The Life and Death of Jack Taylor3
I only learned on Monday morning that my friend, Jack Taylor, had passed away and entered the presence of his Lord and Savior, early Sunday morning, April 25. He was 87 years old. What a truly remarkable Christian man he was. Most of you probably don’t know him, but he was one of the more instrumental figures in bringing the power and ministry of the Holy Spirit into the lives Southern Baptists.
I can’t remember when I first met Jack, but he would often visit Kansas City in the 1990’s and speak at the church, Metro Christian Fellowship, where I was serving on staff.
I will never forget the one visit he made and the lesson he taught me about traveling and ministering the Word of God. I picked him up at the airport and drove him to the Marriott Courtyard where he would be staying. I walked him to his room and started to leave, when he grabbed me by the arm and pulled me into the room. He said, “Sam, I want you to join me in prayer over this room.”
Jack proceeded to kneel down beside the bed and invited me to join him there. I can’t remember the precise wording of his prayer, but it went something like this:
“Gracious Heavenly Father, I thank you for the opportunity to minister the gospel here in Kansas City, and I ask that you would begin by protecting me from any and all demonic spirits that would seek to derail my focus on the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Holy Spirit, I ask that you would sanctify this room and make it a place of your dwelling. If there has been any illicit, unbiblical sexual activity in this room before I arrived, I pray that you would cleanse it and drive from it any lingering demonic spirits. If pornography was viewed on this TV I pray that you would drive from it any demons who are still present. Fill this room with your presence. Fill me with your presence. May this hotel room and my body be a temple of your abiding presence and power. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
That was a first for me. I’d never seen or heard anyone do that before, but it made perfectly good sense. I have made it my practice as well when I travel to minister.
Jack will be remembered for many things. For one, he was an early advocate for the convergence of Word and Spirit. He refused to tolerate anything or anyone that might sever the marriage that God had created between the two.
Jack also wrote numerous books, but two of them had a great impact on me. They aren’t two of the more popular of his works, but they were used of God to influence my thinking in powerful ways. One was his book on worship, The Hallelujah Factor. Jack was a passionate worshiper of the Lord. I can still see him in my mind’s eye as he worshiped at the Bible conferences hosted by James Robison in Ft. Worth, Texas. The other book that I have so greatly appreciated is God’s Miraculous Plan of Economy. One doesn’t have to agree with everything in it to profit greatly from his perspective on money and financial stewardship.
It has been several years since I’ve seen Jack in person, but I look forward to the day when I will see him in the presence of his, and my, Lord and Savior. I’m quite confident that when Jack arrived in heaven, he heard a hearty and vibrant word of affirmation, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant!” Well done, indeed, Jack.