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Oklahoma clergy group gives out funds to tornado victims and a car to mother who was giving birth during the storm

Shayla Taylor and her family were among several families who recently received disaster relief funds and aid from the Concerned Clergy for Spiritual Renewal's Oklahoma City Christian Relief Fund.
by Carla Hinton Published: June 23, 2013

“His middle name is Immanuel, which means ‘God with us.' I think it was perfect for the situation.”

— Shayla Taylor talking about her infant son

When a tornado hit the Moore hospital where she was giving birth, Shayla Taylor said she closed her eyes and prayed for survival.

A twister barreled into the hospital May 20, and what was already a life-changing event became even more momentous for the Oklahoma City woman.

“The ground was shaking and the building was shaking,” Taylor said.

“I opened my eyes and a wall was gone. I could see the (Warren) movie theater and I-35,” Taylor said.

She said she eventually was taken to Norman Regional Hospital, where she gave birth to her son Braeden. She later learned that her car parked in the Moore hospital's parking lot, 700 S Telephone Road, had been tossed into the building by the tornado. Although she felt blessed that she and her baby survived the storm, Taylor said she and her husband, Jerome, were anxious about the demise of their 1996 Toyota Camry.

Recently, the metro woman received aid from a disaster relief fund set up by a group of pastors who lead northeast Oklahoma City churches. The Concerned Clergy for Spiritual Renewal purchased a used car for Taylor and car seats for her infant and older son Shaiden, 4, through the group's Oklahoma City Christian Relief Fund. Taylor and her family were among 26 families who recently received assistance through the fund, the Rev. J.A. Reed said.

“We're concerned about what you're going through and what you've been through,” Reed, senior pastor of Fairview Baptist Church and president of the Concerned Clergy group, told storm victims who recently gathered at St. John Missionary Baptist Church, 5700 N Kelley.

The Rev. Major Jemison, senior pastor of St. John and chairman of the relief fund, said the Concerned Clergy organization received money from member congregations as well as churches in other parts of the state, nation and the Caribbean. Jemison said he is a former president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention and Reed is an officer with the National Baptist Convention USA and both of those religious denominations have contributed to the fund as well as other organizations.

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by Carla Hinton
Religion Editor
Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide...
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