Tay­lor’s life lauded for heart, help

Record Observer - - Front Page - By HAN­NAH COMBS hcombs@kibay­times.com

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.

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