I first met Taylore at the College Sunday School class I help teach at FUMC Stephenville. Initially, many of the students in that Sunday School class were not involved in the community life of Tarleton Wesley. Being upperclassmen, the Wesley had not offered them any opportunities to serve or grow in their faith. Soon after I began to help teach that Sunday School class many of the students, including Taylore, became active at Tarelton Wesley. Over the course of one semester I have seen the students mature as disciples of Christ and Taylore especially. She is a consistent presence at the Wesley and at Church and active in service with a special heart for children’s ministry. Before the Fall 2012 semester ended, after our last Wesley service, I could tell Taylore wanted to talk to me as she was patiently waiting while I was discussing sports with another student. She told me she had just applied to Perkins and was discerning a call to ordination in the UMC! She appeared like she had crossed a threshold but this call was something she kept quietly to herself. I was blessed to be the first person other than Taylore to know both of her call and application to Perkins.
Taylore came to Tarleton as an Animal Science, Pre-Vet major with the intention of becoming a veterinarian. She grew up showing sheep and continues to do so. It was the summer before her senior year where she became aware that God might be calling her to vocational ministry. In her own words, “Out of the blue, Cheryl Bishop, the head of the Children’s Ministry at Custer Road UMC, offered me a summer internship and I began to realize God was telling me something. I began to really listen and discern the plans God has for me. Getting the chance to work in the Children’s Ministry helped me see God’s will, and the plans God has for me over what I had laid out for myself. This internship really got me thinking about going into ministry, but it was not until I worked at Bridgeport Camp that I realized Children’s Ministry is where I am supposed to be. Being at the camp and teaching not only Custer Road kids but kids from all over the conference about the Bible and God, something clicked for me and at that point I knew God had bigger plans for me. I fully recognized my call to ministry and I have responded to that call.” She is open and discerning as to whether she is called to be an Elder, Deacon, or Licensed Local Pastor. She overcame her fear to tell her family and friends and they have given her strength and encouragement. I met with Taylore to talk about her getting started in the candidacy process. She has currently gone before her SPRC at Custer Road and met with the DS. I am working with her on Wesley’s historic questions. Finally, she is set to go before DCOM and take her Psychological Evaluation with the goal of becoming a Certified Candidate before the Fall 2013 semester of Perkins begins. I will continue to challenge Taylore to serve in new ways at Tarleton Wesley this Spring in light of her call, so she can understand her gifts and graces and growing edges and be all the wiser as she continues to pursue God’s will.