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Reverend La Tonia Taylor: Re-birthed While Coming Full Circle

Life is a journey. We see that when we look at the life cycle of the butterfly. It transforms and is reborn with wings imprinted with various colors. Perhaps we all have butterfly moments. That's exactly what happened for Rev. La Tonia Taylor. She graciously accepted our invitation to be featured on PreachingWoman.com and allow us to explore a "portion" of her story of reinvention, renewal and reclamation on her personal journey with Jesus, to Muhammad and back to Jesus again. This full circle represents both her life and now her work in ministry...Read more inside.

Reverend La Tonia Taylor: Re-birthed While Coming Full Circle

ReBirth International Ministries

Written by Nichelle Early, Executive Editor
 
Life is a journey. We see that when we look at the life cycle of the butterfly. It transforms and is reborn with wings imprinted with various colors. Perhaps we all have butterfly moments. That's exactly what happened for Rev. La Tonia Taylor. She graciously accepted our invitation to be featured on PreachingWoman.com and allow us to explore a "portion" of her story of reinvention, renewal and reclamation on her personal journey with Jesus, to Muhammad and back to Jesus again. This full circle represents both her life and now her work in ministry.

Graced with the warmest smile and most gentle spirit, Rev. Taylor is a beautiful woman of God who truly understands the winding turns of life.  Born in a predominately Christian family of Catholics, Seven Day Adventists and Southern Baptists; as a child, Rev. Taylor acquired an uncanny ability to flow between various denominational settings.  As a result of being surrounded by elders of the church dedicated to their faith, Rev. Taylor had a strong inclination towards a deeply spiritual life. She loved church, and most importantly, she loved God.  However, as she grew older, she realized that she wanted even more to be closer to God. 

Upon entering college, Rev. Taylor had a special interest in social justice. One day, while sitting outside on her college campus, she overheard a conversation amidst some students regarding Islam. The conversation peaked her interest, and she decided to learn more because they were different.  On account of her interest she wasn't afraid to ask questions and challenge them when necessary. And, shortly afterwards, at the age of 18, La Tonia began the practice of Islam.

PreachingWoman.com asked Rev. Taylor what prompted her decision, at that time, to convert to the Nation of Islam?

"Having a father who was Catholic and a mother who was Baptist, I grew up being flexible when it came to religion. Therefore, it wasn't hard for me to listen to someone else who was different from me…because, what most people don't know, Muslims study both the Bible and the Qur'an (Koran).  And, at that time, I didn't understand [Bible] scripture, because I didn't see myself in it until I started studying with Muslims…I was drawn to the discipline and the congruency that I was shown…," said Rev. Taylor.

La Tonia quickly emerged as a leader within the Nation of Islam serving at high capacity during her formative years. She was given quite a bit of responsibility and became a very well respected officer within the core, since The Nation of Islam has a military type structure.  As an officer, her role was to enforce the rules that governed conduct, dress, home life, diet and spiritual life of the women.  Accordingly, she often taught classes that applied to personal areas relevant to women's' issues.  However, La Tonia soon realized that there was still something unsatisfied on the inside. She was still thirsty. Once again, questions re-surfaced.

La Tonia began an adventure to find the answers to her questions. Often times they were found during her private study and prayer time, as direct revelation from the Holy Spirit. "I wanted to be reborn and renewed," said Rev. Taylor. "The Holy Spirit was calling for my own healing so that I could administer a more balanced, loving and holistic leadership.  As I would do workshops with the women in the mosque, I realized that they too were hurting. So, I began to commit to being an instrument of encouragement. I became an apprentice to the work of self discovery and personal transformation," said Rev. Taylor.

PreachingWoman.com asked Rev. Taylor what made her then question Islam?

"Honestly, I wanted to heal…I had a really rigid spirit. In my most honest moments I had to tell myself the raw truth. I was very tight and angry. I realized that I couldn't be in a religion that was tight and focused so much on God's wrath. I had my own rage that I needed to face as result of the absence of my father after my parent's divorce. Feelings of being unwanted, or the black-sheep, created a gaping wound that a rule-based dogma was not healing.  I just didn't want that energy anymore. I didn't want to feel guilty if I didn't pray at the prescribed time, shame if I couldn't give rally amount during collections, or endure the constant self-sacrifice that put my goals on hold.  I quickly realized that I was not aligning any more with the fundamental beliefs I had been taught in Islam. I couldn't continue to police everyone else…I began to feel like I was suffocating every time I tried to put on the good face and go because I wanted God's favor. " said Rev. Taylor.

God began to show Rev. Taylor the ceiling that man puts on religion.  She began to diligently study the Bible and other books privately, because she was now thirstier than ever before. Finally, she decided that she didn't' want the limits or the letter of the law. In 1999, she took bold and courageous steps to reclaim her life by ending her marriage to answer this inner call that was guided by the Holy Spirit, step by step. She realized that this was the second call to ministry. Next, she would leave the Nation of Islam which she says, "…was more difficult than leaving my marriage. However, it led me to an intense course of formal study of transpersonal psychology, professional coaching and preparation for ministry. "

PreachingWoman.com asked Rev. Taylor to explain her transition out of the Nation of Islam.

