A. Gail Dunn and his theologian’s offspring

This is my father, Dr. A. Gail Dunn. People who know me, when they meet him, are prone to say, “You look like your son.” His predictable replay, “No, he looks like me. I came first.” Don’t try to match wits with him. Compared to him you are an unarmed man.

Dad is 82 years old. All of his adult life he has been in ministry. Except for a pre-retirement stint as the Superintendent of the East Pennsylvania Conference of the Churches of God, Dad has served as a local church pastor. The churches he served always thrived and grew. He was not a flashy preacher, but he was solid; a person who deeply loved the Word of God and the People of God.

My Dad has an inextinguishable sense of humor. He is the Master Punster and is capable of stringing them together until you cry “mercy.” He loves humor with a twist. People like me are often called P.K.’s (which translated is, “Preacher’s Kids). He says, “No, my children are T.O.’s-Theologian’s Offspring.” And when I tell him to be good, he simply responds, “Why?”

The love of his life was my mother, Marilyn Reames Dunn. Her calls her “a special person” and credits her as the most significant spiritual influence in his life. When he first saw her as a student at then Findlay College, he declared, “I am going to marry her.” And he did. They were faithfully and joyful married for 50 years before my mother died from cancer. He retired from active ministry for one very specific job, to care for his wife who dying from cancer–to give her the attention and the quality of life he felt she deserved. My Dad was a model of integrity of the marriage covenant, standing by her and ministering to her at home until death finally did them part.

There’s so much I could say about this former denominational president, seminar trustee, distinguished college alumnus, mentor of young pastors, community activist, father of four. But what I want to say to Dad with pride and thanksgiving, “He’s my Dad!”


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