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Surrendered to Missions: UMobile’s Dr. Cecil Taylor Retires, But His Mission Continues

  • When Dr. Cecil Taylor retired this summer from the University of Mobile, the former School of Christian Studies dean knew his mission hadn’t ended. There was still work to be done – the Lord’s work.

His June 30 retirement marked the end of one chapter of service and the opening of new mission fields for the founder/director of the school’s University Missions program. Cecil and wife Reeda, a 2010 UMobile graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, will use their talents to serve God based out of their new home near family in Marshall, TX.

The couple has looked toward this day for many years. Reeda earned her nursing degree at UMobile specifically in order to do medical missions when Taylor retired.

Mission work has always been a passion for Taylor – one he passed on to students.

“I’ve come to think the Lord planted me here at the University of Mobile so I could plant missions here,” Taylor said.

He started the University Missions program in the summer of 1992 when he led the first team of five students to Esmaraldas, Brazil to help build a chapel.  Since then, University Missions has raised funds and sent teams to build 21 chapels for Baptist mission congregations in Brazil “from foundation to finish.”

The 2013 University Missions Report tells a cumulative “by-the-numbers” story of influence.  From 1992 to 2013, University Missions has:

  • Formed, trained and sent 132 teams
  • Totaling 1,624 people
  • To 49 nations
  • Raising more than $4.4 million including team expenses, construction funds, building supplies and gifts-in-kind
  • Recording 13,143 first-time professions of faith, plus many others uncounted
  • Creating an experience that led more than a dozen churches and associations in Alabama, Mississippi and Florida to begin their own missions programs
  • And planting a heart for missions in too many people to number.

As Taylor announced his retirement, the accolades poured in. Among them was a letter from Dr. Rick Lance, executive director of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions. It read, in part: “Like one of my favorite biblical characters, Barnabas, Dr. Taylor is a true minister of encouragement…Cecil and his family will be remembered by Alabama Baptists for his ministry of encouragement among us.”

Parker Windle, a 2004 graduate who is youth pastor at Emmanuel International Church of Paris, said, “Two things happened when I was at Mobile. I started to love God’s Word and I developed a heart for the nations. Dr. Taylor was one of the main reasons both happened.”

Dr. Doug Wilson, dean of the School of Christian Ministries, said due to the transitional nature of ministry, and sometimes for security reasons, the university doesn’t have accurate statistics for the number of career missionaries, journeymen, hands-on mission volunteers, mission team leaders, as well as pastors, church planters and ministry staff members who have been impacted by Taylor’s ministry at UMobile.

“Only eternity will tell how many students he touched to answer God’s call to missions and ministry,” Wilson said.

To keep in touch with Dr. Taylor, email him at The University of Mobile Magazine will feature an in-depth article about Dr. Taylor in its fall issue, due out in late November. For a free subscription to the university’s award-winning magazine, subscribe online at

About the University of Mobile:
The University of Mobile is a Baptist-affiliated university located in Mobile, Ala., on an 880-acre campus near Gulf Coast beaches. More than 1,600 students are enrolled in more than 40 undergraduate and graduate programs in the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Christian Leadership, School of Business, School of Christian Ministries, School of Education, School of Nursing, School of Worship Leadership, Center for Performing Arts/School of Music and Center for Adult Programs.

For more information about the University of Mobile, visit the website at or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.
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