The first time he asked her on a date, she said no.
Just a few days later, however, Rochelle regretted her decision and decided to contact Bill through a mutual friend.
“The next week he was at my house, and we’ve been together ever since,” Rochelle said.
On Sep. 30 of last year, the Goodners celebrated 30 years of marriage—years marked by service and love for each other, as well as the people around them.
“Bill and I have always helped others, and want to continue to help others in any way possible,” Rochelle said.
In August of 2017, Rochelle began working in the Larita Boren Student Center on Taylor’s campus. Just two months later, Bill joined her. Before becoming a part of Taylor’s staff, the two spent a large portion of their time in separate work environments—Rochelle at a local Subway shop and Bill in municipalities.
Working in the public sphere exposed the Goodners to an environment that was much harsher than the one they have been introduced to at Taylor. Both Bill and Rochelle appreciate the change of pace they have found on Taylor’s campus, and have enjoyed their transition into the “Taylor bubble.”
“Our life before coming to Taylor was not as rewarding,” Bill said. “Coming to Taylor is a breath of fresh air, because you don’t have to deal with the outside world like you do when you’re working a ‘regular’ job.”
Currently, Rochelle works as a cashier at the Student Center, while Bill works behind the counter at Emma & Charlie’s Pizza. The two consider their work at Taylor to be not just a job but a calling. They strongly believe that God has called them to work at Taylor, and they take their service of students and staff very seriously.
“I believe we have a need, and I believe we’re fulfilling that need,” Bill said. “Until God tells us that we need to make a change, we’re going to be here—who knows how long.”
Without a doubt, the Goodners consider the most important and rewarding aspect of their work at Taylor to be the relationships they have been able to establish with the individuals they serve.
“We try to let them know that we’re here for them and love them and will help them if possible,” Bill said. “I mean, that’s what God has done (for) us, so that’s what we want to do (for) them.”
Countless students have experienced the Goodner’s love in some way—through meals bought, prayers offered, or encouragement given. Several students affectionately call the couple “Momma and Pops.”
This last spring, the Goodners were especially thankful for the relationships they have established within the Taylor community.
In December of 2019, Bill underwent the first of three major knee surgeries, and the couple found themselves in need of extra support. During this time, the Goodners were overwhelmed by the care they received from the Taylor community.
“We had such an outpouring from not only students but faculty that we know also,” Bill said. “It was just overwhelming how much love and support was shown from the Taylor community.”
Cards, messages, hospital visits, meals and a GoFundMe page were just a few ways in which the Taylor community supported and loved the Goodners.
Both Bill and Rochelle are incredibly thankful for the care they have received from students and staff over the past few months.
“I would like to thank the Taylor community for all the support they’ve given us during the rough time we’ve had,” Bill said. “And I would like to say how thankful I am for the love that has been shown.”
Rochelle echoes her husband’s sentiment, and notes that she and Bill are always ready to return the favor in any way that they can.
“We have a prayer board at home on our wall,” Rochelle said. “If any student, faculty or staff needs prayer, come and let me know and we will pray for them.”