Remembering Lois Taylor
Lois Taylor, 97, of Pittsfield, Illinois, passed away on 27 November 2023. She was a retired missionary who served for 19 years in Guyana, the Bahamas, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Lois was born in Lawrence County, Illinois, to Lester and Florence Barekman. She grew up in Lawrence County and graduated from Trinity High School in Evansville, Indiana, and then Olivet Nazarene University in Kankakee, Illinois. She married Samuel Taylor in April 1950. After he graduated from Olivet Nazarene University, they pastored Winslow and Roachdale, Indiana, Church of the Nazarene in southern Indiana. Samuel was ordained in the Church of the Nazarene in 1955.
In 1959, the Taylors were appointed to foreign missionary service by the General Board of the Church of the Nazarene. They spent 20 years in foreign service in Guyana, the Bahamas, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago. The Taylors were responsible for building seven new churches on the fields and served as field coordinators for 14 years.
After returning to the States, they pastored Bloomington Eastside, Vincennes First, and then Columbus First, where a beautiful new sanctuary was built during their ministry. Finally, they served four and a half years in Petersburg, Indiana, where Samuel suffered a fatal heart attack in March 1998.
Through 45 years in full-time ministry, Lois served in many positions: teaching, conducting Vacation Bible School, performing music, storytelling, and speaking in many churches about missions. She was also an excellent cook and served many meals to general superintendents, district superintendents, and others. She received the loving nickname of “Martha” (Luke 10) as she prepared food and served it through the dining window in Barbados to six Indiana visiting pastors who were all holding revivals for the week.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Lester and Florence Barekman; husband of 48 years, Samuel M. Taylor; daughter, Rachel Leann; and infant great-grandsons Sammy Hedge and Joziah Emmons.
She is survived by daughter Rebecca Freesmeyer; four grandchildren; and seventeen great-grandchildren.