Julianna Zobrist's parents: Inside Pastor Jeff and Cheryl Gilmore's married life of 47 years

Julianna Zobrist's parents Pastor Jeff and Cheryl Gilmore met at LSU and became Christians before marriage


                            Julianna Zobrist's parents: Inside Pastor Jeff and Cheryl Gilmore's married life of 47 years
Julianna Zobrist and her parents Jeff Gilmore and Cheryl Gilmore (Photo by Jason Davis/Getty Images for KLOVE, Twitter/jeffreytgilmore)

Pre-trial divorce memos of baseball star Ben Zobrist and his separated wife Julianna were eventually disclosed to the public, bringing the Zobrists' dirty laundry in the public. Julianna spent $30,000 on a retirement party for Pastor Byron Yawn, according to the Chicago Cubs player, and her involvement with him is the major reason for the Zobrists' divorce. Now, as it appears to be, Julianna's father, too, happens to be a pastor.

Ben and Julianna's relationship was not always rocky as they had a pretty romantic start and even laid down some important ground rules in their marriage to make the union work. Since both of their fathers were pastors, they held off dating till Julianna enrolled at Belmont University for further studies.

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But the good times are now gone. Julianna has requested that their marital assets be shared evenly at their seven-day divorce trial, which is supposed to begin in August. Ben has also filed a lawsuit against Yawn, accusing him of inflicting mental anguish to the family and robbing their charity. Here's what we found out about Julianna Zobrist's parents.

2016 World Series MVP Ben Zobrist #18 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates with his wife Julianna Zobrist after defeating the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Who are Julianna Zobrist's parents?

Julianna Joy Gilmore was born on October 5, 1984, in Orlando, Florida to Pastor Jeff Gilmore and his wife Cheryl Kauk. The couple has six children, Liz, Rosie, Jeffrey Paul, Caroline, and Jonathan. Julianna is their fourth child. Julianna was brought up for seven years in Florida before her father accepted a position at Parkview Church in Iowa City, Iowa, where she attended Heritage Christian School.

Jeff Gilmore's Twitter account bio reads: "Christ follower, husband to Cheryl, father to six, Senior Pastor at Parkview". He was Pastor Emeritus at the Parkview Church, where he served over 28 years in ministry as well. When he retired from his position, the Church honored Gilmore during a ceremony on June 2, 2019, when he delivered his final sermon. The Facebook event page for the same read: "His years of service here at Parkview have had an incredible impact on our church body as well as the Iowa City area. We want to take time to celebrate all that Jeff & Cheryl have done for us and send them off well to their new home in the Dallas, Texas area."

Jeff Gilmore began working for Dallas Baptist University in the Advancement Office in 2019, with his major responsibilities centered in the Athletic Department, namely with the DBU Baseball team. According to the DBU website, he grew up in Louisiana and attended Louisiana State University, majoring in a premedical course. He met his wife, Cheryl, at LSU. She was majoring in music education at the time. 

Jeff Gilmore (Facebook/parkviewchurch)

'Love your wife as Christ loved the Church'

The couple, who have been married for 47 years. In an interview, 'Marriage Q & A with Jeff and Cheryl Gilmore' by Parkview Church, Cheryl said the duo met when they were in the band at LSU. "He was my section leader," Cheryl said.

"I was playing in the stage band at LSU and Cheryl was in the orchestra," Jeff said in the interview. He went on to relate how the two met after Cheryl borrowed his saxophone and left a note saying she had borrowed it. "So I thought I'm going to find out who this Cheryl is," he said.

In the interview, Jeff said that he did not grow up in a Christian family and did not have a model on how to be a dad. He said he learnt through his experiences meeting other couples and families during his time at LSU. He added that he went to many conferences and read many books about what marriage meant, "But nothing compares to Ephesians Chapter 5." Quoting a line from the book, he says: "Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her," he said.

Jeff and Cheryl Gilmore (Vimeo/Parkview Church)

'Passion for discipling'

In 1971, Jeff and Cheryl became Christians, and in 1973, they married. After a year at LSU Medical School, the couple went to Dallas to study at Dallas Theological Seminary, where Jeff earned his ThM in 1979 and then his doctorate in 1982 from Denver Seminary. The website adds that Jeff Gilmore has a "passion for discipling both adults and students".

Cheryl graduated from Dallas Baptist College with a bachelor's degree in music in 1975. Jeff and Cheryl then founded churches in Breckenridge, TX, and Orlando, FL before settling in Iowa City, IA, where Jeff spent almost 30 years as the Senior Pastor of a church of 2500 people located adjacent to the University of Iowa campus.

The couple's children are also immersed in baseball. Jeff, their oldest son, pitched at Iowa before transferring to DBU and pitching for three years. Jon, the youngest son, was a first-round draught selection by the Braves, was transferred to the White Sox after a shoulder injury, and went on to DBU, University of Iowa Medical School, where he completed a pediatric residency. The couple's oldest daughter Liz married Dan Heefner, who is the head coach of DBU baseball. Six of their twenty-three grandkids have expressed an interest in continuing to play baseball.

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