Taylor inspired by his mother’s prayers
By Robert Cloud
The new pastor at Parfreyville United Methodist Church is leading his first congregation.
Rev. Eric Taylor first felt a calling to the ministry when he was in eighth grade.
A native of Stevens Point, Taylor graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where he studied business administration, and then earned his master of divinity degree from Boston University in 2015.
Taylor said he planned to become a pastor before obtaining a business degree.
“My pastor suggested that a business degree would be quite useful for the day-to-day operations of a nonprofit church,” Taylor said.
Taylor said he has been an active church member “as far back as I can remember.”
“I was involved in various ministries as a kid,” he said. “I was in the church-camp program, first as a camper, then as a counselor.”
Taylor, who attended St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Stevens Point, said he participated in the visual ministry program.
“For Trinity Sunday, we would take three pieces of white fabric and weave them together to represent what we believed our Triune God meant to us,” Taylor said.
Encouraged by his pastor to consider the ministry, Taylor’s sense of calling was in large part inspired by a story his mother told him.
“Shortly before I was born, there were complications involving spina bifida,” Taylor said. “They were not sure if I would live or not.”
Although the doctors were uncertain if the baby would survive birth or would be paralyzed below the waist if it did survive, Taylor said his mother made a decision not to have an abortion.
During her pregnancy, Taylor’s mother prayed, “That I would be born happy and healthy. If God would do that, then God could use me for the rest of my days,” he said.
“I was born happy and, for the most part, healthy,” Taylor said. “There were some minor health concerns due to premature birth, but nothing out of the ordinary.”
About six weeks after his birth, his family was on a road trip when Taylor first began exhibiting symptoms of spinal meningitis.
“I was crying in the back seat, then all of the sudden I stopped,” Taylor said.
His mother jumped into the back of the car. Her infant son was not breathing and she could not feel a pulse. She performed CPR to resuscitate him, all the while repeating her prayer for a healthy, happy baby.
“As I heard this story as an eighth-grader, I realized that I was happy and healthy. I discerned a call to the ministry,” Taylor said. “I felt God pushing me into the unknown of vocational ministry.”
Married to Holly Taylor, who is also a Stevens Point native and a UW-Stevens Point graduate, Rev. Taylor began serving the Parfreyville church in September 2015.