Melanie Taylor, a native of Chicago and graduate of Union, accepted the university’s director of discipleship ministries position Feb. 1 after Dan Lancaster recommended her for the job soon after the position became available.
“My favorite part of this job when students are willing to share their stories with me and we’re able to marvel at God’s faithfulness together,” she said. “It’s a gift when I’m able to speak from what the Lord is doing in my life and a student says later that they were encouraged.”
Since 2009, Taylor has been active on campus as a student majoring in sports management with an emphasis in ministry. She has been a Bible study leader, president of MOSAIC, YoungLife leader, enrollment counselor and GO Trip team leader. In 2014, she transferred to University Ministries, where she served as the ministry coordinator.
“I’m blessed to be able to provide input in the various areas of our office such as: chapel, service and diversity initiatives and the Center for Reconciliation,” Taylor said.”As a part of the University Ministries team I also have provided input for the Women’s Cooperative groups.”
Taylor has been a member of City Fellowship Baptist Church since the spring of 2010 and worked during the summer of 2012 as a counselor at Kids Across America camp in Golden, Missouri which was an experience Taylor said heavily influenced her perspective of ministry.
“Since I became a believer in high school I’ve felt the spirit kindling a desire in me to shepherd those younger in their faith,” she said. “The context and demographics for that have varied for me, but the calling will always be there.”
Taylor’s love for the Lord and passion for pouring into the lives of those around her is evident in her work. On a recent GO Trip, Taylor and her team were sharing stories of God’s faithfulness, and she felt led to speak about a personal testimony that was difficult for her to share. Eventually, she stepped out in faith to obey the leading of the holy spirit and was rewarded for it, she said.
“The next day a student came to talk to me about that story and we were able to connect and praise the Lord together for the freedom we’ve experienced in Christ,” she said. “In that moment I felt the Lord reaffirm that this is the role he has for me in this season.”