The Dean of American Preaching, Dr. Gardner C. Taylor, Goes Home to Be With the Lord on Resurrection Sunday

Gardner C. Taylor

The Homegoing of Dr. Gardner Calvin Taylor

The Progressive National Baptist Convention (PNBC) Inc. mourns the passing and celebrates the life of the Rev. Dr. Gardner Calvin Taylor.

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Dr. Taylor, who passed on Sunday, April 5, Resurrection Sunday, was Pastor Emeritus of the Concord Baptist Church of Christ, Brooklyn, New York, President Emeritus of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc., and widely known as “the Prince of Preachers.” He was also one of Time Magazine’s most influential pastors and the dean of the African American prophetic preaching tradition.

PNBC President Dr. James C. Perkins said, “The world has lost a giant of man, who 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.”

Dr. Perry A. Smith, III a longtime friend and former PNBC pastor said, “We’ve lost a legend. One of the world’s greatest preachers, the last of a kind.” Dr. Smith also said that Dr. Taylor was a living embodiment of PNBC’s core principles of Fellowship, Service, Progress, and Peace, but he was that and much more.

Dr. Tyrone S. Pitts, former PNBC General Secretary said, “Dr. Taylor was the greatest preacher of the 21st Century. He was really was one of the people who helped to frame the Civil Rights movement and he was the soul of PNBC. He also was key in helping us to understand and appreciate the transformative and prophetic art of Black preaching.”


Gardner Taylor was born in 1918 in Baton Rouge, the grandson of former slaves, and grew up in the segregated South of the early 20th century. He graduated from the Oberlin College School of Theology in 1940, and began a lifetime of preaching and civil rights activism. Taylor was pastor of the Concord Baptist Church of Christ in Brooklyn, New York for 42 years, before retiring in 1990. During this time he helped to found the Progressive National Baptist Convention with Martin Luther King Jr., serving as the convention’s second president and providing an important base of support for King’s civil rights work.

Please keep Dr. Taylor’s family and the Concord Baptist Church of Christ in your prayers. PNBC will provide further details about Dr. Taylor’s homegoing celebration as they are forthcoming.

SOURCE: Progressive National Baptist Convention (PNBC) Inc.

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