In 2022, on a front porch set amid Tennessee hills and acres of trees, former Betenbough Companies team member, Edie (Guess) Taylor, felt like she was home. As she listened to the beautiful and raw testimonies of Narrow Gate participants and staff members, she knew something special was taking place.
Edie’s first introduction to Narrow Gate, took place in 2017 when serving as a guest connections specialist for Betenbough Companies, where she met ministry founders, Bill and Stacy Spencer. This would be the beginning of a new friendship and passion for Narrow Gate – a ministry that disciples young men ages 18-25, as they discover truths about God and themselves.
Long before meeting Bill and Stacy, Edie felt called to this type of ministry. For years she opened her home to both young men and women needing discipleship. “God placed a special place in my heart for this demographic. I had several young people live in my extra room when I was in Lubbock,” said Edie. “When we are open to Him and surrender what He has given us back to Him, He shows up and out in some really special ways!”
In surrender, Edie later found herself in the midst of a career change – moving from guest connections to the marketing team at Betenbough to follow her passion for graphic design. Unknowingly, Edie was walking in God’s will and He would later use this ‘yes’ too, as a part of her Narrow Gate story.
In October of 2022, Edie visited Narrow Gate in person on a Vision Trip. The path that had already begun to unfold with every obedient “yes” was quickly becoming more… narrow.
Wendell Taylor, Narrow Gate Student Life Manager, was the first person Edie met at the airport as the Vision Trip team arrived in Tennessee. “Meeting Wendell… it’s like a story straight out of a Hallmark movie! It has all the qualities of a great story,” shared Edie. “A widow (me), a man with a redeemed past, and a beautiful farm in the fall!”
As the trip continued, Edie would spend hours on the front porch of the lodge with Wendell and many of the Narrow Gate students.
“This vision trip felt like a retreat! It was full of God’s Word and time to sit and talk to the guys about their lives. It fueled my soul!” Edie said. “Through this porch time, I not only got to hear about the guys’ stories – I learned more about Wendell and what God had brought him through.
There is something about having deep conversations that draw you to someone and I was drawn to a life that wanted to hold so tightly to God.”
By the end of the trip, Edie and Wendell had shared 15 meals together and countless hours of conversation. A divine connection had taken place and the two were left wondering how it would continue living 14 hours apart. Together, and open-handed, they gave their relationship to the Lord and asked Him to work through every obstacle keeping them apart. They visited each other on the weekends, talked on the phone, met each other’s families, walked through Bible studies, and fell in love.
A few months later, Edie and Wendell were engaged. Wendell proposed on top of the ridge line on the Narrow Gate campus under the stars with the tree frogs serenading the couple as a shooting star flew over the both of them, just like a Hallmark movie.
In 2023, Edie and Wendall were married. She left Lubbock, and in her departure from the city and company she had called home, she felt loved and supported, just as she always had.
“Every day, I am in awe of what God has done in my life! I would have NEVER even known to ASK for this life! And if God had given me what I had asked for – I would have sold myself short,” said Edie.
“If I had not come to Betenbough, I absolutely would not be living out this life that is full to the brim of purpose, love and beauty.”
Edie is now the Narrow Gate graphic designer and Mrs. Wendell Taylor. Edie and Wendell live in a home on the Narrow Gate campus with a beautiful front porch where they continue to listen to and share testimony while pouring into the students and visitors of Narrow Gate.