JOYFUL WELCOME … Pastor Christian Taylor and his wife Nadia are seen here, all smiles with two of the ladies who attend Pioneer United Methodist Church, one of his two new churches where he began serving on June 4, 2019. On the left is Dee Ann Lawrence and on the right, Colleen Rufenacht. (PHOTO BY REBECCA MILLER, STAFF)
By: Rebecca Miller
A refreshing breeze has blown in for the members of two area churches, according to two of their parishioners. “We are so excited to see what is happening, such as more people are coming already and there are forty coming to the Wednesday Night Bible Study,” church member Colleen Rufenacht shared.
Christian and Nadia Taylor have moved to Pioneer from Toledo and have immediately fallen in love with “where God has chosen to place us,” Christian said. His first Sunday in the two churches was June 30, 2019.
Pastor Taylor was born and raised in Toledo, in a Christian home, but left the church after High School. “I fell into a depression and was unsure about life,” he said. “I had a perception of what church is and I wasn’t interested. Then one day, when I was actually on my last day working at Kroger’s, a gentleman who had just taken his first appointment as a Pastor, with the United Methodist Church, stopped and talked with me.”
“We talked for an hour and a half and he invited me to his church. I met Christ during this time when I was still deeply bitter and angry at the church.” That was in 2010 and he ended up becoming the music director at that pastor’s church.
At that point in his life, Christian assumed that he would become a choir director or worship leader. He Graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music, with specialization in Classical Music, from University of Toledo in 2018. “It took me a little longer because I left for a while to get my Bachelor of Sacred Music from Holy Trinity Bible College, and then went back to University of Toledo to finish my music degree there,” he explained.
After coming back to Toledo from getting his Bachelor of Sacred Music, Christian went to a concert at a local church to hear the UT Concert Chorale one evening. Little did he know, but his future wife was singing in the choir. She was also a student at University of Toledo, and they met that night. Long story short, they were married in May of 2016.
Christian is very proud of his wife, with reason. She is a very accomplished musician with quite a story. Nadia Oselskya was born in Russia. “My dad was Moldavian and Mom was Ukrainian and I was born in the southern part of Siberia. The family says I was singing before I was talking, my way of getting out of talking,” she said with a smile.
“We had a piano so I started plunking on it and started writing my own little songs. At the age of 5 they took me to a school for gifted children, but then we moved.” There were quite a few disappointments like that for Nadia, as they moved often. The family moved to the United States, to Pennsylvania, when she was nine years old and she learned English at school that year. “They weren’t prepared back then for multi language kids so I just kicked in,” Nadia stated, adding that she could understand quite quickly, but speaking came later.
“My dad had a love for new and different places, which he saw while he was a truck driver here in America,” Nadia said, “so we moved a lot.” She took voice or piano lessons off and on for the next years. They moved to Sacramento, California where she took piano lessons and was part of a children’s choir for a while. The moving, often, continued and Nadia ended up spending eleven years going to college.
She started at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee in 2006, but then went back to California and took community college classes. While there she started taking private voice lessons and participated in a vocal competition which was held in Boston. That was a turning point in Nadia’s life, because during the competition she met Dr. Denise Bernardini from University of Toledo.
“I didn’t win the competition,” Nadia explained, “but Dr. Bernardini paved the way for me to end up in Toledo with a scholarship.” That was the year 2014 and during the next three years Nadia was involved in the Opera program, the choir, the Toledo Opera Chorus, and did some performances overseas in Italy and Czech Republic. She graduated from the University of Toledo in 2017 with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance.
They are now both taking classes from Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University, located in Marion, Indiana, some online and some there. Just started last month and Nadia is taking classes too. This year they are taking “Spiritual Formation,” “Bible as Christian Scripture” and “Pastor, Church and World,” all as part of the Master of Divinity program. Christian has already been licensed through the United Methodist Church, and has spent the last three years with four different churches in Toledo.
Presently they are living in the parsonage for the Pioneer church. The West Franklin Church is now open five days a week and Pioneer is open four days a week, as Pastor Christian Taylor is making himself as available as possible to their new community.
The couple are both looking forward to settling down and hope to stay for a long time.
They have already gotten very involved with the Fayette Opera House, ready to use their training and musical gifts to help the people of the Northwest Ohio area. With Nadia being an Opera singer and Christian having a classical singing voice, the parishioners have been wowed a few times already, since June, Dee Ann Lawrence shared.
“With this combination, it is bound to happen that we will finally get to have Opera at the Opera House!” She added with a big smile. Welcome to the community, Pastor Christian and Nadia Taylor.
Rebecca can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org