Pastor Spotlight - Archive  
  Pastor: Pastor Kevin Taylor
Unity Fellowship Church - New Brunswick, NJ
Interview by:
Tuan N'Gai

Tuan N'Gai (TN): Pastor Taylor, what I do is start every interview by having you complete a thought. So, here we go…God opens doors:

Kevin Taylor (KT): And windows, and trap doors, and ceilings if He has to.

TN: Clarify that.

KT: I just believe in the lyrics to the song that says "what God has for me is for me". And if God has something for you, God will find a way to make it happen. I always tell my congregation "dream your fullest dream because what you have at the top of your prayer list is on the bottom of the list of what God has for you." So, hurry up and get it out the way.

TN: Give us a little about your church and ministry.

KT: I pastor Unity Fellowship of New Brunswick New Jersey. We are the 12th church in the Unity Fellowship movement founded by Arch-Bishop Carl Bean. We are a ministry of inclusion. Founded by African-American GLBT folk in the African tradition. We are a social justice ministry. Understanding that Jesus spoke about the work of Christians being not just about coming to church on Sunday. It was about feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the infirmed and imprisoned. We ARE a church every day. We come TO church once a week. We are looking to be a 24/7 church. We have a "Hump Night Ministry" which is just a rap session where people can come and get it off their chest. Why struggle for the rest of the week? Get it off your chest and keep serving. Bring it here and leave it here. Every day the church is open for noon prayer. We're trying to see God daily.

TN: What is the vision for UFC New Brunswick?

KT: I remain open to God every day. Today it feels like we are a ministry of perfect inclusion. In building our UFC's and MCC's we are often so gay ourselves that we forget that there may be someone else who was denied too and thought they could fit in. God forbid we have someone who feels like Bro. or Sis. Outsider when they came to us feeling that way. Our mandate is that the old, young, gay, straight, trans-gender, the well-to-do, and the well-I don't know-what-to-do will come to the church and find themselves. Because the things they have been called to do for God exist and are real, and they can be called to do it here, fully and freely.

TN: What do you feel about people wanting to BECOME ministers? How do you propose we get the church to go back to it's calling which is service vs. becoming leaders?

KT: The saddest part of the allegory that you paint Tuan is that in being servant to the people, you become a full leader. Dr. Julia Hare says "one of the conflicts of black folks is that we have begun to confuse black leaders with leading blacks." We all know leading influential people. People who preach every Sunday who lead in the community. But we as ministers are called to be black leaders and to do a new thing. We (UFC-NB) have a political action committee with a sister who stands up every week with voter registration forms. I testified before the Senate here in New Jersey about Domestic Partnership saying in order to be the church that calls people into action, the leaders have to be active themselves. You have to ACT like you KNOW. You have to perform as though you are aware. We can't have the attitude "you can't be bothering me" if I'm your pastor. We're so constructed to believe that we are being reverential to leave the pastor alone. If you feel like I'm accessible to you and I'm your servant all day long, you shouldn't have to only call me when there is a suicide attempt or we're about to get foreclosed on. Call me at the beginning of the problem so we can do some counseling or pass around a basket to help you before you are in a position that you feel like you must crawl to the throne of grace.

TN: Tell me a little about the UFC Conference coming up in April in Baltimore.

KT: Every year we gather twice. Once in October for Convocation and another is like a regional celebration. This year, we are in Baltimore, the birth city of our Arch-Bishop and it's our Annual Mid-Year Meeting. It also happens to be his 60th birthday. It promises to be a high time. The Mayor of the city and the Governor have both sent proclamations. But more importantly the people are able to come together to worship. It's the kind of _expression where free folks and faithful folks in the same setting.

TN: What is the theme for the conference? KT: The local church chooses the theme. But the overall theme for us is always "God is Love and Love is for Everyone".

TN: When we talk about same gender marriage, you know that the first thing people bring up is the Bible. Why is it that people want to deny the SGL community the very institution that has supposedly made this nation so great?

KT: One of the conflicts of this is America is, as we talk about SGL people, we want to have the audacity to separate "gay rights" from "civil rights". The last time I checked "civil" was not a synonym for "black". Civil Rights are for HUMANS. So how we get that twisted, I don't know. Particularly people who are OF a people whose only affirmation and confirmation of their marriage was to be allowed by no circumspect of the government, the backwoods wedding of jumping over a broom. I'm from a lineage, like many of us, who are shades of cocoa or caramel, whose lightness came from somewhere other than our own heritage. Somewhere in our entire lineage is an Aunt Sally who was a white woman who was married to a black man, and they didn't have their love affirmed either. This kind of electoral hatred is no longer acceptable.

They are afraid that in a time where we have access to things whereby we can buy anything from one left shoe to gym equipment, if they affirm our marriages, they will be able to see that their neighbors (SGL people) are just like them, and they can no longer pronounce hell fire and damnation on them. They will in fact be forced to serve the calling to "love thy neighbor". America gets off on division. That's why we have KFC and Popeye's on the same corner. You know, black gay men will get into a bloody fight over Diana Ross versus Donna Summer. Black folks who don't even own the projects will get in a fight over K Street versus L Street. Division is alive and well. It sickens me to think that a black man would have the unmitigated audacity to say he'd support the Klan, and not recognize that they would turn on him. Once they get rid of all the faggies, they'll go on a nigger hunt. They will go back to their original purpose and try to get rid of niggers. So even though the sheer thought and arrogance of it is sickening, it's telling. I for one am glad to see the Klan, be they white man, or black preacher, put their hoods on again. That way I know who my enemies are. I can then love them on purpose.

TN: You brought up the issue of division and how we have adopted this divisive spirit. What do you propose people who are "leaders" in the community do to mend the divide? Because, if we are going to heal our community, we're gonna have to do it together.

KT: The only way we begin to bridge gaps in the community is for we who are called to spread the Good News to be reminded of the gap. Our work as servants is to mind the gap. We are to stand in the gap and build bridges between different people. The truth is a bridge. If we could have collective conversations between races and peoples, then maybe the Black man will pull up the White woman, and she will take the hand of the Asian man, who will pull up the Latino baby, and will try to help one another. We will then realize that we aren't competing against each other. The only competitors we have are ourselves. If we know better, we will do better. And if we are called to do better, it's because something INSIDE, that is transcendent, calls us to do better.

TN: Well Pastor, you know I can talk to you all day. But we must end this interview (laughing). I ask this question to end every interview. If you had 45 seconds to address everyone in the world, what would you say?

KT: WOW! Here we go. The Lord says "talk. Just open your mouth and I will speak".

People of the Universe; listen to me because I've found out for myself.

God loves you just as you are. Right now. Right here.

Perform as though you believe it, like you receive it as truth! GOD LOVES YOU!

There is no separation. Nothing that is formed against you shall prosper. Nothing can separate you from love. And the only way anyone can separate you from God's love is if you believe them when they tell you that you ARE nothing. Because NOTHING CAN separate you from God's love. If you feel like nothing and act like nothing and believe you are nothing, then that nothing mentality will separate you! And if you let it, it will.

BUT, God is saying " I love you. Now get what you came for and mind the gap! And please, my dear children, act like you know!"

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