Resident Bishop of the South Carolina United Methodist Conference
Mary Virginia Taylor earned her BA from the University of Georgia and completed her MDiv from Emory's Candler School of Theology in 1975. It was at Candler that she met Rusty Taylor. They were married in June 1973 and began an adventure of serving as a clergy couple. They were ordained eeacons in 1974 and elders in 1976.
Bishop Taylor served 30 years as a member of the Holston Conference in both rural and urban settings. It was in her fifth year as Cleveland District Superintendent that she was elected to the episcopacy in July 2004. On September 1, 2004, she became the first woman to serve as Resident Bishop of the Columbia Area (South Carolina Annual Conference) in the United Methodist Church.
She has served six times as a delegate to the United Methodist General Conference and to the Jurisdictional Conference. During those 20 years, she has served on the General Council on Ministries and the General Board of Church and Society. She has been the chair of the Holston Conference Board of Ordained Ministry and the chair of the Conference Council on Finance and Administration. In September 2004 Bishop Taylor was elected to serve as president of the General Commission on Status and Role of Women and continues today in that role.
In May 2006 she began a four-year term as a member of the Columbia College Board of Trustees, Columbia, South Carolina, and recently was invited to become a member with vote to the Board of Directors for the South Carolina United Methodist Foundation. As of September 1, 2008, Bishop Taylor was reassigned Resident Bishop of the South Carolina United Methodist Conference.