Two days after three founding members of Grace Christian Fellowship church were killed in their own home, pastor Gerald Mullins spoke to a nearly packed house.
“We had a real moving service Sunday. We had a large crowd and a lot of folks who were hurt and grieving. At a time like this we have to depend on our faith in God and trust in Him,” Mullins said adding that we will probably never understand why it happened.
“We can’t grasp it. We can’t understand it, but we are to lean on the Lord and depend on Him to help us in this time.”
Funeral services for Larry Taylor, and his daughters Jolee Taylor, 13, and Jessie Taylor, 18, are planned for Wednesday at Mountain Ash Baptist Church.
Visitation will be after 3 p.m. Wednesday at the church, and the funeral will be at 7 p.m. at the church. Ellison Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
Mullins and Rev. Bill Carpenter will be officiating.
Mullins said that he assumes he will deliver a similar message at the funeral as he did Sunday.
“I just pray that God give me the words to comfort and help those that are hurting and struggling. I hurt and struggle too,” Mullins said. “We just have to trust in Him. Again, this is something we can’t understand. We will never understand it this side of heaven. We know that Larry, Jessie and Jolee are in a much better place with the Lord and we will see them again.”
Larry Taylor is the oldest son of former Whitley County Judge-Executive and Jailer Jerry Taylor, and at times held high-ranking positions in his father’s administration in both offices.
Mullins said that he has known Larry Taylor, who is his cousin, for nearly all of his life, and that he used to play ball with Larry and his brother Gary when they were growing up.
Mullins said that he can remember Larry attending the first service ever at Grace Christian Fellowship about four years ago, and words of encouragement that his cousin gave him minutes before the service started.
“A few minutes before the service, the attendance looked like it was going to be low,” Mullins recalled. “Larry said, ‘You’re kind of worried aren’t you?’ I said ‘A little bit.’ He said, ‘don’t worry they will be here.’ In just a few minutes we had a little over 100 people at the very first service. He just kind of grinned at me. He encouraged me and I will never forget that.”
Mullins knew Jolee and Jessie Taylor all of their lives.
Mullins described Jessie as a “really quiet” precious, young, beautiful lady.
Mullins had the privilege to baptize Jolee and noted, “She was a big part of our youth. We loved her to death. They were just precious kids. They are wonderful folks we are going to miss.”
The Whitley County school system had grief counselors on hand at Whitley County Middle School and Whitley County High School Tuesday morning when students returned to classes following the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.
“The Whitley County school system joins the community in grieving the loss of the Taylor family,” school officials said in a news release. “Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who is affected by this terrible loss.”
Jolee Taylor was a seventh grade student at Whitley County Middle School where she was a member of the volleyball team and participated in many other extra-curricular activities.
“Her ever-present smile and the positive way she interacted with all whom she met will be missed by so many of her classmates and the faculty and staff of the middle school,” school officials said in the release.
Jessie Taylor was a 2016 graduate of Whitley County High School where she graduated with high honors. She went on to attend Eastern Kentucky University.
For complete obituary information, see page B-4 in this week’s edition of the News Journal.