Taylor’s life lauded for heart, help
CENTREVILLE — A Celebration of Life was held for Bishop Arlene Faye Taylor on Saturday, Sept. 23, at Queen Anne’s County High School. Taylor was the president of the Queen Anne’s County Board of Education. Family, friends and congregation members filled the auditorium to celebrate Taylor’s life and the many lives of those she had touched through her ministry and outreach.
As it was so succinctly put, when Taylor wasn’t preaching, she was prophesying, when she wasn’t prophesying she was pastoring; and when she wasn’t pastoring, she was planting. A strong woman of strong personality, Taylor was remembered as having a big heart, always helping those in need, and always looking for a way to serve her community. She was remembered as an advocate, mentor and advisor.
“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God,” Bishop Ronald T. Fisher, encouraged those assembled, “as we give thanks for the life we celebrate here today ... as it is a true celebration of life.”
Those in attendance were offered comfort from the scriptures, Psalms, and the New Testament, read by Elders Constance Beach and Lynn Mifflin, and music from soloists Rosie Johnson Woolford and Evangelist Marion Jones, and the Mid Atlantic District Choir.
Taylor, said Fisher, fought until she could fight no more and the large crowd assembled was surely a product of her ministr y.
“As some people journey,
they leave footprints wherever they go. Footprints of kindness and love, courage, empathy, joy and faith. Even when gone, we can look and back and clearly see the trail they left behind, a trail of bright hope we can follow,” offered Fisher on behalf of Bishop Robert Pritchett, presiding Bishop of Chesapeake Regional College of Bishops.
Among those in attendance were representatives of many churches and fellowships from the Eastern Shore, Delaware and Virginia. Those churches offered resolutions, such as the resolution passed by Faith Unity Ministries Fellowship. “On Sept. 14, 2014, she [Taylor] was consecrated as a Bishop,” read the resolution, “On Sept. 18, 2017 she was called by God to Jerusalem ... this Resolution of Admiration ... because above all she loved God and served him with a pure heart ... She fought life’s most difficult times and quietly moved to life’s inevitable end. We shall miss her smile, her love ... gone, but not forgotten.”
For the woman who gave tirelessly of herself to the ministry and her community, said Chosen Generations Deliverance Ministries, “we are each blessed by the presence of Bishop Arlene Taylor in our lives .... Our loss is heaven’s gain and we will be reunited again.”
Queen Anne’s County Board of Education Vice President Annette DiMaggio, too, shared memories and sympathies on behalf of the board. DiMaggio, also a childhood friend of Taylor’s, said Taylor was a champion for those in the community, always with an open door to those who needed help the most. Among other attributes, said DiMaggio, Taylor always tried. And on the board it was important to Taylor that students see leaders like them in positions of authority.
“Who do they emulate?” DiMaggio said Taylor would ask, “[Children] need to see role models like them to grow up to become like them.”
Elder Gregory Martin offered parting remarks, a lesson on the life of the biblical Hezekiah. Like Hezekiah, said Martin, Taylor had struggled for years with pain and sickness, but, said Martin, she believed in prayer and knew the scriptures. Upbeat, uplifting and powerful in her prayers, Martin said he believed Taylor would say, “come on let’s pray. It’s prayer time!” And like Hezekiah, Martin said Taylor’s prayers were wrapped in a relationship with God and around a life filled with fire.
Taylor’s sickness, wouldn’t hold her back, said Martin, because like Hezekiah, sometimes God sees a change an opportunity in one of his own and adjusts his plan. Taylor may have been living on “borrowed time,” said Martin, and one who has been given borrowed time has no time to wait.
“They walk with a purpose,” said Martin, “a vision , no one else can see.” This was Taylor, he said.
“See then,” said Martin to those gathered, “that you walk circumspectly [yourselves], not as fools .... Be careful how you live, and make use of every opportunity.”
Taylor was interred at Bryans Church Cemetery in Grasonville.
The Mid Atlantic District Choir performs at the service.