By Mindy Ragan Wood, Staff Writer – A new church will celebrate their first service in a local school this Sunday.
The Bridge Church will meet at 10:45 Sunday morning at the Piedmont Intermediate School, 977 Washington Ave. They will have Daddy Brad’s BBQ food truck after the service and games and inflatables for families.
The Bridge is affiliated with the Assemblies of God denomination with an associated campus in Mustang. Although pastors Jason and Shara Taylor are new to Piedmont, the small town has been in their hearts for several years.
“Fifteen years ago, in 2001 I served in Mustang as the associate pastor. Our plan was to launch an extended campus here and we were going to the first lead campus pastors,” Pastor Jason Taylor said. “But plans changed when the church I grew up in asked us to speak because our pastor had become ill. We did and after service that Sunday, the pastor and the board asked if I could come back to Houston and help him transition into retirement. We never launched that campus here.”
There the Taylors stayed and pastored what grew to be a large church in Houston. Last year they both felt a change was coming.
“We had great success there and thought it was going to be home forever. Ove the last year the Lord stirred in our heart the desire to follow through with planting churches,” Taylor said. “When my (former) pastor here called me and asked if I’d like to return and finish what we started, my wife and I prayed about it. It was a big deal because we were already lead pastors at a great church. But position has never been a big deal to God, but opportunity and obedience is. So, we gladly took it, and we’re here.”
Taylor moved to Piedmont alone in March, with his family later following in May. He said they were grateful for the “open arms” from the staff at the middle and high school and the district administration both for use of the school and helping his family begin a fresh start.
“They have strived to make our transition as smooth as possible. Houston was great but I never had the hospitality and personal support like when I came here,” he said.
While there are well established church in Piedmont, Taylor said they hope to be an addition to other churches and a support to the community. The Bridge has a particular focus on mission and training pastors for church plants in places most preachers fear to tread. The 1040 window is known by Christian leaders as the most densely populated part of the world with the greatest need for evangelism.
Taylor said the Bridge and affiliated churches donate $1 million dollars annually to mission efforts all over the world, from Madagascar to the Republic of Georgia.
The heart for missions will be just one set of values that Taylor believes his family will share with his congregants. On Sunday he will begin a five week series on “Shared Values,” which he said will set the expectation for the church’s calling and act as a Biblical compass for what they believe.
“We value God leading. We want to position ourselves through prayer, relationship, and averting possible to be able to hear from the Lord to do what we need to do. We value generations, meeting the needs of everyone from every age. We’re not here to appeal to one demographic,” he said.
The church will have a nursery, children’s, and youth ministry services, but already the Bridge is involved off church campus. Each week Taylor and two other church members meet with students at the middle and high school for the national organization, Youth for Christ school club. On Wednesday nights, they will begin transporting teens to the Mustang campus where at least 300 other youth gather for service.
Soul winning is the hallmark of almost any Christian church and the Bridge is no exception.
“Our motto is ‘Helping people get to the other side,’ that’s why we’re called the Bridge. We’re just an addition to the already great churches that are here and we hope we can reach people who are not (in Christ)…and help them reach other side,” Taylor said.
During their short time here, Taylor said he is getting a feel for the town.
“I love the people. I there’s a feeling here among people who call it home that this is special. It’s not your typical town. The people who call it home genuinely love this town and would do anything to make it strong and good. I saw that with the Junklahoma committee.
They are completely passionate about excellence and they’re not afraid of progress, but losing their identity for the sake of progress. Mustang went through that too years ago when they were a smaller community and experienced a lot of growth,” he said. “So, we can understand that.”
The love of the landscape and the scenery also have delighted the Taylor family.
“I love the sunsets,”he said. “I sit on the porch every night and watch them. In Houston, I couldn’t do that because of the way the houses were built. My wife said she forgot how beautiful the sky could be.”
The Taylors and church members were helping out at Junklahoma during the Founders Day events, emptying trash cans and manning golf carts.
Already they feel part of the community and look forward to the future.
“It’s on our heart that as we grow we can be part of the town and be more support for it as well,” he said.
The Taylors have two children in the Piedmont school district. They are Jaron, 16, and Jesyln, an eighth grader at Piedmont Middle School.
Services will be held at the Piedmont Intermediate School on Sunday mornings only at 10:45.
For more information call 405-376-4538 or email email@example.com Their website is piedmont.wearethebridge.church