The Rev. Margaret “Maggie” Romero Taylor ’67 has accomplished what some might deem impossible. Currently an Episcopal priest in Hoover, Ala., she overcame long odds — first to be ordained, and more recently to become founding rector of a new church.
It took 11 years to nurture a small congregation into a flourishing parish and move it from a borrowed office complex to a church built in 2003. When she retires in six years, she hopes her legacy will be the continued openness of the congregation she describes as “warm and welcoming and all the things that every church says it wants to be … and often isn’t.”
A religion major at CC, Taylor always knew she wanted to do some form of ministry. However, she never expected to be ordained, since the Episcopal Church did not consecrate women as priests until 1976.
Raised Methodist, Taylor became an Episcopalian after attending a military chapel where the chaplain used a “high church” worship form that felt comfortable to her. Taylor credits her CC advisor, Doug Fox, with guiding her through the decision to join the Episcopal Church. “An extraordinary teacher,” she says, Fox made every religion come to life in his Comparative Religions class.
Growing up an “Air Force brat,” Taylor has spent her life traveling, but her most significant journey began in 1995 — the year she started with her current church as well as the year she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Focusing on the positive, she jokes her diagnosis was a “wedding gift” to her second husband, and credits MS with opening a new avenue for ministry. “People take me more seriously,” Taylor says. “The idea that ‘You can’t know what I’m going through’ is not true when you’re talking to somebody with a chronic disease.”