Church in the Palms is led by a gifted an experienced staff team whose mission is to equip and empower our congregation for the work God has called us to do.
A native of Richmond, Virginia, Shawn has served churches up and down the east coast for two decades. Compelled by its spiritual need and intrigued by its cultural diversity, the Allens relocated to South Florida in 2012.
After a few years of ministry in South Florida's unique context, Shawn developed a strategic vision for missional unity, inspiring followers of Jesus to partner together on God's mission. Shawn began serving as the Senior Pastor of Church in the Palms in 2016, and in 2017 started and continues to serve as the Lead Facilitator for Community Life, a missional network of 18 non-profits.
Shawn is learning the many things he doesn't yet know about missional unity as a PhD Student at St. Thomas University in Miami. He loves his occasional stints as an Adjunct Professor at Palm Beach Atlantic University as well as serving on the Leadership Board of the Children's Home Society and the Recovery Church Movement.
Shawn is a seasoned worship leader and multi-instrumentalist whose favorite notes are the ones not on the page. A highlight for him each year is producing, arranging music for, and performing in Jazz Nativity. When his hands aren't on the ivories, you might see them completing a no-look pass or carefully placing a drop shot just over the net.
Shawn loves one wife, three kids, and two dogs. Shawn and Sara have been married for 21 years, and are enjoying the chaos of raising Nellie (Senior at Berean Christian School), Grace (Freshman at Park Vista High School), and Walker (7th Grader at Somerset Canyons Middle School). Sara is a licensed acupuncturist and also tutors teenage equestrian athletes in Wellington.
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Evan grew up in the Midwest before making the move to West Palm Beach. A resident of South Florida since 2005, Evan has fallen in love with its people and culture. Discipling children, teens and adults is one of his passions in ministry. He believes that real life happens in circles, not rows. If he’s not hanging out with youth or having lunch with a volunteer from the church, you will probably find him playing sports, reading, or watching a good movie.
Evan's wife Courtney is a nurse at Palms West Hospital. They have two beautiful children, Abigail and Joshua, who keep them on their toes day and night.
Joshua enjoys the dubious distinction of being described as "the most talented musician" Pastor Shawn has played with here in South Florida. More importantly, Joshua has a deep love for the Lord, and lives with a genuine kindness toward the Lord's people. Joshua spent his growing up years in Iowa (and a few other states), before attending Palm Beach Atlantic University. Joshua recently graduated from Palm Beach Atlantic University, is one of three triplets (who are all phenomenal musicians), and has been married to his wife, Katie, for three years.
Dale came to Church in the Palms after leading a Student Ministry at a church in Palm Beach County. Born and raised in South Florida, Dale earned a degree in Aerospace Engineering from Auburn University before beginning his ministry career. Dale and his wife Susan, an executive in social services, have two daughters: Kaitlin, who recently graduated from the University of South Florida, and Allie, who is a junior at Northeastern. Dale is a Mathematics teacher at Palm Beach Lakes High School. In addition to his ability to crunch numbers for our congregation and the Community Life Center, we are so blessed to have another seasoned pastor on our staff team!
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Linda has been part of our Church in the Palms family for years, and sensed God leading her to use her gifts to serve our church as a volunteer. But as we identified our staff needs, and learned of Linda's experience in Human Resources, Property Management, and Real Estate, it became obvious that God had prepared her wonderfully to serve both our congregation and the Community Life Center. Linda is originally from New York, and has a daughter and two grandchildren who live in Connecticut.
If you are a part of Church of the Palms, you probably know the smiling face of Luz Benitez. Her enthusiasm for the Lord brings joy to every person she talks to, and she brings that same enthusiasm to her job of beautifying the Community Life Center. Originally from Peru, where she was trained to be a nurse, Luz has two children following her footsteps into the medical field. Charles is a junior at Nova Southeastern University, and Marisela is a freshman at the University of Florida.