Taylor Ford began his Cascade Christian Schools journey around age three, when he attended preschool at Cascade Christian’s Early Learning Center in Puyallup. He jokes and says, “I was born, then put into Cascade Christian .”
Kidding aside, Taylor admits he’s living his dream since graduation from Cascade Christian in 2012. He’s pursuing his passion for ministry at Calvary Community Church in Sumner, Washington as the Director of High School Ministry, a position he was offered shortly before graduation from Seattle Pacific University in 2015 with a degree in Christian Theology Educational Ministry.
Prior to his current ministry at Calvary Community Church, Taylor admits his high school experience greatly influenced his leadership role as a pastor. “Cascade Christian taught me that within every person, there’s the ability to lead in some capacity. It doesn't matter if it’s up-front or behind the scenes, everyone can contribute. I entered ministry not knowing exactly what position I wanted to do, but knowing I wanted to lead people into the presence of God and serve in any way I can.”
Taylor credits working in the high school tech team, during chapel service, which gave him the chance to step into serving. This eventually led to him working with Calvary Community Church’s tech team during high school, and while in college at Seattle Pacific University.
“I learned a lot from Cascade Christian. It was such a great place to learn. People like Terry Broberg, (Principal), modeled leadership and what it means to be a leader. I knew he was in school praying for us. That’s the type of role model I want to be. I can only speak highly of Cascade Christian. Thinking back, I have to give credit to many great leaders at Cascade.”
ASB President, “To Lead is to Serve”
Another experience Taylor feels sharpened his servant leadership abilities was serving in ASB. “As class president, it was about serving my peers, not just being a leader. But really, to lead is to serve. A lot of the stuff you do for ASB is behind the scenes. I think I was drawn to doing it because of that. The heart to do ASB was the heart that led me into ministry. Just the idea that we serve and care for one another, and the sense of community you feel with your friends, is incredible.”
High School Ministry
A stand-out memory for Taylor includes a high school mission trip to the Los Angeles Dream Center during Cascade Christian’s Impact Term. Then-teacher, (now high school principal), Michele Suiter and her husband, Steve, led Taylor’s group. “I had such a great experience with Mrs. Suiter and the team, says Ford, “that I now lead an annual trip with the students in our C7 high school ministry at Calvary.”
“You don’t always understand the impact of a mission trip or community project until after you go and be part of it,” says Taylor. Looking back, he realizes, “whether it was a high school I-Term (mission) trip or elementary projects like the "Feet-to-Faith," I could take what I was learning in school, build my faith, and apply it in the community.”
High School Sports
Like so many students at Cascade Christian, Taylor juggled college prep studies, church, family, ASB and sports. He enjoyed playing baseball (his favorite sport) and basketball. “The best part,” recalls Taylor, “was playing basketball and winning the state championship. Other teams at Cascade Christian also won championships. It was fun to be part of a school competing at that level. Playing on sports teams at Cascade Christian meant we represented Cascade Christian on and off the court. We were the hands and feet of Jesus. It wasn’t only about playing basketball or baseball for me,” says Taylor. “It was an opportunity to share the hope we have in Christ in the way we live, act, serve and care for one another on our team and with our opposing teams, too.”
Mentors and Family Support
“I would not be in ministry today, if it weren’t for Adam Barringer. He’s the Executive Pastor at Calvary (also a Cascade Christian alumnus). He was my youth pastor back in junior high, and for the past six years, he’s taken me under his wing and taught me a lot of things."
“I’m also blessed with an incredible family. My dad, Bill, is always the guy who would ask me, ‘How can I help you succeed?’ My mom, Crystal, has modeled a servant heart with many volunteer activities at Cascade Christian and church.”
Fast Forward: Director of High School Ministry at Calvary Community Church
During college, Taylor served as a part-time young adult (ages 15-18) ministry leader with Calvary Community Church in Sumner. “After college, I discovered more of what I wanted to do with my life,” recalls Taylor. “I knew I wanted a career ministry and was offered the position as the director of high school ministry. There was an opportunity for me to help people understand they can be leaders, as well.”
As the Director of High School Ministry at Calvary Community Church, Taylor leads the high school ministry called, “C7”. He explains, “C7 Stands for Christ, His community, and His church, seven-days a week. It’s not just gathering on a Sunday. It’s about being hope every day of the week, in local schools and the places where God has called the students to be. We encourage leadership. We let the kids know they have a God-given purpose to be a leader in whatever capacity that is."
In addition to Taylor's busy schedule, he married Meagan Bodus. "We met at Anthem Coffee in Puyallup in 2015. As soon as I saw her, I had to ask her out," say Taylor with a huge smile. "My wife, Meagan, loves Cascade Christian. She teaches 7th grade English at Cascade Christain Junior High and coaches the girls' junior high soccer team. She's the fun teacher!"
After their wedding on July 29, 2017, The couple travelled to San Jose, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for their honeymoon. "It was relaxing and a nice get away. We hung out and had lots of chips and salsa," says Taylor.
Goals are important to Taylor, and helping his current ministry at Calvary grow while helping students feel connected and cared for, is a top priority. “I want the C7 ministry at Calvary to be a place where students from any school can join anytime and feel like they have community,” says Taylor. “I want them to feel that we are real and genuine. They can come to a place where they can grow in relationship, not only with God, first and foremost, but with others.”
“Today’s youth are desperate for genuine community and relationships,” says Taylor. “Social media can often bring us farther away from relationships. Something I want to happen at C7 is for kids from all different backgrounds and schools to come be a part of what we do. More importantly, that there’s a group of people who really care for them.”
“There’s a huge group of volunteer parent leaders at Calvary,” says Taylor. “They provide a valuable role in mentoring the kids. They open up their homes throughout the week. Sometimes there can be over 100 kids in various studies.
“We also do large events for the kids, but the relationships we make are more important. The kids have parents who care for them and leaders who also care for them. There’s a statistic regarding kids that lose their faith versus those who keep their faith after high school, that it can be dependent on the number of influences they have in their life. For example, if there’s a parent, coach, pastor, mentor, teacher (around five or six mentors) they are typically fine. However, if there’s only one or two influences, those are the kids who may slip and disconnect from their faith beyond high school.
Connect with Taylor weekly, Sunday nights at 7 p.m.
Calvary Community’s high school ministry website: www.WeAreC7.com
Calvary Community Church main website: www.WeAreCalvary.com
Dylan Rice, CCHS Class of 2008
|Jonathon Felczak, Class of 2010
This past January (2012), CCHS grad Jonathan Felczak (Class of 2010) attended and finished in the top of his class at the Wendelstedt Professional Umpire School (Ormond Beach, FL). In doing so , he received a rare recommendation to the Professional Baseball Umpire Corporation’s (PBUC) Evaluation Course. Jonathan’s efforts at the PBUC earned him his first assignment as a professional, in the Arizona Rookie League for the summer of 2012. During the off-season, Jonathan works as a Sales Associate for Whistle Workwear in Tacoma and Puyallup. As well, he is honing his umpiring skills by working with the local Western Washington Umpires Association. Jonathan anticipates a 2013 assignment to the Northwest League (Short-season Class “A” Ball), where he would be calling games close to home in Everett, Yakima or Spokane. PLAY BALL !!
|CCHS Varsity Baseball Players continue to play and give back...|
Tyler McClung, Class of 2001
Jillian(Sanchez) Strayer, Class of 2002