Jack R. Taylor
August 10, 1933 – April 25, 2021
Jackie Ray Taylor was born August 10, 1933, in the Texas panhandle town of Allison, where the population was less than 30 people at times. He was the third son of Bob and Kitty Taylor, who preceded him to heaven with brothers RC and Cliff. Two sisters completed the family; Doris, now deceased, and Beverly Brannan, who survives Jack with her husband Bill, sister-in-law, Charlene Taylor, her sons and wife, Andy & Julie Taylor, and Monte Taylor, as well as nephews Mike and Robert Wickersham, Chad Taylor, and niece, Trisha and her husband, Troy.
Jack graduated high school at the tender age of 15 and was the youngest student to earn a degree from Hardin-Simons University at 19 years old. At college, he met Barbara Sue Burkhart, whom he married. Mom helped shape Dad’s character and ministry like no other, except the Lord. They started a family in 1956, losing their first son, Terry Ray, to complications at birth. The reason Jack Taylor was such a good counsel to so many at their most difficult times of life was because he had personally experienced the worst that life could throw at a person. By God’s grace, Tamara Sue was born two years later to the very hour that Terry died. Timothy Paul rounded out the Taylor family, His sister and he survive their father, and mother, Barbara who passed in 2001 after a battle with cancer. Tamara Snell and her husband Bill, and their four children and wives, Kimber and Mark, Tim and Jamie, Chris, and Clay, also survive Dad. Kimber gave Dad his first three great-grandchildren, Aiden, Austin, and Cashton. Tim’s wife Michelle and he have two sons, Blake and Brice, who are married to Sarah and Rachel.
Mom stood with Dad for nearly 48 years and was his partner in ministry and life. Mom’s vivacious personality and relentless drive complemented Dad perfectly. After a lengthy battle with cancer, she was promoted in 2001. Her absence revealed his need for companionship. Jerry Bollinger became his second wife, and they were married for 21 months when she passed due to complications from a stroke induced by cancer. For the past 16 years, Wilfriede McDonald has been Dad’s faithful partner, and they made a grand pair. Dad was blessed to have known three dynamic and very special women as his wives. I know of few men who had the capacity to love like he did but love them, he did. They made his life sweeter and fuller. He made our lives deeper and more worthy.
Jerry is survived by her family, Ty and Charlene Bollinger, Brianna, Bryce, Tabitha, and Charity, as well as Cherith and Dru Moore, Hallie, and Ashley, and Ron Bollinger.
Friede survives Jack with her children, Steven and Sheliah, and their spouses, Jennifer and Adam, Steven’s children: Matthew and his wife, Jeramae, Grace and her husband Tyler, Gabriel and his wife Brittany, & Anna. Sheila has two daughters & a son, Dakota, and her husband Mark, Raquel, and Cecil. She also has six great-grandchildren, Leila, Charlotte, Lilian, Charlie, Mary, & Phillip.
Dad was always proud of the first church he pastored. New Hope #3 was situated near the West Texas town of Ranger. In the late 50s, Mom and Dad were called to a little suburb of San Antonio, increasing the membership of the Castle Hills First Baptist Church from 98 to 100. They served nearly 18 years in San Antonio, presiding over a congregation that eventually swelled to over 3000 in membership. In 1969, Jack was forever transformed by a personal encounter with the Holy Spirit in an upper room with Miss Bertha Smith and others. Soon, the name Jack Taylor became synonymous with the message of the Spirit-filled life.
In the early 70s, God answered his prayer to save the worst people in the city. Guy and Evelyn Linton were the proprietors of the largest strip joints in South Texas. Kneeling around the coffee table in their palatial mansion, they gave their lives to Jesus with Mom, Dad, and the Rev. Bob Harrington present. The commitment to follow Jesus by these two notorious sinners turned the city upside down. Where once women paraded their nude flesh, the Gospel was
now being preached. Countless strippers, bikers, druggees, hippies, carnies, and everyday sinners were ushered into the Kingdom over the next several months. One estimate records over 3000 people saved as a result of the move of God at Castle Hills. The revival would touch denominations and the world as the word spread like wildfire throughout the nation around the world.
