I was always a curious kid. My parents were not Christians, so I never grew up knowing Jesus Christ, which made me constantly think, “What is missing in my life?” Growing up in Mexico, there were a lot of Catholics. I distinctly remember my father telling me, “Religion is for weak people.” Yet even as a young kid, I knew there had to be a bigger purpose in life than studying, making good grades, and working to graduate early—which I did.
It wasn’t until I started dating my now husband, David, did I finally find an answer to the biggest question I had been searching for so long. He was a Christian when we met, and we studied the Bible together and attended church. It turns out I was right after all. Intellectually, I knew there was a God, but now I had the privilege to know Him. As soon as I made a profession of faith, everything changed. The knowledge went from my head to my heart.
I always thought it was fascinating how kids knew Jesus’ name at a young age. When a three-year-old tells you that God has a plan that is more significant than your plan was crazy to me. How could they know so young that God loves them? I didn’t even know that at age 20. It would have saved a lot of problems down the road if that were my experience. Yet, that curiosity ignited something in me to serve in the Children’s Ministry.
For years, I have had the privilege of teaching young kids about Jesus Christ, and my passion only deepened when the Lord presented me with an opportunity to work at First Baptist Dallas. I will never forget the morning before I was supposed to interview; Executive Pastor Ben Lovvorn tapped me on the shoulder and said, “I’ll see you in the morning for your interview,” while I was still serving in a different ministry role at my former job. That same evening, Shelly Taylor, the Director of Preschool and Children’s Ministries, called me and asked if she could pray with me before my interview. I knew God was demonstrating His call.
I didn’t want to just go to work; I was looking for a place where I belonged. Even before I stepped through the front door of First Dallas, I felt like there was a place for me here and my entire family. On my first Sunday on staff, my husband was behind a camera and serving beside me, quickly falling in love with Pathway to Victory. Even my 21-year-old son, stationed in Japan with the Air Force, sends me pictures of his pastor, Dr. Robert Jeffress, on this television screen. We felt more at home here in one year than we had ever felt in two decades.
Seeing how diverse our church is motivates me. I want to make sure that everyone feels like there is a place for them to serve and find community, especially for our international families and their children. Every Sunday, I get to see first-hand the impact on young people’s lives that will last for generations. I’m thankful for First Dallas because no matter the language you speak, your skin color, your age, or where you live, the consistency of biblical teaching will change the trajectory of your life because you will know the name of Jesus Christ.
Teresa Taylor, Director of Preschool Ministry