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The Life of H. Boyce Taylor, Sr.
By Roy O. Beaman

      Born in Ohio County, Ky., September 29, 1870; died in the Baptist Memorial Hospital, Memphis, Tenn., May 31, 1932. Fourth in a line of Baptist preachers: Boyce Taylor, son; W. C. Taylor, Sr., his father, Alfred Taylor, his grandfather; Joseph Taylor, his great grandfather. Converted at an early age at Auburn, Ky. Ordained to the ministry by the Baptist Church, Russelvillle. Ky. Scholastic attainments: A.B. and M.A. from Bethel College, Russelville, Ky.; Th Master from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville. Ky.; D.D. from Hall Moody Institute, Martin, Tenn. Pastor in Carroll and Trimble Counties, Ky., during seminary days in Louisville. Pastor Murray Baptist Church almost thirty-five years, January 1897-October 1931, during which pastorate Dr. J. F. Love and Dr. B. H. Carroll said respectively that it was the greatest missionary, church and the nearest to New Testament pattern they had ever seen. No set salary from third year in Murray; a constant preacher and writer on tithing and stewardship; used the "box plan" in his church. Held many revivals in many states; received many flattering calls to leave Murray. A contender against evolution, Arminianism, Masonry, and many heresies; held over fifty public discussions with representative men of numerous denominations. Jailed during World War I because he kept his church house open for worship, preferring to obey God rather than man.

      Married September 29, 1897, to Maime Peay, daughter of Dr. J. M. Peay, a well known Baptist preacher. Father of two children: Boyce, Jr., and Frances (Mrs. Barney Watson). Had over a hundred namesakes, to whom he sent autographed copies of his book, "Why Be A Baptist."

      Leader in great mission endeavors in Blood River Association, which comprises the churches of his adopted county, Calloway, and Marshall; preacher of annual sermon more times than any other man; also, clerk for many years. Leader of Murray Bible Institute for thirty-four years, which became the pattern for many Bible institutes of this section and elsewhere. Moving spirit of budget system first adopted by Kentucky Baptists, then by other Baptist state conventions, then by Southern Baptist Convention, yet a strong contender for the rights of individuals, churches, and associations to designate their funds. Moderator of General Association of Kentucky Baptists; member of Baptist State Mission Board; trustee of several Baptist colleges; Kentucky member of Sunday School Board; originator and manager of West Kentucky Baptist Assembly.

      Editor and Owner of News and Truths, 1906-1932, a sixteen page weekly, which always supported the work of Southern Baptists but exposed irregularities and worldliness without fear or favor. Moving spirit in the Amazon Valley Baptist Faith Mission, with headquarters in Murray; before the birth of the Mission he made a trip to Brazil in 1922. Head of the News and Truths Book Store, which majored on sound Baptist books and Bibles; literally thousands of books and Bibles were distributed by mail, from the counter in the store, and by his efforts as a colporter and through many other colporters. No man more ardently supported colportage work than he; he contended that it is one of the greatest needs in world evangelization. Head of the West Kentucky Bible School, which touched hundreds of preachers, from its inception November 7, 1921 until his death.

      He authored "Why Be A Baptist", "Bible Briefs Against Hurtful Heresies," "Studies in Romans," "Acts of the Apostles," "Studies in the Parables," and many tracts on salvation, Christian living, and sound doctrine, which he printed and distributed by the multiplied thousands. He was a great theologian and planned a volume therein: this is perhaps our greatest loss in his untimely going. The Sunday School Board requested a volume of his sermons, but he was too busy to stop, to prepare them.

      When he began his pastorate, the resident membership numbered seventy two and forty non-resident; at the end, there were over five hundred. The church gave to missions the year before he came the sum of $21.00. During his pastorate they gave over $180,000. climaxing it with $37,268 in cash one year of the Seventy Five Million Campaign. The Pastor always led the way; he gave $7,000 to the present, beautiful and commodious structure. (Since I think he would want the mantle of love thrown over the unscrupulous tactics of those that opposed him, I pass over them here. He suffered patiently and prayed for his enemies).

      A man of God; a man of faith and prayer; the sinner's friend; a devout lover of missions and a strong contender for "the faith once for all delivered to the saints:" student of Broadus, admirer of Graves and Pendleton, friend of Eaton and Carroll, coworker of J. N. Hall and other stalwarts of the faith.

      His body sleeps in a beautiful plot in the cemetery of the place he loved so well; but "he being dead yet speaketh," in these notes.


[From Roy O. Beaman, editor, in The Book of Genesis by H. Boyce Taylor.]

      In 1917, H. B. Taylor was the chosen as the Moderator for the annual meeting the General Association of Baptists of Kentucky, that convened at Paducah that year. [Wm. D. Nowlin, Kentucky Baptist History, p. 128. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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