Parham, Thomas David, Jr.
- Andre D. Vann
naval chaplain and professor, was born in Newport News, Virginia, the son of Thomas David and Edith Rosalie Seabrook Parham. His father was a banker and real estate executive and his mother a homemaker. Parham often remarked that he was named for his uncle Thomas, who lived with the Parham family, encouraged him to go into the ministry, and pastored a church in Durham, North Carolina. Late in his career Thomas Parham Jr. delivered a famous sermon on why he preferred his middle name over his first name. “There are three reasons I use my middle name rather than my first name: ‘Doubting Thomas, Peeping Tom, and Uncle Tom.’”
The Parham family moved to Durham, North Carolina in 1921 after Thomas D T D Parham Sr received a cashier s position at the Fraternal Bank and Trust Company of Durham North Carolina which later merged with the Mechanics ...
A version of this article originally appeared in African American National Biography.