A word from author, Erin Stevens about Chris Taylor of the Taylors…
Welcome back Scoopers. We’re ringing in the new year in Younger Perspective style. I thought we’d kick January off on the right foot with someone you all have come to know and love. Chris Taylor of the Taylors is up first. There are aspects of his musical childhood, love story, and miraculous healing that you do not want to miss. Let’s get right to it…
Erin Stevens: As many know, you grew up in a ministry home, influenced by your family’s love of music. Describe for us some your earliest memories of harmonizing with your siblings. And at what point did you feel this was a calling on your life?
Chris Taylor: I was involved in church choir ever since I was old enough to speak. My mother, being the music minister at our church, began working with us on harmonizing around age 13. I remember vividly standing around the out-of-tune church piano, in our small rural church for what seemed like hours. At that point, we were each fairly good at singing the melody, but mom wanted to teach us all the parts. So, we listened as she played out each note on the piano so we could hear it exactly how it should be sung. We’re all pretty fast learners, and since it was fun to hear the parts together, we quickly learned how to harmonize. So, we formed the Taylors as a four-part quartet when I was 15, and in 2008, I realized this was what God called us to do.
Stevens: Is there a particular Taylors concert from 2017 that stands out as having a lasting impact upon you?
Taylor: There have been so many. But there was one that was pretty special just a few weeks ago. We have been praying for a family member to get in right relationship with the Lord for over two years. He decided to attend our local concert and cried during the entire service. He told us after that he re-dedicated his life to the Lord that night.
Stevens: In your years of travel, what is a humorous bus mishap or breakdown that you will soon never forget?
Taylor: Oh boy. I will never forget a Sunday morning in Asheboro, N.C. I was fairly new to driving a bus. The church had a steep drive and a low dip at the bottom of the driveway. I knew if we were going to attempt this we would possibly bottom out, so I’d have to give it some speed and hope for the best. I hit the accelerator and up we went, until we got about halfway up and got stuck … and I mean really stuck. I was so embarrassed as the rear end was sticking out in the road for several hours for everyone driving by to see.
Stevens: Many people will remember the illness you went through. Please share with the readers how your trust in Christ helped you through those days of uncertainty.
Taylor: About three years ago, I contracted a severe viral infection. In fact, it was so severe that I thought I was dying. I don’t mean to exaggerate, and I hate going to the doctor for anything … but it was bad. I wouldn’t even wish it on my enemies. I prayed so much for God to heal me or to at least send me to the right doctor who could figure out what was wrong with me. It went from bad to worse, and I was hospitalized for fluid around my heart, lungs and enlarged spleen. I even had a heart murmur. I remember lying in the ER (emergency room) waiting to get a room and thinking, ‘I’m too young to die.’ I began pleading with God, but nothing changed until I remembered what Job did in his suffering. I prayed, “God, if you choose to heal me, I’ll serve you. And it you choose to not heal me, I’ll serve you anyway.” And that’s when the healing process began. Within days, I was stronger and feeling better than I had in months and was home by the end of the week. I don’t think I would have had that happen without trusting Christ as the sovereign one. I still suffered from other issues for about a year after that, but I thank God that He healed me. I’m now stronger than I was before.
Stevens: How did you and Amanda meet? What is your love story from back in the day?
Taylor: We performed a concert at her church. I saw her in the crowd, and I knew she was the one. We talked for a few months and were engaged soon after. Best decision of my Christian life was to convince her to be my bride. She’s my sweetheart and the only woman I’ve ever kissed. I wouldn’t trade a single minute with her.
Stevens: Through your eyes, what has it been like becoming a daddy and balancing family and your life on the road?
Taylor: I never realized how amazing parenthood is. Emma Rose is my buddy. It’s certainly a challenge to balance home life and road life, but, honestly, I spend more time with her at home than I would in another career choice. Because, when I’m home, I can spend the weekdays with her. Being away makes me appreciate and miss my girls. As they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Stevens: It’s no secret that your family’s travels outside the United States have been well documented on social media. What is a country you most enjoy returning to and why?
Taylor: I love all of our overseas travels. I think I enjoy Sweden and Norway most since they don’t get a lot of groups over. They treat us so well when we are there.
Stevens: What is a Chris Taylor quirk that not many folks would guess?
Taylor: Definitely talking to myself. Most times, I will not even realize that I’m doing it until Amanda asks me who I’m talking to.
Stevens: What are some exciting things fans can be anticipating from the Taylors in 2018?
Taylor: A brand new album … stay tuned.
Stevens: Although, as Christians, we don’t put much stock in New Year’s resolutions, could you share some thoughts and a scripture passage that offer hope and encouragement as our readers embark upon 2018?
Taylor: Through trial and experience, I’ve learned that God won’t bring you to something without bringing you through it. It may hurt, but He’s doing something through it to make you better. Don’t get discouraged when you face trials, for they produce perseverance. James 1:2-4 … “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Closing thoughts from Erin Stevens…
May we run the race with a steadfast assurance in our Lord Jesus Christ as we face a new year. I know a fresh set of 12 months can bring excitement, but for some, it brings fear and uncertainty. My friends, do you know who is holding your tomorrows right in the palm of His hand? The Lord promises to walk alongside you in the days to come. Lean upon His Word and stand upon His promises.
And that’s my take on it.
Until next month, Scoops fans.
Connect with Erin on Twitter at @photosforkeeps and on Instagram at @photos_for_keeps.
By Erin Stevens of The Stevens for SGNScoops Magazine, January 2018.