Ima Moore was born in Blount Creek, N.C., on February 22, 1919, to proud parents Kelly and Elizabeth Moore. She was the second oldest of nine children and attended Ware Creek School until the age of eleven when she became very sick. A friend of her mother told her to boil some rice and give her the juice from it. Ima began to gain strength, and she was able to return to school after she recovered from that sickness. The young girls didn’t have to work in the field unless they wanted to so Ima finished high school.
At the age of 19, she met the love of her life, Claude Taylor, who asked her to marry him. On July 10, 1938, they went to Washington, N.C., and they were united in holy matrimony by Elder Green, witnessed by Joseph and Franioa Smith. They made their home in Blount Creek and were married for seven years before giving birth to their first child. On July 12, 1946, they were blessed with their first daughter, Margaret Taylor, and on July 31, 1947, they were blessed with their second child, a son, Claude Taylor.
In 1948, Claude decided he couldn’t make enough money to support his family so they decided to move to North Laurel, Maryland. A year later, a third child, Barbara Jean Taylor, was born on February 25, 1949, and at that time Claude brought a piece of land in Oak Crest, Laurel, Maryland, where he built their home. On June 25, 1950, Raymond Taylor was born, followed on May 26, 1951, by Kelly Taylor, on January 19, 1953, by Leatha and Lillian Taylor, on October 24, 1954, by Ima Taylor, on March 9, 1958, by Deborah Taylor, and December 10, 1960, by Rachel Taylor.
Ima was a virtuous woman, and she would rise early in the mornings to cook for her husband. She made clothes for her children, planted her own gardens, and fruit trees. She would can her fruits and vegetables to help provide for the family. Claude worked to make sure whatever was needed in the home, Ima never had to worry about anything. She would cook breakfast on Sunday mornings and everyone was invited to sit at the table to eat with us.
Ima Taylor taught us to be nice to everybody regardless of who they were. Whatever she had in her garden, she would give to the whole neighborhood. Ima, at times, would be sick. The doctor said it was because of the malaria fever she had when she was eleven years old. She would have bad headaches and she wouldn’t know anyone for weeks, so her sisters would take turns to come during the summer months to help her with the children.
In 1959, Ima’s daughter Barbara had problems with her sight at the age of nine, so they took her to the eye doctor and were told she was blind. Barbara was listening to a radio broadcast when she heard a preacher say that “God is a Healer” and He can open blind eyes and raise the dead.” Barbara told her father, Claude, what she had heard and he told her to get the name and address of the church, and they would go to their next Sunday service, which they did. And after the preacher finished preaching, he asked, “Is there anyone that needs prayer?” Barbara walked up and told the doctor said she was blind so he held out a handkerchief and told her to take it. Barbara could see a piece moving but she couldn’t tell where it was so he prayed, but there was no change. The preacher told the congregation that he wanted everybody to pray. Believing in the Lord as he prayed, Ima reached out and she could see the handkerchief after the prayer. The preacher then asked if there was anyone who after hearing the word desire to be baptized. You must repent of your sins and be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost, speaking with tongues as the spirit gives you the utterance. Claude and Ima both stood up about the same time.
In July 1958, Elder Pollard baptized them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and he told them both to seek for the Holy Ghost. On the way home that evening Claude and Ima were talking, saying that is what they wanted a Bible salvation.
They began to tell everyone they met how the Lord had open Barbara’s blinded eyes. Ima had one more sickness after that. Ima said the Lord had healed her and we became members of the Highway Overcoming Church of Jesus, where Elder James L. Pollard was the pastor. The church was located on Sheriff Road in Fairmount Heights, Maryland. Later on Ima’s five oldest children were baptized and began to seek for the Holy Ghost.
In later years Elder John Calhoun and Sister Calhoun began to be members there also. We began to have service in the home. Elder and Sister Calhoun would come out to the home and tarry with Ima until she received the gift of the Holy Ghost, then her children began to tarry and they received the gift of the Holy Ghost. Many people came to the home to hear the word preached. Later Elder Calhoun met Bishop Hunter and we began working under him. Ima was a very faithful sister in the Lord; whatever she could do that she would do. Elder Calhoun was invited to speak at a church in Washington, D.C., and we met Sister Mamie Simmons and later her, Ima and Claude. In 1975, the church decided to move south to Statesville, N.C. Claude and Ima came down to look at homes and purchased their home at 620 Woodlawn Drive, Statesville. Claude and Ima were going to continue living in Maryland until he retired. Barbara and her children came to Statesville, N.C., in 1977.
In 1978, Claude came down with the flu and developed pneumonia and went to the hospital. Claude Taylor passed away on February 24,1978. Claude had told Ima when they were looking for a house he told her whatever you want it will be paid for. So when Claude passed, the home was paid for. Ima continued to have her garden, canning her vegetables and she also had her apple trees, peach trees and pear trees. Ima canned the fruits also. Ima loved her children and grandchildren.
Later Ima became a member of Rapture Preparation Church of Christ, where Bishop Ernest Crooms was the Pastor and Overseer. Ima was faithful, saving her tithes and offerings. Bishop Crooms found a building in Statesville, and Ima have saved enough money for the down payment. The saints from Willard, N.C., especially Deacon Archie Hayes, Elder Hayes’ father, worked faithfully to get the building ready for service.
