The Rev. Warren Taylor Sr., who provided a wealth of services for his Central City flock, including housing, after-school programs and computer classes, died of a heart attack Oct. 9 at Ochsner Medical Center. He was 75.
Pastor Taylor, who had led the First Evangelist Missionary Baptist Church for 20 years, was a New Orleanian who graduated from the Arthur P. Clay Bible College and the Union Baptist Theological Seminary. He worked at churches in New Orleans and Pomona, Calif., before being installed at First Evangelist Baptist Church in 1993.
A year later, Pastor Taylor founded the First Evangelist Housing and Community Development Corp., which provides services such as housing for low- to moderate-income people and families, job referral services, a food bank, substance-abuse counseling and the Holy Hands Car Wash.
In his capacity as founding president, Pastor Taylor acquired more than 200 housing units, as well as several lots where homes could be built, and he was instrumental in working with the city to get abandoned and blighted homes demolished.
Because of his work, Pastor Taylor served on President Bill Clinton’s National Committee on Racism and worked on faith-based initiatives during George W. Bush’s presidency. He also led the Ministerial Advisory Board when Marc Morial was mayor of New Orleans.
He was chairman of the economic development boards of the Louisiana Freedmen Missionary Baptist General Association and the Cornerstone Missionary Baptist General association, and he was former president of the Christian Community Youth Against Drugs Foundation.
Survivors include his wife, Marion Taylor; three sons, Antonio and Warren Taylor Jr. of Pomona and Craig Taylor of Los Angeles; three daughters, Denise Taylor and Wanda Yamasaki of Pomona and Col. Cheryl Taylor-Whitehead of Fort Irwin, Calif.; a stepson, Alexander Hollomon Jr. of New Orleans; two stepdaughters, Denise Hollomon of Arlington, Texas, and the Rev. Valerie Waller of Sugar Land, Texas; six grandchildren; four step-grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; one step-great-grandchild; and a great-great-grandchild.
A musical tribute will be held Friday (Oct. 18) at 6:45 p.m. at First Evangelist Missionary Baptist Church, 1801 Willow St. Visitation will be from 1 to 6 p.m.
A funeral will be held Saturday (Oct. 19) at 10 a.m. at St. John Institutional Missionary Baptist Church, 2538 Jackson Ave. Visitation will start at 9 a.m. Burial will be in Providence Memorial Park. Estelle J. Wilson Funeral Home Inc. is in charge of arrangements.
by Robert Earl Houston
I recently was made aware of something that I mentioned on Facebook, but I believe it needs some elaboration here.
A minister was ordained to preach before even uttering one word. That’s right – even before their first words of the gospel are uttered, they had already been ordained to the Gospel Ministry. I have a few opinions on this:
FIRST, IT CHEAPENS THE MINISTRY
The preaching minister of Jesus Christ is not an “add water” movement. Too many churches and pastors are “in a hurry” when it comes to the preaching ministry and would rather “microwave” an unqualified minister in the hopes that they’ll be “just fine” after while, instead of “cooking” like momma used to – on the stove of experience, no matter how long it takes, and then serving it when it’s “just right.” Those who say God has called them on Monday have no business being ordained Wednesday night. It makes a mockery and it cheapens the ministry – the process is valuable. Even Jesus’s disciples went through a process. Even the Apostle Paul went through a process. And I’m sure 99.99999% of those ministers who will read this understands that this “instant ordination” cheapens the integrity of the process.
SECONDLY, IT HURTS THE MINISTER
Several years ago, I preached a revival for a senior minister, of which I was then and still are grateful for the experience. As I sat in the study waiting to come to the pulpit, I was praying and stood up to get ready to walk out of the door and glanced at the wall. The Pastor had his educational degrees on the wall – his bachelor’s degree and his master’s degree and his doctorate degree. Strangely, they were all dated on the same day – meaning that he was awarded the degrees at one time. I never asked him about it (none of my business) but I’m sure for many who saw it, it didn’t win over any hearts. The same can be said of any minister who is ordained prior to preaching – it makes them a punchline instead of a headline. It creates an unnecessary lack of credence to a minister even before they open their mouth. And it prepares the soil for arrogance, hostility and self-importance.
THIRDLY, IT HURTS ORDER
I learned order as a child. For example: A, B, C, D . . . For example: 1, 2, 3, 4 . . . For example: God, Family then Church. And I also learned (and this is written from the perspective of a baptist minister) – confession of the call, preparation of the initial or trial sermon, then licensure and then ordination. This is not a case of getting the cart before the horse – it’s a case of getting the cart out and forgetting the horse. There has to be an order – a method to this gladness. For me, I still treasure that meeting with my pastor, Dr. A. Bernard Devers, I, to confess my call to preach. I still cherish those 5 months he gave me to prepare my first sermon (which I must have rehearsed 100 times over and over). I still cherish that one year and five months of waiting until I was licensed (man, that taught me patience), and then I cherished the time (and I never pushed the issue) of between licensure (1979) and ordination (1984) and that was AFTER serving as Co-Interim Pastor at my home church and serving as candidate for pastor and/or acting pastor in several congregations. There has to be an order for ministry and any minister who “jumps the line” and goes from call to ordination cannot be taken seriously.
YOUR COMMENTS ARE WELCOMED.