Voices of Taylors | Gary and Rita McIntyre
In the summer of 1985, our family was transferred to South Carolina from Cincinnati, Ohio. We visited several churches, but after our first visit to Taylors, we knew we had found a church home!
The warm, welcoming spirit we felt drew us in immediately. We know that the beauty of that spirit has endured through the years at Taylors because we have recently heard the very same testimony from new members.
What seemed such a large church to us quickly became “smaller” as we involved ourselves in some of the many opportunities for ministry and fellowship. We actually had an assigned choir robe before we had a church membership number! Taylors has long been blessed with a wonderful Music Ministry. God has brought amazingly gifted leaders and musicians through the years to lead His people in offering worshipful praise to our Lord. It was truly a joy to participate at various times working with children’s choirs, youth choir, handbell choirs and singing in the adult choir and ensembles.
We believe the most significant characteristic of Taylors, which is vital to the life of the Body, is the value that is placed on God’s Word.
We believe the most significant characteristic of Taylors, which is vital to the life of the Body, is the value that is placed on God’s Word. The message and truth of God’s Word is preached and taught faithfully here. It has also been sent out from here to many parts of the world through Taylors FBC mission teams and our strong support of the Cooperative Program.
Serving the body of Christ
There have been many opportunities for us to be involved in fulfilling God’s call on our lives to teach His Word. I (Rita) began leading Precept Inductive Bible Studies at Taylors in 1987 after meeting a fellow Taylors member at a Leader Training workshop. When she found out I was member at Taylors, her first words to me were, “I have been praying for God to send someone to lead Precept at Taylors.” That was a confirmation of the direction the Lord was leading and for the next seventeen years I had the privilege of leading classes of inductive Bible studies at Taylors. When I think about those years, I often remember Clayton Spruell. In those days, we didn’t have staff present in the building at night, so I was given a key to let myself in. Clayton had the job of coming each evening to make sure the buildings were locked and every week he would meet us at the end of class with his flashlight to see us safely to our cars. He was faithful to be there and always had a smile and encouraging word to send us on our way! Clayton is just one example of the many servant hearts that have passed through Taylors First Baptist Church on their way to Heaven.
One of our first Sunday School teaching opportunities was a young married class in the early part of the 1990’s. We had such an amazing group of couples that we loved so much and we are blessed to see many of them still here and serving as leaders. One of the couples just became grandparents…yes, that makes us feel old!!
In June 2008, we were asked to start a multi-generational Life Group for the traditional service attendees. We must confess it was not something we were anxious to do because we very much enjoyed the contemporary service and this would mean changing services. But after praying it through, we knew this was what the Lord was calling us to do. We were GLAD to do it for the Lord… however, we didn’t know then that it was really about what the Lord was doing for US!
The Link Life Group was birthed in September of 2008 and we had no idea what a personal blessing this group would soon be!
Receiving Help & Ministry
We loved serving and giving in ministry at Taylors. However in 2009, we experienced the Taylors FBC church body from a different perspective…we found ourselves in need of help and ministry. In January 2009, Gary unexpectedly lost his job due to the economy and along with that, of course, his medical insurance. In June, he was diagnosed with a debilitating autoimmune disease that hospitalized him with kidney failure and six weeks later, hospitalized again for a ruptured colon. By September he was basically bedridden due to side effects of the medications. We were reeling.
This is where words fail to communicate the impact of God’s grace through His people at Taylors. Our mailbox was regularly filled with “prayer grams” and cards that encouraged us and many times contained a check to help with medical bills. Men came by to sit with Gary and at other times to cut our grass. A precious sister in Christ, who at the time we did not know that well, made us a book full of Scriptures and hymn texts that were prayed over and chosen just for us, which was such a treasure during the dark days. Financial gifts came from several different groups throughout the church. Our Life Group, The Link, surrounded us with their love and prayers, prepared meals and every week would send me home with funds for our needs that week. They continue to be a huge blessing to us as we meet on Sundays and “LINK up with God and with one another.” The warm and welcoming spirit we felt when we first joined Taylors twenty-nine years ago is alive and well and we are eternally grateful.
The warm and welcoming spirit we felt when we first joined Taylors twenty-nine years ago is alive and well and we are eternally grateful.
God’s plan for us has brought restored health. And now we are looking forward to serving on one of the mission teams, taking the Word of God and His gospel to Salt Lake City!
We praise God for the heart Taylors First Baptist Church has in caring for the household of faith (Galatians 6:10) and for its mission to take the gospel to our community and to the world.