VIENNA - Cornerstone Gospel Church will officially be welcoming its new pastor on Sunday as part of Pastor Appreciation Day.
The special day, which the church holds each year, will be to honor the pastoral staff of the church which includes the new church pastor the Rev. Barry Taylor and the youth pastor the Rev. Brent Duncan. A luncheon will follow the Sunday morning service.
Taylor joined the church in June and has been working to get settled in over the summer.
Photo by Emily Balser
The Rev. Barry Taylor stands in the sanctuary at Cornerstone Gospel Church in Vienna.
"We're still kind of in a transitional phase," Taylor said of moving his family to the area and getting settled in.
Taylor brings with him decades of experience as a pastor.
"I spent 18 of my 25 years in ministry in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia," Taylor said. "I served briefly for a time in Virginia and Tennessee."
Get to Know the Pastor
The Rev. Barry Talyor has been in the ministry for 25 years.
Taylor received his undergraduate degree from Concord University in Athens, W.Va.
After college he intended to go to law school, but was called into the ministry instead.
Taylor received his Master of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky.
Taylor decided to come to Cornerstone because he felt he connected with the church and he felt at home when he visited.
"Cornerstone was seeking a pastor and from what I learned of Cornerstone I appreciated the direction in which they wanted to go and I appreciated their beliefs and I certainly appreciated their pastoral search committee."
To find a new pastor, the church has a committee that looks at resumes, does interviews and brings the pastors to the church to meet the congregation before anyone is officially offered the position. Because the church is non-denominational, the search for a new pastor is lengthy to make sure they match with the beliefs of the church.
"It's our job to bring a candidate to our church for the church body to vote on that person," said Rodney Smith, chairman of the pastoral search committee.
Smith said the church had close to 400 people from across the country and even a few outside of the country interested in the pastor position.
"The seven-member pastoral search committee had the task of sorting through that," Smith said.
Eventually, Taylor was selected to join the church and he says he has enjoyed joining the church and being part of the Vienna community.
"It's a beautiful community," Taylor said. "There's just some wonderful people here at Cornerstone."
As far as plans for the future of the church, Taylor says he would like to reach out more to people in the community and work with other churches to get people who don't attend church going to one.
"I'd like to see us effectively reach people who are not in any church at all right now," he said.