The Rev. Dr. Sam Parkes

Denomination: United Methodist Church (UMC)
Organization: Mary Esther United Methodist Church, Mary Esther, FL

The Rev. Dr. Sam Parkes currently serves as the senior pastor of Mary Esther United Methodist Church, in Mary Esther, Florida.  A native of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, where his passion for both music and theatre were nurtured, Sam received a Bachelor of Arts in Music (1988 - Voice Performance) with a minor in Theatre from The University of the South at Sewanee, Tennessee. He received his Master of Divinity (1998 - magna cum laude) from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University and a Doctor of Theology in Homiletics from Emmanuel College in the University of Toronto (2016). He is an active member of the Academy of Homiletics. Sam has been a contributor to the Abingdon Preaching Annual and to the recent Abingdon Theological Companion to the Lectionary.

Sam is serving in his 30th year under episcopal appointment in the United Methodist Church and is a clergy member of the Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference. He leads the Preaching Excellence Team of the conference which provides a variety of programming to preachers who seek to grow in the craft of preaching through collaborative sermon series planning and a bi-weekly podcast for lectionary preachers. Sam also developed a small-group coaching model called Partners in Preaching in which a group of six to eight pastors meets monthly to improve preaching through peer feedback and support. He has led this model in Alabama, Mississippi, and North Carolina. He has recently been named the Director of Worship for the 2020 (now 2021) Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference of the UMC.

Sam works in both church and community to establish systems of support for LGBTQ persons.  He frequently travels in his conference to help localities and churches establish Reconciling Ministry groups and is a founding member and vice-president of PFLAG Niceville which provides support, education, and advocacy for the people of Okaloosa County, Florida.

An avid home cook, Sam can be found in the kitchen most evenings. Otherwise, he reads, writes, and loves a good movie while curled up on the sofa with his two tuxedo cats and Clover, the mutt. He has a son and a daughter – Will and Harper – who keep his academic fancies grounded in the concrete world. 

Day1 Weekly Programs by The Rev. Dr. Sam Parkes

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Sam Parkes: When You Are Hungry Enough, You Will Cross the Line

Tuesday August 31, 2021
Dr. Sam Parkes says the woman who approached Jesus was a triple threat—a Syrophoenician, a Gentile, and a woman. She is desperate, hungry for her daughter’s healing to the extent that she crosses cultural and religious lines.