Thursday, October 3, 2013 —
This past Sunday morning, September 29th, Mike Taylor left this earth. Here are a few thoughts that have filled my head since he passed.
I met Mike Taylor when I became the senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Albemarle in May of 2003. The first relationship we had was pastor to parishioner. Mike and his wife Susan were the best kind of church members, always supportive, always encouraging, always affirming. Mike was a very astute man; he observed the world around him with great clarity. I have no doubt that he had a crystal clear perception of all my flaws and shortcomings, and yet, he always focused on my strengths. His Christ-like compassion called him to affirm me and my ministry often and for that I will forever be in his debt.
It was not long after I came to Albemarle that our relationship became more than formal. Mike and I became friends. I am not sure when it started, but Mike would call one morning about every three or four weeks and ask if I was free for lunch. We shared many noon meals together and great conversations. We talked about faith, the church, politics, movies, and a whole host of other subjects. Those who knew Mike knew of his great intellect. Whenever I was leaving the church office to walk to Mike’s law practice across North Street, I would always say to the secretary, “It is time for the Town Genius and the Village Idiot to have lunch.” She knew that Mike was for the former and I was the latter. I was often confused why someone so brilliant would want to dine with me, but for whatever reason, he did. I cherish my memories of those lunches, and more than that I cherish the thought that Mike wanted to dine with someone vastly intellectually inferior. His friendship was a precious gift.