While couples working together in ministry is a common practice, it is not often that such a couple has the chance to be ordained to the gospel ministry together. This summer, Eustace A. Laurie III and Taylor M. Trent Laurie were granted the opportunity to have a double ordination service and to dedicate their son, Daniel, on the same day in a virtual ceremony.
Eustace and Taylor serve in different but complementary ministries. Eustace is the senior pastor at Canoga Park Community church, and Taylor is the director of mission and spiritual care at Adventist Health Simi Valley. In their respective callings, both share a passion for serving God and others.
From the time of her childhood, Taylor always had an interest in healthcare and theology. She worked for a time as a pastor. Soon after, with the guidance and support of her parents, particularly a dad who saw this day coming long before she did; mentors willing to take her under their wings; and a God who provided her with reassurance, she began her journey into clinical chaplaincy.
“Today is not merely a culmination of life achievements, but rather an affirmation and recognition of my calling,” said Taylor. “It is an honor to be recognized by the church that I love.”
Eustace, too, was blessed by the support of his parents throughout his journey. “My parents had an inkling that I would take this path,” Eustace recalled. “I thank them for not saying anything when I was younger; they let me wrestle with God on my own in this decision and life choice to follow Him.”
During the ordination ceremony, the Lauries were presented with gifts to commemorate this special day. John H. Cress, Southern California Conference (SCC) executive secretary, presented them both with their new credentials and Andrews Study Bibles. Greg Hoenes, SCC West Region director, presented Eustace with a shepherd’s rod, a symbol of Christ’s shepherding ministry. He also gifted scented anointing oils and a communion kit.
In his homily, SCC President Velino A. Salazar spoke of the ministry of Aquila and Priscilla in Acts. “You, as a couple, have been called to ministry,” said Salazar. “I am convinced that you will continue to be a blessing wherever you go, to expand the work of Jesus Christ.”
In his ministerial charge, James G. Lee, SCC executive vice president, reminded the couple that “with great honor comes great responsibility.”
Elder Sam Leonor, administrative director, Adventist Health, shared about the fruits of Taylor’s ministry. “Every day, Taylor steps into a place where there’s fear, anxiety, stress, confusion, pain, and sorrow,” Leonor said. “She ministers—in the name of Jesus—peace, comfort, and consolation.”
“I’m thankful that we’re able to experience this day despite COVID-19 social distancing conditions,” said Eustace, “that we are still able to experience the joy of this day online.”