Time with a Taylor
Updated: Dec 15, 2022
On November 26, 2022 I, along with 480 motorcycles and 630 riders, met in New Bern
at Temple Baptist Church. We were there to support Temples Thirtieth (30th) annual motorcycle run fundraiser for the Kinston, NC Kennedy Children’s Home. We raised approximately $30,000.00 dollars which was donated to the organization. They take in and raise children who, for many different reasons, have no parents or guardians to protect them as they grow in life. It is an amazing organization and the team at Temple Baptist have done a great job for Thirty (30) years.
I guess by now you are wondering why the title, “Time with a Taylor”? It is the story
that makes what we did on November 26, 2022 so important and the difference it can make in some one’s life. Gods narrative, which is His story revealed through people, always makes the difference. I wanted to get that story written to preserve memories, encourage others, to honor a man we thought so much of and share it with as many people as possible. This is the story!
Sometime around 2009-2010 My wife Judy and I were introduced to a pastor of a small
church. Consistently, every Sunday night at 6:30pm one or both of us would attend this little
church. The church was situated at the end of a corn field, deep in the countryside of Jones
County NC. The left side of the church was separated only by 20 feet of grass from a corn field, the building was sitting about the same distance directly off highway 41. The right side of the building was about ten (10) feet from a drainage. The building was about forty (40) feet wide maybe sixty (60) feet long. Parking was difficult. If it rained parking on the cornfield side was tricky. You could have needed assistance getting out in the form of someone pulling you out with another vehicle. If you parked in the front it would be two vehicles deep from the church to road. This blocked everyone in, and you had to wait your turn to leave. Then you would back straight onto highway 41 to depart. No room to turn around. However, it was all worth it!
The services started at 6:30pm. That was the set time, the actual time could vary fifteen (15) to thirty (30) minutes, late or early. It had no set order to the service and definitely no set time to end the service. Yet, it was always decent and in order. You never knew who was going to be a part of the music and worship or how long it would take place. It was one of the most beautiful things to witness and be a part of these services. There were always testimonies, prayer, praying in tongues, sometimes prophesying, always preaching of the word and healings that took place. Usually attendance was fifteen (15) to twenty-five (25) people. Most of the time it was the same people with a few visitors from time to time. Every so often Pastor Jimmy would have something special, a sing or guest speaker and the place would be packed. The Church was called “Community Church” and the Pastor was Jimmy Taylor.
He was one of the most anointed, spirit led men of God I have ever met. Sadly, Jimmy
went home rejoicing to spend eternity with God on January 12, 2021. Learning of Jimmy’s
passing was a sad day for Judy and me. What made it more difficult is that we were unable to attend his funeral. I heard it was a great celebration yet, sad for those who cherished and loved Jimmy. It was a full house filled with a close-knit family and many of his longtime closest friends. All were there to fittingly pay tribute to this great man and his obedience elaborating on what God had done in and through his life.
Many people could share how special Jimmy was to them. Surly those that knew him
much longer and better than I. My wife is one of those that could share of his kindness. She
looked to him as a spiritual father. He ordained her so she could do the work that God has
called her to do. I am sure, for some, the question continues to linger, what story ties the
Kennedy Home for Children and time with Jimmy Taylor together?
To the best of my memory I will try to share with you as Jimmy shared his life with me.
Hopefully tying it together, Jimmy’s mom died around 1963 when he was very young. There
were not enough family members to give a home to Jimmy and his siblings. Jimmy was placed at the Kennedy Home for Children in Kinston. He spent several years growing up in that environment. I am not sure exactly how long Jimmy lived there however, it had a big impact on his life. Some of it not so good but he often told me it probably saved his life. Jimmy, like myself became addicted to alcohol, drugs and a began a lifestyle that truly reflected that way of life. His reputation for fighting and roughness was well known. During this time, early in life he was married to his lifelong friend and the love of his life Susie. She continually prayed for Jimmy never leaving his side through it all. During this time, it is important to remember Jimmy could not read or write and was a painter by trade.
This is the good part. One day in his mid-thirties (30’s), refusing to hear anything about
Jesus, Jimmy had a Damascus Road experience with Jesus. After years of chasing preachers away he was saved while simultaneously driving down the road in his old car. On that day, he stated he began spiraling down a dark black hole and he knew that Satan had his life. As he was spiraling down this tunnel he did not know if he was in this world or another, yet he knew his life was over. Then he heard a familiar voice, that of his wife Susie. For years, repeatedly, she had told him there would come a day when he would have to call on the name of Jesus. This was the day. He cried out to Jesus as he slid down into that tunnel. When he did, he was brought back to this world. Driving the same car, down the same road but a new man. Jimmy never looked back and followed Jesus until his last breath.
I mentioned Jimmy could not read or write, yet he knew the word of God. In the
beginning the Bible was the only thing he could comprehend. Then early on God called him into ministry. Jimmy, due to his lack of ability to read and write and feeling as if he had nothing to offer, reluctantly yet obediently, began his own ministry.
Jimmy, before I knew him would preach in many churches almost every week for many years, never accepting one dime of money. Later, he built the Community Church and pastored it until his death. Never taking one cent for his work. He began a radio ministry called, "A Voice in the Wilderness", that touched thousands of lives. It aired every day, five days a week for more than fifteen (15) years. Jimmy and Susie kept it on the air with little to no financial support. Also importantly, tying this together, Jimmy would go back and help the Kennedy Children’s Home during the fundraisers like the one I mentioned in this article and at other times. Jimmy was an incredible example of being a follower of Jesus Christ.
On a personal level he was one of my trusted friends in Christ. I loved Jimmy deeply and I miss him often. When I was on this benefit ride, I thought of him and his teachings all day long. Remember those long church services I mentioned? Well, after those services me and Jimmy often would sit on the very back pew. Sometimes caught up in the communication of the Holy Spirit and would just sit looking at the crowd that was lingering and expressing how good God was to us. Other times, Jimmy would instruct me in ministry. As Emerge began to extend its tent pegs, I began to travel, meet with politicians, church leaders and speaking in churches across the country. Among much other advice, Jimmy kept telling me the same line over and over, again and again. He would say “Terry, when you’re on that plane, in the room with politicians, speaking to pastors or to their congregations; speaking to the incarcerated, homeless or the addict, if it ain’t about Jesus don’t do it.”To this day whenever I go to say something all I hear is Jimmy saying, “Terry if it ain’t about Jesus don’t do it!”
It sounds so simple. Most Christians would think that it would be easy to keep front and
center. However, whenever I’m asked to do something I have focused, prayed and meditated on this over many years. Now, I know why Jimmy stressed it to me so much. I pray you find someone like Jimmy, who cares enough to know you don’t know the depth and meaning of those words and someone will pour truth into to you as Jimmy did me. He knew I was too smart for my own good and I would become deceived easily. He would always stress how he struggled with reading, writing and many other things the world considers intellectual. However, in the spirit world, guided by the Holy Spirit and knowing how to develop a relationship with Jesus, he was one of the most intelligent men I have ever met. I hope I am able to understand half as much as Jimmy concerning the word of God, the work of the cross, and operating in the spirit as Jimmy Taylor!