italian American Pentecostalism and the Struggle for Religious Identity, is part of the Routledge Studies in Religion series. Paul is a contributing writer for CBN.com and the Pneuma Review. He enjoys spending quality time with his family, whether on walks together, going to the beach, fishing, or work around the yard.

2 thoughts on “A Father’s Day Tribute, 2020

  1. We absolutely love your post, PJ. It really captures Grandpa Palma and it’s wonderful to have him brought to everyone’s remembrance as you can see from the comments.

    Lots of love, Mom


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