June 13, 2024

Daughters Reflect on the Importance of Paternal Role Models for Father’s Day

mary beth and her father on father's day

PBA News

Father’s Day 2024

Many of Palm Beach Atlantic University’s students are able to pursue higher education due to the sacrifices and encouragement of the paternal figures in their lives. These men have helped shape the next generation, carrying in their hearts the words of Proverbs 20:7: “The righteous lead blameless lives; blessed are their children after them.” 

The Importance of a Father’s Support

Mary Beth Stitts, a dance and ministry major at PBA, believes her relationship with her father, Eric Stitts, pastor of the First Baptist Daytona Beach Church, has only improved after attending college.  

Mary Beth appreciates her dad’s support, which has come in several forms, including driving down from Daytona to see her school performances and talking for hours on the phone to give his advice. The best advice her dad has given her is to constantly seek the Lord in every action. He cautions her that life can become unnecessarily complicated when all that is really needed is to seek God first. 

“He has lovingly encouraged me to seek God through my education and consistently made sure to let me know he will always be proud of me,” Mary Beth said. 

This Father’s Day, Mary Beth looks forward to thanking her dad for always giving unconditional love to her and everyone else he meets. She has always admired his ability to encourage and serve everyone he encounters, and she strives to implement this quality in her own life. 

“I think Father’s Day is so important because they often go unnoticed. Fathers make so many sacrifices for their kids, whether that is with time, finances, or various other things,” Mary Beth said.  

The Importance of a Father’s Example 

 Hannah Jackson, a marketing major at PBA, agrees with Mary Beth, saying that frequently, people can overlook the critical role their father has played in their lives and forget to tell them how much they are loved and appreciated.  

Hannah’s father, David Jackson, is the lead pastor of Hilltop Community Church in Lake Havasu, Arizona. He has always supported Hannah in choosing any career she wants and has always been a compassionate listener to her as she works towards getting her degree.   

 Hannah admires the loving example her father has given her. She admires how devoted he is to her mom and how he has been able to show her such a healthy marriage and make a happy home.  

He has always strived to protect his family, even declining some jobs as a pastor because it would have meant raising his children in an unsafe neighborhood. He always pushes the family to take a vacation every year to relax and bond. No matter what, he made sure to put his family first, even if it meant standing up to his church. 

“He is very determined and goal-oriented; once he has set his mind to doing something, he will get it done,” Hannah said.  

Hannah is so happy to have her father as an example of a loving Christian man who leads his home. She looks forward to spending quality time with him this weekend as they take their yearly getaway. 


Jackson Family Photo

 The Importance of a Father’s Words 

Sarah Gale, a journalism student, thinks her father, Trent Gale, a nurse practitioner in Jefferson, Texas, has had the most significant impact on her life is through his words. She knows he is always ready to tell her anything, including honest advice and encouragement.  

Her father read to her constantly while she was growing up and would tell her many amusing anecdotes. No matter how many times he told a story, Sarah would never tire of them. She thinks he greatly influenced her choice of major by igniting her passion for storytelling.  

 It always amazes her how her dad seems genuinely excited to talk to everyone he meets. He treats every stranger he sits next to on an airplane or bus like they are a lifelong friend. He has shown Sarah how powerful words can be when used correctly and how they can bring people closer to God and each other.  

Because of her father, Sarah knows that when she says the three words “Happy Father’s Day,” she is thanking him for a lifetime of guidance and inspiration.  

Trent Gale 

Discover the majors being pursued by Mary Beth, Hannah and Sarah and others programs of study at www.pba.edu 

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