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