Editor’s Note: This issue, the Tablet premieres a new column featuring profiles of Wake Div faculty and staff. If you would like a faculty or staff member featured, please recommend them here.
A native of Asheville, N.C., the Rt. Rev. G. Porter Taylor grew up in an Episcopalian home. After completing undergraduate work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduate work at the University of South Carolina, Taylor taught high school English for a few years. Taylor also earned a doctorate in literature and theology at Emory University. Taylor has also taught at Belmont University, Virginia Seminary, and Sewanee: The University of the South.
Sensing a calling to ministry, Taylor attended seminary at Sewanee, receiving an M. Div. Taylor served congregations in Franklin, Tenn. (just outside of Nashville) and Athens, Ga., before being elected to serve as the bishop of Western North Carolina, a role he served in for 12 years. After the completion of his bishopric, Taylor retired from the Episcopal Church.
Starting this fall, Dr. Taylor will work to establish the Episcopal Studies program at Wake Forest University School of Divinity. He is the husband of his loving wife, Jo, and the father of two, Arthur and Marie; he is also the grandfather of two.
What do you like to do for fun?
“I love spending time with my grandchildren, ages 5 and 2. They remind me to have fun and not take things so seriously.” Taylor adds, “I also enjoy reading novels and working in the garden with my wife.”
What has been life-giving for you during your time so far at Wake Div?
“Being back in the classroom is extremely life-giving; I get to nurture ideas and prepare for the unexpected,” Taylor said, also noting that “there is an extremely diverse student body, which adds to the rich theological discourse taking place. It’s as if we are all looking at the same work of art, but we all notice something uniquely beautiful about it.”
What are some local events you are looking forward to?
“My wife and I are really looking forward to exploring the local arts scene. She is an artist. We are both excited to experience some of the art shows and museums in the area.”
Taylor adds, “I am also excited to see the Tar Heels play (men’s basketball) since we are fairly close to Chapel Hill. Hopefully, they come to Wake Forest this year.”
What would you like your (and the program’s) legacy to be at Wake Div?
“I want people, first and foremost, to see the Holy Spirit through the work being done here. I can surely bring forth my best effort, but it’s important to see the movement of God. That speaks for itself. I would also like my legacy to be one of patience and love. Lastly, I would like this program to reflect the changing numbers of Episcopalian scholars who are pursuing education outside of traditional Episcopalian seminaries. My hope is that this program gives to Wake Forest (School of Divinity) and vice-versa. I desire for this program to be a piece of Wake Forest School of Divinity that continues to strengthen how we think about and express the love of God within the divinity school community.”