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Saturday, April 20, 2024 at 6:05 AM
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Reverend gets top award

HUNTER DWORACZYK [email protected]

A church leader was named as the 2023 Outstanding Woman of the Year this week.

The Taylor Area Business Women gave Reverend Terry Pierce the distinction during the Greater Taylor Chamber of Commerce awards banquet Tuesday, Jan. 16 at the Williamson County Expo Center.

The Rev. Terry Pierce (left) accepts the Taylor Area Businesswomen Outstanding Woman of the Year award from TAB member Regina Jo Carlson.

Pierce is the head of the congregation at St. James Episcopal Church in Taylor and said she was surprised to receive the award.

“I was completely flabbergasted,” Pierce said. “I had no idea that was going to happen. I’m still flabbergasted. It means a great deal to me because I really love Taylor and I love being a part of this community. I just couldn’t imagine being so honored by the people of the community.”

She said she primarily attended the banquet because she was convinced by friends that she was going to give the closing benediction at the end of the festivities.

Regina Jo Carlson of the Taylor Area Business Women recognized Pierce before presenting her the award.

Carlson said Pierce is an active member of the Moody Museum Advisory Board, used her grant writing skills to contribute to the Greater Taylor Foundation and St. David’s Foundation and helped develop the Listening Room for those who have no voice to express themselves.

With Pierce’s activities in mind, Carlson said the award was based largely on contributions to the Taylor community as a whole, not just professional achievements.

“Our Woman of the Year works tirelessly to improve the lives of all she meets,” Carlson said. “She is committed to loving and caring for all whom she encounters. She has given freely of her time, energy, ideas, enthusiasm, organizational skills and knowledge to benefit the community.”

Carlson also highlighted Pierce’s work to create the Taylor Center for Assistance and Navigation.

Through Taylor CAN, Pierce collects funds to provide temporary housing to those in need during times of emergency, such as the recent freezing temperatures.

“Her work to assist the unhoused in times of need is known throughout Taylor,” Carlson said. “She helps the unhoused especially during severe weather. Through donations and grants, she organizes and funds their stay in local hotels when inclement weather or circumstances put them in danger.”

Pierce said rooms typically can cost anywhere from $100 to $150 a night.

Her passion for housing those who need a warm place to stay stems from losing her sister during the winter freeze of 2021, Pierce told the Taylor Press.

“That’s the kind of thing we never expect to happen to people we care about,” Pierce said. “My objective is to just make sure that it doesn’t happen to anyone else. We don’t know what the permanent solutions to the problem are. I wish we did, but we can do this one small thing and that’s what we do.”


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