For Jason Taylor, taking the position of pastor at the First Reformed Church of Prairie City was a bit of a homecoming. The Prairie City native and PCM graduate went to youth group at the church growing up and had been serving as an occasional guest pastor until taking the position full time July 1.
“This position came open a few years ago and I was doing a little bit of pulpit supply and they inquired a little bit, but when it came open again they asked a little more seriously so we took the steps to see what it would take and it all came together really nicely,” Taylor said.
Taylor, who grew up a mile south of Prairie City, attended the Church of the Brethren while at home. He went on to Iowa State University where he studied English and theater and spent a few years performing following graduation.
It was then he met his future wife, Andrea Brummel, and started to serve as a camp counselor for Andrea’s father, Joe Brummel. Taylor also knew Joe through his time in youth group at First Reformed, where Joe served as pastor.
He went in to the ministry after getting engaged and started his career as a youth director in Rock Valley for four years before moving to Pella, to serve as the youth director at Second Reformed Church for 14 years.
Taylor said he didn’t think anything would get him to leave his previous position in Pella, but the pull to come to his former church, and the church his father-in-law served for many years, was too great.
“The whole thing was a little bit of a shock and a big God thing, but it all fell in place and worked out,” Taylor said. “Everybody was willing and positive and it was a big plus that this was the first church where I came in pretty much knowing everybody and if I didn’t, Andrea did. It was easier than going some place with a blank slate.”
Along with his family, which includes children Carson and Owen, Taylor is back in Prairie City, more than two decades later. So far it has been “fantastic, great, especially considering they all knew me when I was in high school,” he joked. Taylor said he isn’t looking to make any drastic changes at the church but is excited to see what the future holds.
“I think there is a lot of room for growth,” Taylor said. “They are at a really interesting point where the old school members are almost at an equal number to the younger, new generation, which is always a fun, good point to be where you have to transition into what is next.”
For now, he is looking forward to the start of the school year which brings the start of most of the major programs at the church.
“There is a lot of excitement, a lot of participation, so we’re excited,” Taylor said.
Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or firstname.lastname@example.org