Knicely Done: Broken, mended and brimming with life

Taylor Foster is a youth pastor in Omaha. He uses the story of his near-death accident while on vacation years ago to inspire young people across the metro.
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 10:26 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Taylor Foster has an interesting background for a youth pastor.

There probably aren’t many in his field of service who boxed in the Golden Gloves, withstood the rugged bumps and bruises of rugby, or landed a “heel side back roll” on a wakeboard.

That’s Taylor.

He even faced off with Brahma Bulls in a rodeo arena.

“I went to bullfighting school to help me pay for my Master of Divinity degree,” he told 6 News. “It really pays well. I remember my mom came to South Dakota to watch me perform and I actually heard her scream from the stands as a bull flipped me over his head when I was trying to protect a rider who was bucked off. She never attended another rodeo.”

In 2017, Foster had just finished his first year as youth pastor at Lifegate Church when he fell approximately 50 feet from the fourth floor of a resort in Cancun, Mexico. He and his wife Kiley were on vacation.

“It was a freaky thing,” said Foster. “A lot of people don’t know, but it was on the outside of the room, I wasn’t on the back patio. My wife and I were going into our door from the open-air hallway and I fell over the back. I should have fallen onto concrete and somehow some way I landed underneath the balcony itself in the one and only flower bed that was there.”

Taylor’s wife Kiley added, “And when I went down it was like a miracle that a paramedic and his wife happened to be walking to their room at the time.”

The rehab for Foster was intense, with his right femur broken in two places, two broken vertebrae, a break in his pelvis, and a broken bone in his sacrum.

“Honestly, it was very hard and very scary when my legs wouldn’t do what my mind told them to do,” Foster said. “I remember crying a lot and really stressed out in physical therapy, I remember praying a lot and I remember just getting to a place where I said, ‘Lord if I’m not able to run again, I shouldn’t even be alive and if I did survive, I should be paralyzed.’ I said ‘Lord, it’s okay.’”

Foster spent two months in a wheelchair and progressed to the point he could walk with a cane and amazingly returned to the Rugby pitch, where he scored several “tries.”

Earlier this summer, he completed a new wakeboard jump called a “heel side back roll.”

“I wasn’t supposed to do a lot of things,” said Foster. “God’s cool like that. He lets us do things that people say we can’t.”

For the last several years, Foster has helped in leading an outreach called “One” with several other Youth Pastors in the Metro area. Once a year they bring over 3,000 teenagers together for a joint rally that includes live music.

“It’s cross-denominational, Catholics, Lutheran, Baptists, Pentecostals, Reform, all coming together under the name of Jesus to lift up Christ,” Foster said. “That’s one of the ways I connect with these kids to hopefully disarm the false anxiety, stress, and worry that they’re carrying. They’re like little pressure cookers man, and I just want them to experience the peace of God. And for me having a near-death experience, I almost wish everyone could have that, so they could know how valuable life is and to live life for something bigger than yourself is where the real hope and joy is.”

O,ne is tied to a collaborative network of leaders called “Within Reach” that serves the Metro area in a variety of ways including businesses and churches.

To learn more about those ministries, visit