Just wanted to add my support. I agree with your father.
I was unsaved when I married, but I was intrigued by this “light” that shined from the eyes of the pastor, who was a true believer. Later when our marriage ran into difficulty, my first thought was to go to church, that perhaps it would help some how to go to church. My husband would have none of this, so that was the end of that. We did divorce after 7 years, and shortly after the divorce I got saved. But my first exposure to the reality of the Holy Spirit and God was at my own wedding!
I think your father’s former pastor is legalistic when he should be filled with grace.