Rolling Meadows pastor dies after complications from knee surgery
If you happened to be getting a cup of coffee on a Sunday morning at the Mug Coffee Co. in Rolling Meadows, you might have seen the Rev. Ed Taylor leading the small congregation of Quest Church.
Or if you were at a local Laundromat, you might have seen Pastor Ed arrive with rolls of quarters to help the needy do their laundry.
Taylor's church didn't have a building. And his philosophy didn't have any walls.
Taylor, 52, a Palatine resident, died suddenly Saturday after suffering cardiac arrest. He had recently entered Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge for a double knee replacement, but complications, including a blood clot, followed.
Taylor founded Quest about four years ago, after coming to the Arlington Heights area from Washington, Illinois.
Quest is part of an organization called Ignite Church Planting, which plants churches throughout the Chicago area.
Born in Syracuse, New York, he was raised in Iowa before entering the Army, where he met his wife of nearly 30 years, Kim.
"He would occasionally say that if anybody would have told him 15, 20 years ago, that he would be a pastor, he would have laughed," Kim Taylor said.
It was after he returned to Iowa that he began leading worship on a volunteer basis. He eventually became a full-time minister, even teaching himself to play guitar, which he would play during services. Before Quest offered services in Rolling Meadows, the Christian church met at Metropolis in Arlington Heights, St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Arlington Heights and even Orbit Skate Center in Palatine.
Kim Taylor said her husband tried to make the atmosphere at the Mug, where the church moved about a month ago, as engaging as possible, wearing jeans during the service.
She said, "He loved to do the thing he called 'Quest Cafe,' where he would ask a question and have us break into groups and just talk about it for a little while."
She said her husband felt a special connection with the homeless, working shifts at churches with PADS facilities and having his church bring meals.
"He was always trying to think outside the box and kind of break through what you traditionally see the church as," she said.
Meeting at places like the skating rink had some unintended consequences.
"They had a kid in the back playing with a balloon while we were having our service," Kim recalled of one meeting. "You could see this balloon going up in the air behind Ed's head."
"He was always available, at all kinds of hours, day and night," said Arlington Heights resident Doug Picirillo, a member of the church. "He was a hands-on kind of guy."
Arlington Heights Mayor Thomas Hayes remembered Taylor as an active member of the village's Prayer Breakfast Committee. He recalled that Taylor performed on guitar at the prayer breakfast a couple of years ago.
"He was a strong man of faith and wanted to get involved in the community in a number of different ways, and we very much appreciated everything that he did for the community," he said.
He is survived by his wife, a son, Edwin, and a daughter, Ellis.
A 3 p.m. visitation, a 5 p.m. service and a dinner will be held on Wednesday at Cross and Crown Lutheran Church, 1122 W. Rand Road, Arlington Heights.