Althea C. Taylor was born in New Rochelle, New York, and grew up in the Bronx, one of the five boroughs comprising New York City. Raised in the Church of the Nazarene, she is the youngest of three sisters. In 1999, she left the corporate world to pursue full-time ministry and ordination. Prior to her current role as coordinator for Nazarene Compassionate Ministries (NCM) USA/Canada, she served as associate pastor of Bronx Bethany Church of the Nazarene. In late 2012 she is leaving the NCM assignment and returning to Bronx Bethany to serve as the executive pastor.
Best thing about living in New York City?
The diversity (culture, race, class"you name it| NY has it!).
Who in the world would you most like to meet?
Habit you?d like to change?
I would love to travel the continent of Africa.
Word or phrase you most overuse?
How can the church better serve single adults?
Not quite sure. I don?t define myself by my singleness. The church would do well to serve men, women, youth, and children by emphasizing healthy, mature relationships with God and each other that reflect the love of Christ expressed in how we relate to each other. I am naive enough to believe the rest will handle itself (i.e., marriage, and so on).
What drew you to ministry?
The needs of the poor and marginalized, and realizing I was living in a world where God was becoming more of an option than a must have. Society is oblivious to God and that bothers me!
Do you have a mentor?
Samuel Vassel, pastor of Bronx Bethany Church of the Nazarene.
Why does the church need clergy from both genders?
To reflect the nature of God. If a woman is honorable enough to carry the Word of God then God has also made her honorable enough to speak the Word of God.
What's the most pressing issue facing your arm of NCM?
Development! For many years we have relegated compassion to relief only. But compassion must push the envelope to address development of the human spirit and condition in all areas of injustice, for the vulnerable and voiceless (i.e., poverty, homelessness, immigration, youth, children, lack of equitable resources).
Best part of your assignment?
The people I have the pleasure of meeting.
Where's the balance of reaching out locally or thinking globally?
We are called to do both, think and act both locally as well as globally. The balance is to respond compassionately as well as practically. God asks us for ourselves first, then our resources (give what you have).
How can we prevent compassion fatigue?
Practicing Sabbath. I struggle with this but I?m working on it. I?ve heard it said, "When we work, we work. But when we rest, God works."
Not sure I have one.
Favorite word or phrase?
"No" is not an option!
What would we be surprised to learn about you?
I have more insecurities than most people think.
Favorite Scripture passage?
If HT readers could see the world from your vantage point, what would they learn?
That I love deeply, feel deeply, and respond passionately for Christ.
Holiness Today, July/August 2012