"I had to be reborn again…I didn't' know my dress size, I didn't know my bra size; I had to learn to dress again. I literally had to learn to enjoy my food again without constantly feeling like I was out of order.  That meant I had to go through an experience of dealing with life's little things and affirm that I am the beloved of God. I had to constantly keep meeting myself. God literally kept introducing me to myself. The "me" that He sees, the me that is loved with Agape love… I've always been one to follow the rules, I had to give myself permission to do things that broke the rules and know that God wasn't going to punish me, but that he loved me and I could trust the omnipotence that transcends denominationalism!" Rev. Taylor proclaimed.

After leaving the Nation of Islam, Rev. Taylor had decided that she was leaving religion all together because she was freer through her personal "relationship" with God than ever before.  However, God had different plans. One Sunday, He ordered Rev. Taylor 's steps to a church where the pastor was teaching on the similarities and differences between Islam, Christianity, and other religions. As she began to look around the sanctuary, she began to notice people there from all walks of life, and they were being embraced by the church. She quickly realized that she had encountered a "kairos" (opportune) moment.  After coming from a place of condemnation and heavy doctrine, to a place of love and freedom, Rev. Taylor said, "God began to court me and I began a love affair with Jesus!" This time Rev. Taylor says it was choice and willingness that nurtured her faith, not fear or unmet needs "only".  This was her third call to ministry.

PreachingWoman.com asked Rev. Taylor what advice did she have for the body of Christ in regards to embracing others who may not believe as we do?

  • "We must meet people where they are and allow them to function in their current capacity."
  • "We have to grow up in the Body of Christ in terms of our views about people that are [and believe] different than us.
  • "We have to discontinue isolating ourselves from people in order to model Jesus, who became all things to all men."

Based upon John 3:3 ( Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a Rev. Taylor sited in Black Enterprise Magazineman be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God), Rev. Taylor is the founder of ReBirth International, a first-class life-management company providing inspiration, coaching and empowerment to individuals, groups, teams and organizations seeking to go a little deeper.  The organization served as a platform which allowed La Tonia to become a sited expert in a Black Enterprise Magazine 2007 article on Re-Inventing your Life. The ministry focus of ReBirth is to reclaim what it means to be born again, renewed and resurrected. Serving as a Spirit led organization, ReBirth International is committed to compassion and to building a non-judgmental platform for all people, regardless of race and creed, in order to create a "safe place" where people can heal and be uplifted. When preaching, Rev. Taylor focuses on the obscure and metaphysical (uses broad concepts to help define reality and our understanding) teachings of Jesus Christ by teaching people to:

  • Find yourself or your issue in scripture
  • Uplift and correct yourself through scripture
  • Command yourself and your life cycles through models in scripture

Rev. Taylor serves as a member of Real Life Today Church, led by Pastor Miriam Wright. She is an ordained Reverend and Director of Partner Care.  Affectionately known as the "RevCoach," Rev. Taylor is also a Master Spiritual Life Coach.  God has equipped her with an apostolic anointing to set up and tear down strongholds in a non-traditional way, while imparting God's word prophetically to expose His glorious truths in a practical and loving perspective.  Rev. Taylor says, "God gave me ReBirth because the first scripture that He ever spoke to me before any of my teenage choices was through the book of John when Nicodemus asked Jesus how will I enter into my mother's womb and I am old? God uses our life to constantly rebirth us. Therefore, we must welcome the rebirth and seek the rebirth. I preach to make you think, and I coach to provoke and challenge you to manifest, because a lot of times we want the manna, but not the daily bread."

PreachingWoman.com asked Rev. Taylor what she wants people to know most about her.

"Being born again is a daily process. It may take time for shame, guilt and self-acceptance to cause your own transformation, but it is the breath of God that blew on those dry bones in the valley that gave them life again. When the Holy Spirit breathes on you, you will have another born again experience.  I want people to trust their process. The teachings of Jesus Christ will give you a new identity and confidence outside of religious boxes. I believe Jesus was the Master of Diversity.  Because I pushed through various boxes, I am now able to integrate all of the encounters on my journey for a seamless life in God. I am more sensitive to the contrast of other cultures.  I am called to support individuals to push and deliver the vision God has given them and breakthrough these boxes…God has given me the spirit of a midwife. He has given me the ability to encourage people to be consistently transparent, to coach them through the labor, to call forth self-introspection for a clearer vision and help them understand the fullness of God on the inside of them," said Rev. Taylor.

When looking back over her life, Rev. Taylor examines her own personal journey, and she has no regrets.  She simply says, "We must leave the seasons of our life that are over, blessing them and NOT cursing them. I am grateful. God has brought me back to myself and to Himself. I see that The Spirit of The Lord was always upon me, he called me to preach good news to the poor in spirit, heal the broken hearted and to set the captive slave, free.  He has brought me full circle."