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On choosing a church

Students offer pros and cons for five places of worship in the community

An established church away from home could be a spiritual lifeline.

Ask any number of students, faculty or staff on campus, and they will tell you one of the most rewarding experiences during their time at Taylor has been attending their church. But with the number of churches in the community, how can you choose? Don’t wait until Sunday morning; use this handy guide to determine what church you want to try this week. Routes and distances via MapQuest and Google Maps.


The Gathering

Distance From Campus: Approximately 23 minutes

Pro: Junior Crysta Haynes says, “It is a large church but not so large that it is overwhelming. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved in the church community.” Sophomore Daniel McHenney says that the pro for him is the contemporary worship style. “They almost always have a full band and have great choice of songs to sing. Somehow they always pick the song I need to hear.”

Con: Distance. This could be a challenging factor for freshmen who do not have a car on campus.

Worship Style: Contemporary


Exit 59 Church

Distance From Campus: Approximately 11 minutes

Pro: Junior Bradley Jensen enjoys the proximity to campus and multigenerational congregation.

Con: One student felt that Exit 59 Church did not advertise community engagement for student participants very well.

Worship Style: Contemporary


Upland United Methodist (UMC)

Distance From Campus: Approximately three minutes

Pro: Being drawn to the location of the church and how it enables her to get to know people in the Upland community attracted junior Mae Elizabeth Gimre. Kelley McKaig (’17) enjoyed getting involved in the UMC community while at Taylor. Opportunities include running the sound booth, creating the PowerPoint, playing in the band and helping with Kids Under Construction, a kids ministry for fifth and sixth grade. The first service of UMC for the school year is held down at Taylor Lake. This is a great opportunity for students without a ride to attend church.

Con:The service is more contemporary than I was used to coming in as a freshman,” Gimre said. “My church in high school was more traditional so it had liturgy and communion every week, UMC does not. I got used to it and I like attending a more contemporary service now, but it might be hard for some coming from a more traditional church.” A potential con is the church moving locations. “In September, they will be moving to the Pierce Building, which they have been renovating for the past year or two,” McKaig said.

Worship Style: Contemporary


Upland Community Church (UCC)

Distance From Campus: Approximately two minutes

Pro: Proximity to campus and different Sunday school platforms.

Con: Junior Holly Carroll shared that, for her, the early service is the best option to experience multigenerational worship: “Also the early service has traditional music and the later has contemporary worship.”

Worship Style: Traditional service at 9 a.m. with a contemporary second service at 10:30 a.m.


Urban Light

Distance From Campus: Approximately 37 minutes

Pro: “(T)he music is upbeat, the sermons are empowering and always applies, no matter who you are,” sophomore Katie Hart said. “They even offer free lunch after the service!”

Con: “About the only con I can think of is that the seats aren’t super comfortable, they are all wood!” she said.

Worship Style: A unique combination of Christian pop with a gospel choir.

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