Biography of Gardner C. Taylor
Gardner C. Taylor Biography
Gardner C. Taylor Biography – Gardner Calvin Taylor was an American Baptist preacher. He was born on June 18, 1918, and went to be with the Lord on April 5, 2015. He was famous as “the dean of American preaching”.
Gardner was born to the family of Rev. Washington M. and Selina Taylor in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1918 and of the descent from emancipated slaves (grandson).
He went to Oberlin College School of Theology in 1940.
BG Crawley was his mentor a judge and founder of The Little Zion Baptist Church of Brooklyn, New York.
Between 1938 and 1941, Taylor became the pastor of Bethany Baptist Church in Elyria, Ohio as a student. He later became the pastor of the Beulah Baptist Church till the year 1943, in New Orleans and his father’s former church, Mount Zion Baptist Church of Christ till 1947.
Gardner later became the leader of the Concord Baptist Church of Christ, the second largest Baptist congregation in the United States with 8,000 congregation members based in Bedford-Stuyvesant. The church grew to 10,000 members under his leadership.
He is a friend and mentor to Martin Luther King Jr. and played a significant role in the religious leadership of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. The mayor of New York City Robert F. Wagner Jr., named Taylor as part of the New York City Board of Education in 1958.
He was in office for three years and during this time, he attacked segregation in city schools and contented that federal aid should be denied to private schools while public schools should be the priority.
Gardner aided the founding of the Progressive National Baptist Convention in 1961 with a group of ministers led by L. Venchael Booth of Concord Baptist Church of Christ in Brooklyn and he was the president from 1967 to 1969.
Gardner Taylor was the pastor of Concord for close to 42 years before retiring in 1990. He has more than 2,000 of his sermons cataloged, and recordings of some of them are available in collections.
He received fifteen (15) honourary degrees during his lifetime. He delivered lectures and sermons at Universities and churches across the United States, South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, Denmark, England, Scotland, Australia, and so on. He was a preacher at the pre-inaugural ceremony in January 1993 for the elected president Bill Clinton. On August 9, 2000, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Clinton.
He went to be with the Lord on April 5, 2015, after attending Easter services at Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Durham, North Carolina.