Profile of a Protagonist is a recurring blog post with the goal of showing readers how individuals in our Voice community engage in the Gospel and see God’s love lived out throughout Orlando. Meet the protagonists.
Meet Taylor Newton.
Tell us about yourself:
I’m 23 years old, my favorite color is yellow. Currently I own six cats (4 kittens and 2 adult cats), I have a sister who is five years younger than me, I love thrifting, I have a dream to one day model for Gap (it will happen, in Jesus name). I’m going to be the first in my family with a college degree, I listen to underground artists. I’m all about self-love, loving who God made you to be, owning who you are; being the unique version that only you can be.
How do you use your crafts, throughout the city, for God?
So, a couple years ago, I wouldn’t say I was like super creative; well, I’m creative but I wouldn’t say I was a dreamer. So, a couple years ago God started showing me that I can have dreams and I can make them happen. I knew I was a creative person, but I didn’t really know how to express it in my sort of outlet. I had always been a model but I had never incorporated modeling into my Christian faith. I had been a model before coming to my faith and then when I came to faith, I stopped modeling. I never knew the two could mix. Amongst realizing that I could mix the two, both were from God, faith was from God, you know my gifting in preaching is from God, as well as my gift of being able to model.
I’ve been able to do multiple photoshoots, just in the city of Orlando, with different brands, different collabs with different models, different photographers; all throughout Florida honestly. I’ve been able to not only make a lot of connections, but also integrate my faith into my modeling. So I’m able to bring God with me when I go on jobs or when I go on photoshoots, when I’m collaborating with other creatives in the city. I’m able to incorporate my faith because my faith is who I am. So, I’m able to bring the two together.
And then in just being a creative person, I feel like I have a really good eye for talent. One of the things that I love doing in the city of Orlando is being able to be the coordinator of “X-factor.” It’s my favorite thing to do all year, so I just go around to different high schools in the city of Orlando, searching for kids that have different talents and want to be superstars for a minute and 30 seconds in a competition. I get to go all throughout these schools and host these auditions and just really celebrate kids and their giftings and talents. It allows them to be a part of a show that’s just bigger than them, so they can showcase those talents. I love being able to run that and just having a creative eye to recognize talent.
Tell us about “Modeling, Missions, and Ministry”
At the Voice Conference about two years ago, God gave me a call that I was going to use modeling as a tool for ministry globally. I am a preacher, I love to preach and it is a spiritual gifting of mine; and then I am a model, I’ve been a model since I was 3 , so it’s pretty much all I knew to do before meeting God and realizing I can do other things. And then I also have an extreme love for just the world and for the nations.
I think that often times people get settled on one calling, for example: “You’re called to preach” or “you’re called to a church”, stating as if you get ONE call, one shot; and I don’t think that about myself. I think that God wants to use me to do many things, in many different seasons of my life. Whether I was a model before finding Him, or now that I’ve found Him. I’ve been a youth leader in which I’ve gotten to preach and speak at all these different places and do all these different things and go on these mission trips.
Yes, I can do all of those things, but God is the same God, that is in all those things (modeling, missions, ministry) together. So, I have a dream to be able to use all three together.
Essentially, I want to own my own modeling agency and I want to use it as a tool to build up disciples of Jesus; teaching them biblical foundations for the fashion industry, with fashion connections. Putting them out there into the fashion world but doing this not only in America but globally. I want to be able to go into India, and despite the social, economic and historical differences; I want to be able to go in, share Jesus, build up these disciples and send them back out into the world, fashion industry, or just any creative outlet so they can do the same for others. Eventually I want to own multiple agencies that do that and I think that’s incorporating everything that I strive to do and be, with all the three things that I love and doing it for God. I’ve been doing that as a single person right now, as a freelance model, whose involved in the church, whose going on mission trips. Essentially, I’ve seen God open doors and kind of find those dots to make that happen.
Am I there yet? No. Am I where I want to be? No. But I’m definitely on my way there, definitely heading there; and I’m definitely not where I used to be two years ago. The Lord’s been faithful and He’s been giving me dreams; step by step, day by day; and it’s all about serving Him in the small before I get to those big opportunities.
How do you see God in the city of Orlando?
I see God in the unique ways that make Orlando, Orlando.
I live downtown, and I see a wide variety of different people, different things all the time. So, there are poor areas of Orlando, there are rich areas of Orlando, there are creative hidden spots, you know, artsy places in the city of Orlando. There are mainstream, popular areas in Orlando. I think that as unique and as different as Orlando is, for instance like Lake Eola, all you see is swans; I think that finding God is in those small little things. For example, I’ve been able to say “Wow, Lake Eola is beautiful” or “Wow, the swans are beautiful,” “the downtown area is gorgeous” .
Even in the poor areas, like just the people that are there, they are beautiful. Being able to find God in just every little aspect of the city, I think is how I view the city. Often, when I go out, when I’m in the city; whether I’m walking downtown, or I’m showing somebody a new place, or just hanging out with friends; just being involved in the community, involved with the people, in the different places that this city has to offer; I always try to look for God. God is in the small details just like He is in the big details. Sometimes I think that we can get so closed up in to the church world and then go out into the secular world and fail to see God; but the same God that is in the church with us, is the same God who is out there in the world.
I always feel a breath of fresh air when I’m downtown, because downtown is so beautiful; the people are beautiful. Even though there is a lot of poverty and homelessness; even though there’s a lot of darkness and homelessness in the world; you can still see God in those moments, in those situations or in those people that are in need because God is where there is need in the city of Orlando; so that’s kind of where I see my city.
How has the Voice impacted your walk with Christ?
So, actually, I had been a senior, or I think just getting ready to graduate; but The Voice is actually the first real moments I remember coming to Faith Assembly. I had been to Faith Assembly before, and Xstream services before but I think it was the Voice that really impacted me when I first started coming to Faith Assembly. I just remember that it was really deep, it was really real, it was really honest and I craved that. I craved that depth. I’m a really deep person and so “The Voice,” just throughout my five (almost 6) years of just being here has just always been a constant reminder to just keep going, to keep fighting, to keep pressing, to keep depending on God.
I’ve always walked into a Voice service ,not thinking, “God, what do you have for me in my walk,” but more “God what can I give to you.” I think the Voice has just really developed me into the person I am today. It has developed me into my faith, it has developed me in the way that I think, in the way that I live my life, in the way that my heart is formed; and in the way that I love and give my life. I think that I’ve learned much of it from coming to the Voice.
The leadership, the pastors that have been just, the face of the Voice, they have really always sharpened me or been an example to strive to always be the best version of myself, so I can give God the very best of my life; for His glory.