The family of Grace Covenant extends a warm welcome to Justin and Amber Taylor and their 3 sons, Colin, Caleb, and Corbin. Amber is a native of Charlotte, a graduate of Gordon Conwell Seminary, a former missionary in South Africa, and a former intern with Changed Choices prison ministry.
Justin is a native of South Africa, a graduate of Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa and Gordon Conwell Seminary. For the past 5 years he has been the pastor of college and young adults at Carmel Baptist. Justin is an accomplished songwriter, composer, recording artist, and gifted worship leader.
Justin officially joins the staff of Grace Covenant Church as of September 1st. He will serve as the Outreach Pastor and will lead the SouthEnd Outreach initiative. He will also share in the teaching, preaching, leading worship, and the pastoral care of the Grace Covenant Church family.
In Justin’s own words:
“There is a special place in my heart for the little country at the bottom of Africa where I was born and raised. The new sanctuary in our church was still under construction when I sat on its steps and confessed Christ as Lord. I grew deeply into the life of that congregation over twenty years until I met my true love, Amber Dimmette. She came over as a missionary for two years, and only half left me behind. So we dated long distance for a year and were married here in Charlotte in the summer of 2008. Seven years later, I am 33, and have three handsome, rambunctious sons, Colin (4), and Caleb (2), and Corbin (born July ’16).
My mom always knew I was called. I was passionate about God and the Bible, though, I never set out to be in ministry. I always thought I was destined to make it in music. But the more deeply I entered into the world of Scripture the more I discovered, each time to my surprise, that “pastor” is who I was becoming. And then Paul’s command thundered in me, “Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress” (1 Tim 4:14-15). And that point it was “here we go.” The next day a friend handed me an envelope saying, “I’m not sure what your plans are for next year, but I felt like you are supposed to have this.” It was an application form to seminary. The path has been a rollercoaster with smiles and tears, and sometimes both at the same time. But in all of it, God is good. He has been my rock and anchor.
The road behind is characterized entirely by the faithfulness of our heavenly Father. I know that the road ahead is already marked by the same providence. I am studying the word, “manna” this year, learning that the True Bread from heaven is my portion. This does not mean certainty, or the absence of pain, but the presence of goodness in Himself. I have gifts of preaching and teaching on the one hand, and music and worship leading on the other. I stand with equal joy behind the guitar and the pulpit, and sit with equal peace inside a study and around a table. But I know God’s plans are more than the sum of these parts. I hold these as gifts from Him. These are my loaves and fishes. I don’t need to do “big things for God” as if would impress Him. I hunger for his agenda, done in His way, and in His strength. So as I pray for wisdom, I am also open to surprise. God has a track record in it.”