Every Saturday, Reginald Taylor drives one hour to the W.J. Jim Estelle Unit, a maximum-security prison located in Huntsville, to lead the Prison Outreach Ministry for New Faith Baptist Church.
Through the minsitry, Taylor helps incarcerated men connect with their faith and families. It’s one of several ways Taylor gives back to his community.
“I’ve been going every Saturday since 2002,” said Taylor, a section chief operator for Houston Public Work’s Wastewater Operations branch.
Inspired to deepen his own faith, Taylor became an ordained deacon 23 years ago. And he has made it his mission to help others learn and apply Bible principles to their daily lives.
“Your heart is who you are, but your mindset is your soul,” Taylor said of how he helps others create spiritual connections in their lives.
Taylor established Date for Dads in 2014, an annual event that reconnects inmates with their kids.
“The fathers invite their children to the prison,” Taylor said. “During this time, they have fellowship and they have contact in the sanctuary.”
Along with providing lunch, Taylor brings games to help fathers engage their children.
“Fathers will play checkers, dominoes, or UNO with their kids,” he said. “They spend this time trying to develop a relationship with the kids.”
Last year, 150 people participated in the event including inmates, their families and children.
“Mr. Taylor is an inspiration to many people that come in contact with his infectious spirit of giving back,” said LeAndrea Scott, an assistant manager in Public Work’s wastewater operations. “He gets great joy out of teaching, helping and providing hope and guidance to others.”
“They’ve seen me grow and develop as I help them,” said Taylor of the inmates he has ministered to every Saturday for the past 18 years.
But that’s not all.
For the past eight years, Taylor has transported a senior church member to and from Sunday services at New Faith Baptist Church, and also visits him regularly at the senior care facility where he lives.
“You can be a blessing to somebody,” Taylor said.
Hired in 1993 as a utility worker, Taylor would spend the next two decades growing his career with the city.
“I just went up through the ranks the normal way,” said Taylor who now oversees eight major water treatment plants in southwest Houston.
“Mr. Taylor is a very passionate leader,” said Scott, who has worked alongside Taylor for the past 25 years. “Once he has an assignment, he has no problem persevering and monitoring the issues from all angles until it’s resolved.
“From field operations to supervision and management, Mr. Taylor stays genuine to his goals, beliefs, and exudes loyalty,” Scott said.
“If you’re not doing it in your private life, you should be doing it in your work life,” Taylor said of making a difference in other people lives. “That’s what we all should be doing.”