|Berniece Ellis Taylor was born on February 12, 1924. She had to learn to overcome hardships at an early age. After the death of her biological mother, she was lovingly nurtured by Ruby Loving who became her friend, confidant and mother in every sense of the word. Ruby’s faith in the Lord was passed on to her children. In turn this legacy was handed down by Berniece to her family and friends.
To know Berniece was to love her. Her personal courage, determination, perseverance and hard work were inspiring and testified to her conviction that all obstacles could be overcome through faith in Christ and the love and grace of God. Against overwhelming odds, she traveled to Kentucky where she attended Asbury College, worked several jobs simultaneously, and earned a degree in education. She had a long and full career as an educator.
Berniece exemplified Christ and lived a true Christian life. Many lives were enriched by her sweet, gentle spirit including L.W. Taylor who came to know and love Christ wholeheartedly. They were married in 1946 and dedicated themselves to a life of service through the Methodist ministry. They served as a dynamic team, side by side, for 38 years.
Their family was top priority as evidenced by their devotion to their four children and six grandchildren who were constantly and patiently offered unconditional love and support. They unselfishly sacrificed their time, energy, and resources to provide for the needs and desires of their children and grandchildren.
Berniece was a gentle, humble and faithful servant who knew the value of every task, no matter how small. She often served in quiet, behind the scene supportive roles. She accepted the Savior’s request to “Feed My Sheep” both spiritually and physically. She loved to cook and was quick to provide meals whenever and wherever needed to friends and strangers alike. Messages of love and comfort always accompanied the meals which were delivered to countless homes, church activities, and service projects.
Regardless of her own problems or physical discomforts, Berniece was always there with a smile and words of comfort to offer unconditional love and care to others. She provided constant loving care for her husband and companion during a prolonged illness until he completed his earthly mission in 1986. During the last ten years of her life, after L.W. died, she lived in Algiers, LA. Her life continued to center around unselfish service to others through volunteer work at JoEllen Smight Hospital (over 2,000 hours) and service projects at Aurora Methodist Church. She was a devoted wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend, always attentive to our needs. She went to Waco, Texas several times for extended periods of time to care for her ill parents. We all can agree with her brother who said that when the Lord wanted a saint, he picked the best one when he chose Berniece.
Berniece was called home by a loving Heavenly Father to join her loved ones already in His care on May 9, 1996. Left to cherish and honor her memories are her parents, Ruby and Orville Loving; brother, Vernon Ellis; sister, Virginia E. Beard; children, Martha Joyce T. Fyffe, Michael E. Taylor, E. Keith Taylor, R. Wayne Taylor, six grandchildren and many friends.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1997; p. 272 By Martha Fyffe|