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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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.
Tami grew up all over the place - in Washington, Indiana, Illinois, Georgia, Minnesota - but has lived here in South Florida for most of the last 20 years. Tami has taught high school math and is currently Workroom Manager at Kings Academy. Tami enjoys reading fiction in her free time, as well as parenting her three kids: Cameron, Connor, and Charis, an 8th grade student at The Kings Academy. Tami has a passion for children, and we are so thankful she is sharing her love for God with our kids!
Dale came to Church in the Palms after leading a Student Ministry at a large church here in Palm Beach County. Born and raised right here in South Florida, Dale earned a degree in Aerospace Engineering from Auburn University before beginning his ministry career. Dale and his wife Susan, an Assistant Vice President for Children and Family Mental Health Services, have two daughters: Kaitlin, who recently graduated from the University of South Florida, and Allie, who is a sophomore 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.
A native Floridian, Katie calls the small town of High Springs her hometown. While she prefers quiet, rural living to the bustle of big cities, she has grown to love West Palm Beach in the five years she has lived here. Katie began working for us after receiving a degree in Graphic Design from Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2017. She has a passion for creating, for friendship, and following Jesus. When she isn't at Church in the Palms, she's operating her professional photography business, capturing special memories for people to cherish forever.
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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 will be a freshman at the University of Florida.