At first it was three of us, Ima Taylor, Mamie Simmons, and Barbara Brooks. Different ministers would come to have service with us. Then Bishop Crooms said we needed a pastor, so he sent Bishop Caines at the time he was a Minister. He was in charge until Bishop ordained him as an Elder. Ima was the church mother of the Rapture Preparation Churches Inc., and everyone loved her so much. Mother Ima Taylor would often visit the Southern Rapture Churches for our Women’s Meeting and share her words of wisdom and encouragement with all sisters.
In February, Ima had gone to visit her oldest daughter Margaret in Georgia, where her granddaughter Michelle was expecting her second child. Ima prayed and asked the Lord to let the baby be born on her birthday. Courtney was born on February 22, just as Ima had asked the Lord. Ima was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1982. The Lord blessed and brought her through it. Ima never complained. She said the will of the Lord will be done. Ima inspired so many people. In 2006, Ima began to be in service in Thomasville, N.C., at True Deliverance Church of the Apostolic Faith, where the pastor is Bishop Hall. On March 15, 2007, Ima had a massive stroke. She was in the hospital for fifteen days. The doctor recommended rehabilitation but instead she was sent so she would pass away with her family. She was under Hospice care then released. Ima had been under Hospice care numerous times when it seemed like she was at the end of her life, but she got better. Before the stroke Ima had high blood pressure and diabetes, but after the stroke both health issues were gone. Ima’s daughters would take turns coming to help out with her and her daughter Ima moved to Statesville to help out with her care. Everyone that has worked with her loves her and she never gave them a hard time. She was still under Hospice care and the CAP program when they come to the house to help with her care. Also Mother Simmons came over about every day to do whatever she can do to assist in her care. Her son Kelly would come down to visit, and he would get a chair to sit by her bedside and talk to her. Then Ima would hear them laughing. Ima couldn’t speak but she understood what was being said. Thank God for Ima’s life.
She leaves to cherish the memory of her life in her children, Claude (Gertude) Taylor of Bowie, Md., Raymond (Darlene) Taylor of Laurel, Md., Kelly (Marie) Taylor of Albuquerque, N.M., Leatha (Oliver B) Oyakhire and Lillian (Stephens) Crooms of Philadelphia, Pa., Ima Johnson of Lithia Springs, Ga., and Barbara Brooks and Rachel (Wade) Knox, both of Statesville; one sister, Ola Mae Moore of Portsmouth, Va.; one nephew, Howard Clark; twenty-two grandchildren, Michelle (Mark) Whitehead and Allen (Shenita) Harris both of Dublin, Ga., Keisha Taylor and Claude M. Taylor, both of Bowie, Md., Toni Taylor of Baltimore, Md., Natisha (Shawn) Watkin of Laurel, Md., Josette Burgess of New Jersey, Dominique Crooms of Philadelphia, Pa., John Johnson of Georgia, Cherice (Mark) Strickland of Memphis, Tenn., Christopher Knox of Hawaii, Karen (Richard) Holden of Raleigh, N.C., Brian (Selena) Stevenson of Claremont, N.C., Jeremy Crooms of Salisbury, N.C., Corey Knox and Aaron Knox, both of Charlotte, N.C., Vonetta Graham, Theresa Brooks, Antonio Kearney, Kimberly (Tony) Eccles, Wade Knox and Alvin Knox, all of Statesville, N.C., and Roswitha Hansmann, Gabriele Hansmann and Claude Michael Taylor; thirty great grandchildren, Adrian Brown, Madison Brown, Taylor Brown, Nathalia Ferguson, Ashley Whitehead, Courtney Whitehead, Kelly Baker, Amber Harris, Natalia Harris, Drew Harris, Diamon Whitmire, Joshua Abdallah, Amira Abdallah, Laiya Hardie, Brittany Underwood, Ashley Eccles, Samuel Eccles, Hannah Eccles, Raegan Eccles, Gabrielle Eccles, Johnathan Eccles, Alexis Eccles, Olivia Eccles, Jaylen Crooms, DeAndre White, Troy Joyner, Bryson Stevenson, and Briana Stevenson; five great-great grandchildren, Zoriah Whitmire, Ezra Underwood, Nariah Baker, Ambrielle Green and JoShya Coneway; special caretaker, Penny Stevenson; and a host of cousins, other relatives and special friends.
“Madear,” as she was affectionately called, entered eternal rest on Friday, August 28, 2020, at her home surrounded by family. Mother Taylor was 101 years old.
Celebration of Life Services will be conducted Thursday, September 3, 2020, at 2 p.m. at Rutledge and Bigham Funeral Home. Bishop Brian Caines will officiate and Bishop Donald Hall will eulogize with burial to follow in the Belmont Cemetery.
There will be no public visitation. Unfortunately, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Rutledge and Bigham Funeral Home, along with other funeral homes across the country, has been issued a mandate to limit the number of family and/or friends at funeral services. You can only enter the funeral service with a pass, which will be given to the family.
Visit the Book of Memories for Mother Taylor at www.rutledgeandbigham.com.
Rutledge and Bigham Funeral Home is serving the Taylor Family.