Dad wrote his first book, The Key to Triumphant Living, in 1971. Its publication made him a household name among Southern Baptists. There are over one million copies of this book now in print. The demand for him to share the story of revival and the message of the Spirit-filled life thrust him into an itinerant ministry that lasted until his death. He was saved at age ten and preached his first sermon at 14, making him a believer in Jesus Christ for over 77 years and a minister of the Gospel for nearly 74.
In 1980, he was elected First Vice President of the Southern Baptist Convention and remained faithful to his denomination until God expanded his influence beyond the limits of one religious group. His experience of healing and refreshing at the Toronto Blessing further entrenched him as a pioneer among his peers in present-day renewal. His books serve as signposts for trails he blazed through the spiritual landscape of the contemporary Church. His book, Prayer: Life’s Limitless Reach, was a textbook at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. The Hallelujah Factor influenced a generation of music ministers to became worshipers and worship leaders. It inspired a whole new way to worship. His final book, Cosmic Initiative, was his favorite and embodied his passion for the Kingdom of God. You could not spend even the briefest time with him and not hear him describe the Kingdom and encourage you to seek it first. Cosmic Initiative is his Kingdom manifesto. His messages live on in his other books, Much More, After the Spirit Comes, What Every Husband Should Know, God’s Miraculous Plan of Economy, now titled, True Wealth, One Home Under God, The Word of God with Power, Which Being Interpreted Means, Victory Over the Devil, and Word Spirit Power, written with Charles Carrin and RT Kendall. Jack held over 100 Word Spirit Power Conference with these two men and touch lives and church all over the nation. Since 1999, WSP gatherings were among the highlights of his career. Next to the Kingdom,
Dad’s healthiest obsession was with his spiritual sons and daughters. I was called to work with Dad to model the Father/Son paradigm, which is the operating system of the Kingdom. Together we developed and expanded the Sonslink Network to connect, communicate, and complement one another as spiritual sons and fathers. Depending on how wide or tight you draw the circle, between 150 to 400 men and women called Jack Taylor “Papa Jack.” Even before he discovered the nomenclature of the Kingdom, he had always instinctively fathered. He loathed the idea of mentoring and thought it a waste of time, but fathering was another matter. Some of the highest expressions of his personal love were towards his spiritual sons and daughters. He made it his life’s mission to father all who would allow him.
It was my privilege to be with Dad in his last moments on earth. It was a bittersweet time of longing to keep him here and allowing him to go where his health is now perfect. Since I was a little boy, my dad has always been my hero. I thought he would live forever! We don’t expect our heroes not to be there when we need them. We had been progressing with the move to Texas when he was abruptly promoted Sunday morning, April 25, at 3:04 am. His move bypassed Texas and landed him in the midst of the precious Kingdom he loved so much. He would have been 88 on August 10th of 2021. His last days were tough as he battled congestive heart failure. He had rebounded so many times in the past several years from accidents and illnesses that I never expected he would not again. He often spoke of the secret to his success. He would say, “I got up one more time than I was knocked down.” He was knocked down for the last time and will never need to rise again until that Day when Jesus comes, and what he knew in part, he now knows completely. We will see Dad again when indeed, the Kingdom comes, and God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven.
Life with Jack Taylor was a perpetual blessing, but not always easy. He would say that “aging is not for sissies.” Since an accident that almost killed him to continue health issues, Dad seemed indomitable. He always had a resilience and a tireless stamina that reflected a massive inner strength. I sincerely thought he would be with us forever. With my sister, we want to thank Miss Friede for keeping her vows to love and cherish, for better or for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health. Thank you, Miss Friede, for selflessly loving our dad in his final years.
We do not know when Jesus will come again or when we will go to be with Him. Dad went like a thief in the night. He stole away to experience the Kingdom of his passion. He was not taken; we went on his own when the entrance was open.
Thank you for remembering Jack Taylor. Thank you for loving my father. You need to know that if he knew you, He loved you! I request that you honor his life by seeking first the Kingdom and its righteousness with your life. He is now passing us the torch, offering the mantle, releasing fresh anointing, encouraging us to fight the good fight and urging us on in the race to advance the Kingdom of God now on earth to see lives transformed to the glory of God. His time on earth is complete. While here, he heard the Father say, “This is My beloved son in whom I am well pleased!” He now stands before his King and hears his Lord say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant!”
We honor our heavenly Father when we honor our earthly father. I ask you to honor Jack Taylor with your lives!