In Memoriam: Cheryle F. Dyle-Palmer
The National Benevolent Association of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) shares our sincere condolences and prayers of peace with the family of Cheryle Dyle-Palmer, as we celebrate and honor her life. She was born September 30, 1949 and died April 13, 2019.
During her tenure with NBA, Cheryle helped build and significantly develop NBA’s services to children and youth. In 1988, Cheryle joined the NBA staff as the Director of Children Services, a position focused on supporting established agencies serving children. Her work involved enhancing the direct care provided through such efforts as securing national accreditation for each nonprofit and supporting the transition from historic residential programs to community-based programming for at-risk youth and children.
Former supervisor and friend, Dr. Norma Ellington Twitty, says “hundreds and hundreds of children and families benefitted from the work that Cheryle did over the years. Cheryle and the staff team we worked with wanted to support families. This was Cheryle’s heart. She could relate and connect with so many people – families, volunteers, staff, Disciples churches and communities. She did her work with grace, professionalism, and love.”
Cheryle also coordinated new programs and supported the creation of new children’s agencies in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Missouri. With these efforts, she worked within the community to determine needed services for children and their families, identify funding to initiate the programs, and worked with local administrators to build governance structures.
Recently retired Executive Director with Christian Services for Children in Alabama (CSCA), Cynthia Stinson, shares how “Cheryle valued quality and outcome, which means a great deal to me. She knew how to drive hard to get good work done. Children deserve the best. She sought after the best and I fondly recall my work with her over the years. Her work with CSCA in the beginning set the tone and quality of care that we continue to offer children and families today.”
Another colleague and former CEO and Executive Director for Tennyson Center for Children in Denver, Colorado, Bob Cooper, says, “Cheryl has always been an uncompromising champion for kids and families! Any ideas and actions always went through that filter for her as she sought how best to serve them.”
In her work, Cheryle was committed to nurturing new leaders in the work of children’s advocacy. Rev. April Lewton, currently serving as the NBA Vice President of Development and Marketing, reflects on the impact Cheryle had on her. “My first job out of college was to work in the Department of Children and Families with Cheryle as my supervisor. She helped to identify projects that I could support and always made sure that I was learning and developing skills to strengthen the work. She had a way of being a champion for you and encouraging you to be your best.”
Her love of people and communities also translated into her active leadership within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Cheryle served as Elder and Moderator at her local church of Centennial Christian Church. She also was a leader for the Mid-America Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
NBA President and CEO, Mark Anderson, warmly reflects, “I have always said we stand on the shoulders of giants, and Cheryle, is one such mentor that I looked up to. As a former supervisor and colleague, she taught me the importance of perseverance for excellence, and always striving for the best outcomes. Her passion for the vulnerable will be missed from this world.”
As the health and social services general ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the National Benevolent Association partners with congregations, regions, general ministries, and a variety of Disciples-related health and social service providers to create communities of compassion and care. Founded in 1887 by six women responding to the needs of the day and on their doorsteps, for 130 years the NBA has continued to serve “the least of these.” Learn more at www.nbacares.org.