Lin and Keith Cunningham’s Story
We believe the people of Taylors have always been mission minded. They have been more than willing to step forward with their money, their time and their talents to help with missions. Faithful men and women have led WMU, RA’s and GA’s in supporting missions around the world throughout the history of Taylors First Baptist Church. Missions emphasis, however, seemed to change after a trip to Grenada in approximately 1977.
Dr. Ernest Carswell, the pastor at the time, had been working on his doctorate degree. Organizing and implementing the trip was part of his doctorate. An awareness of the need to be involved in missions seemed to stir as the congregation became involved in praying and supporting those who had volunteered to go to Grenada. This awareness carried over after the team returned.
In 1979, “Mobile Medical Missions” was formed through the inspiration of Dr. Burton Davis. Once a year a team of doctors, nurses, and dentists flew to Brazil to minister to the needs of the people. Many received medical care and the gospel of Jesus Christ as the teams ministered to the people of Brazil.
In 1986, Taylors student ministry became involved with missions in the Appalachian mountains of Tennessee through the efforts of Lisa Hammett who had written an article on the poverty of that area. Taylors made a commitment to the people of Appalachia to send student teams for six years each summer during school vacation. At the end of that commitment, Taylors students and adults continued to minister to the people of Clinton, Tennessee for four years and one year in Jefferson City.
Led by Lance Taylor, Student Minister, the students spent the next two summers in Acuna, Mexico, ministering in the name of Jesus Christ. And his successor, Kelly Cowan, continued to lead Taylors FBC students in the Andes Mountains of Peru, Bulgaria, and Venezuela through World Changers.
Taylors has been an integral part of the lives of missionaries on furlough by providing much needed furnished homes for those missionaries. Our church began with the home adjacent to our recreation fields on Taylors Road, added 113 Edwards Street, and James Street as they became available. These homes have been renovated and maintained in part by the people of Taylors, utilizing the efforts of volunteers.
Additionally our church has been involved with the lives of children at Marietta Baptist Camp by providing a cabin for campers. Many volunteers have worked diligently behind the scenes over the years to help in the Taylors community to provide meals and help for those in need. Sunday School classes, now called Life Groups, have contributed their time and money to people in need in ways that cannot be fathomed.
The year 1995 may have been the first year that three separate teams journeyed to Brazil. In 2001, Dr. Frank Page led the first combined medical, evangelism and construction team of fifty persons to Brazil. Dr. Page again changed the face of missions. Because of his heart for and support of missions, there were eight mission teams that served on foreign soil that year. Dr. Page also placed an emphasis on local missions, by encouraging the Single Mom’s Oil Change. He emphasized local, national and international missions…Jerusalem, Judea and all of Samaria, as he would say.
Taylors helped in the formation of a Korean church and a Hispanic church by allowing them to use our chapel for services. Pastor Paul Jimenez has continued to support missions as Taylors moves into the future. Jeremy Thompson, Minister of Missions, has become an integral part of the future of missions at Taylors FBC as we continue to send mission teams all over the United States and other countries.
From our perspective, there has been much joy sharing Taylors FBC’s journey of becoming a strong mission minded church! From being “send” team members, by praying for and financially supporting the first church sponsored international mission trip to Grenada in 1977, to being “go” team members of nine international mission projects, five national, and numerous local mission projects, God has grown us by giving us hearts desiring to serve Him by going and doing, rather than just financially supporting Taylors FBC’s mission ministry and praying for those who do go, a very important aspect to the teams.
God has used two very ordinary, unworthy people by strategically placing faithful servants of His in our paths who have motivated us by their examples to be sensitive to and obedient to wherever God leads in serving Him. As God has developed His gift of service in us, serving Him by serving others, whether at home or away, has become a lifestyle for us. It is where we know God wants us and where He is using us – our desire is to honor Him!