Let us be in prayer for the family……..The Rev. Gardner C. Taylor, widely considered the dean of the nation’s black preachers and “the poet laureate of American Protestantism,” died Sunday (April 5) after a ministerial career that spanned more than six decades. He was 96.
The Rev. Carroll Baltimore, past president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, confirmed that Taylor died on Easter Sunday.
“Dr. Taylor was a theological giant who will be greatly missed,” he said of the minister who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2000.
PNBC President Rev. James C. Perkins said Taylor “transformed America and the world for the better. How appropriate it is that God called Dr. Taylor home on Resurrection Sunday. In both life and death Dr. Taylor gave a clarion call to the transformative power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Concord Baptist Church of Christ, the imposing, block-long, brick church Taylor pastored for 42 years, became a beacon of hope and vitality for many African-Americans in Brooklyn, N.Y., and a model for the nation. When the church was destroyed by fire in 1952, Taylor defied naysayers by not only rebuilding the edifice, but also doubling its size.
Iconic civil rights leader, preacher Gardner Taylor dies at 96 https://huff.to/1C7pLit
Concord, one of New York City’s largest churches, operated its own elementary school, nursing home, credit union and million-dollar endowment used to invest in the community. But for more than four decades, it was Taylor who made Concord’s pulpit “the most prestigious in black Christian churches.”
When he was asked during an interview about what makes a great preacher, Taylor responded, “In the Book of Ruth, Naomi says, ‘I went out full, and I’ve come back empty.”’
For Taylor, “That was the story of life. It’s also the story of preaching; we must keep ourselves full so we can empty ourselves in the pulpit.”
In 2011, Taylor described what principles contribute to someone being a great preacher.
“I think the secret of preaching is a deep religious conviction, a knowledge of the Bible and the attempt to express it as well as one might,’’ he said. “I think that is the difference between the ordinary and the extraordinary.’’
How are you and I going to live for Jesus?