President Emeritus + Founder
Helen was born and grew up in northwestern Oklahoma the daughter of a Methodist minister. She graduated from Oklahoma City University where she meet and married James C. Taylor. They lived in Evanston, Illinois, and New Haven, Connecticut, with seven months traveling Europe and spending one semester at Goettingen University in Germany for Jim to get a seminary degree and a doctorate. They moved back to Oklahoma in 1965 where Jim taught at Oklahoma City University. They had two children, a daughter and a son. In the mid seventies, the family moved to Dallas where Helen attended Perkins School of Theology, graduated and became a full-time minister. It was some time in the late eighties that Kay Adair started taking Jim’s classes. She was so impressed that she brought husband Robert to class. They invited the whole family to come out for lunch and to see their fairly new venture, a retreat center, St. Francis of the Woods. At that time there was a nice house on the north property. The property on the highway had two small houses and a barn. The barn was renovated to accommodate a Montessori preschool and office space with the upstairs becoming a chapel for worship on Sundays. Over the years more property with lodging was acquired. Chapel, Library, and Claire House were built. Helen continued to take regular personal retreats and bring church groups out for retreats. She was invited to become part of the Board of Trustees in the early nineties and has served since. She was President of the Board from 2014-2021.
As a board member since about 2007 I have seen SFW grow and continue to provide hospitality and diverse experiences for personal growth. Born and raised in Oklahoma it is a blessing to be part of this natural resource. My professional background is working as a registered nurse and licensed psychologist focusing on well-being and transformation. As Thich Nhat Hanh and Martin Luther King Jr. remind us, our personal transformation is inextricably a part of the transformation of our families, communities, and the world.
I am a native Oklahoman and an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). I spent my teenage years on a farm east of Crescent, OK, (a neighboring town to Coyle). In those years I developed a love for the outdoors and a fondness for the landscape of central Oklahoma. I have both a personal interest in spending time at St. Francis of the Woods, and also a desire to help others discover the sacred beauty of the setting and the quality of the programs being cultivated here. Whether you want to walk the labyrinth, hike the trails, enjoy an overnight retreat, or simply buy some fresh eggs, St. Francis of the Woods is a wonderful place of discovery and renewal and I am honored to serve as a Board Member.
I've lived in 22 different towns and cities in two countries so far, served as a United Methodist minister for thirty-seven years, volunteered with the Upper Room Academy for Spiritual Formation for three decades, love to hike, cook, make music, read and travel. I appreciate SFW's focus on hospitality, retreat, creativity, the natural world and the spiritual journey.
Pat Hoerth lives in and is engaged with the CommonWealth Urban Farms community in the heart of Oklahoma City. Her work there involves community support, producing the newsletter, gardening and fixing lunch weekly for the farmers and community, largely from the food they produce. A trained spiritual director, she walks with people individually and in groups. A journalist, she is working on a biography of sculptor Evelyn Beatrice Longman. Pat has led retreats, workshops and seminary courses on Creation Spirituality and sustainability through Turtle Rock Farm, a retreat center which she and her sister ran on their family farm, and as an adjunct faculty member at Phillips Theological Seminary, Tulsa. At CommonWealth, she organized and co-led the Hands in the Soil program for clergy and laity, and managed the CSA. 1970-1981, she worked at The Washington Star where she was a feature writer. She co-authored The Life and Times of Henry Bellmon and wrote God’s Extravagant Garden. A Climate Study for Children. She graduated from Oklahoma State University with a BS major in journalism and Phillips Theological Seminary, with an MTS and MDiv. Being attentive in nature is essential to her well-being. Photographing nature, including people, brings her great pleasure, as does living life in community with friends and family, including her son Will Copeland, a photo editor in Long Beach, CA., and her husband Nathaniel Batchelder, director of the Peace House Oklahoma City.
Members Not Pictured
Steve Replogle, Nancy VanWinkle, Jordan Spencer