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Taylor, Alfred

Posted by MarthaCrossSargent 
Taylor, Alfred
March 15, 2007 08:48PM
by Wendell H. Rone, Probably published in 1944 by Messenger Job Printing
Co., Inc., Owensboro, Kentucky. Used by permission.
p. 278-280. Daviess Co.

ALFRED TAYLOR: (Photo of Alfred Taylor's monument) Alfred Taylor was born in
Warren County, Ky., July 19, 1808, and was the son of Elder Joseph Taylor. He
became the leading preacher of Gasper River Association and of all the Green
River country in his generation. A resolution before the Gasper River
Association in 1875 asking his son, W. C. Taylor, to write his biography says,
"We remember with gratitude the laborious, self-sacrificing, and useful life of
Elder Alfred Taylor, who labored so long and so successfully as a minister and
Moderator of this body." In consequence a biographic volume of 123 pages was
published. Full account of his useful life is given in that book. Much of the
information in this account is taken from that book.
Though his thirst for knowledge was great, because of the poor
advantages-of the
schools in those days he could hardly read intelligibly or write his name
legibly at the age of twenty. He "borrowed a grammar, the only one in his
reach, copied it, and therefrom learned the rudiments of his mother tongue."
Entering the ministry in Butler County, he removed to Warren County and went to
school to Elder David Mansfield and later to Elder William Warder, a prominent
Baptist preacher of that day in Logan County. Alfred read many books after his
school days were over and often gave a synopsis of the same in his journal. His
mind was analytical, dividing his subjects into their divisions and
subdivisions, and he often penciled his thoughts when he was at work on his
His conviction of sin began at eleven years of age, but his conversion
came in
his twenty-second year, in October, 1829. His journal refers to indulgence in
"many practices," but he rejoiced that his "career in sin was short." A changed
life followed his baptism into Sandy Creek Church, Butler County, Ky., by Elder
Benjamin Tolbert, in November, 1829.
Licensed by Sandy Creek Church in May, 1831, Elder Taylor's progress
was slow
until his ordination by the same church in May, 1834, by his father, Elder
Joseph Taylor, and Elders David J. Kelley, and William Childress. His powers,
under God, soon brought him to the front, and those who knew him in his prime
could scarcely believe that he ever had such a slow start.
Even though his stipulation from the work of the ministry was small he
often preached without remuneration, did not confine his preaching to church
houses, and broke his health preaching. Dr. J. M. Pendleton his warm friend and
contemporary, said, "Few ministers in his day spent more time in preaching,
sacrificed more for the cause of Christ, and received smaller compensation for
faithful work." Elder J. F. Austin, his son in the ministry, wrote: "Bro.
Taylor died as a martyr to the cause of Christ." His son, W. C. Taylor, wrote,
"Before he reached the age of thirty the providence of God placed him as the
acknowledged leader of His Spiritual Israel" in three counties, Ohio,
Muhlenberg, and Butler.
The first regular protracted meeting ever held in Ohio County was held
by Elder
Alfred Taylor at Walton's Creek Church in December 1837. Much opposition arose
to this new fad but the Lord triumphed and over 180 people professed conversion.
The revival spread all over the Green River Country and Elder Taylor himself
baptized between 600 and 800 people in about two years time, with over 1,000
professions. From this period the popularity of Alfred Taylor rose and demands
for his services came from every quarter but he could not fulfill them all. Dr.
J. S. Coleman, another son in the ministry and one of Kentucky Baptists' leading
preachers in the last century, affirmed, "For twenty years after this gathering
his word was as good authority among Baptists, upon all questions, as Webster's
Dictionary is in determining the meaning of words." And remember, Kentucky
Baptists were in those days still shaking off those two deadly foesthe legalism
of Campbellism and the Antinomianism of Hardshellism.
Alfred Taylor strongly preached Baptist Doctrine, baptized many from other
denominations, and held four public debates. In 1841 he debated with Elder
Young, and with a Methodist. T. C. Frogge, in 1854. The forces of Campbellism
concentrated in the Green River country, and Alfred Taylor often skillfully
exposed the fallacies of this group and beheld their decline in that section.
Gasper River Association had no more prominent preacher than Alfred
Taylor. He
led in the organization of the Green River Bible Society in 1837, and was a
member of the building committee, a trustee, and the agent to secure the funds
for a seminary in Rochester, Ky., which burned soon after construction. He had
a large part in fostering the missionary spirit in that section, serving as
Associational missionary and also as Missionary for the General Association. He
served his Association, Gasper River, eight years as treasurer, thirteen years
as moderator, and as preacher of the introductory sermon on nine different
occasions. He preached the Sabbath sermon before that body on thirteen
different times. He attended the annual gatherings of the Association every year
except one from 1831 to 1865. He was also a Corresponding Messenger to the
Daviess County Association from Gasper River Association on several occasions.
Elder Taylor baptized thirty odd ministers, among these were such leading
preachers as J. M. Peay, J. S. Coleman, A. B. Miller, J. F. Austin, B. F.
Jenkins, and many others. He laid his hands on about thirty preachers in his
lifetime. He led the first temperance reform ever inaugurated in Butler County.
He was pastor from first to last of the following churches: Sandy Creek,
Morgantown, and Salem in Butler County: Providence in Warren County; Mt. Carmel
and Nelson's Creek in Muhlenberg County; Pond Run, Beaver Dam, Walton's Creek,
Green River, Cool Spring, Hartford, and West Providence in Ohio County;
Owensboro in Daviess County; and some in Christian County.
Elder Taylor died on October 9, 1865, near Bowling Green, Ky. at the
home of
Charles Asher, after eleven days illness of remittent fever and congestive
chills attending tuberculosis. He had gone to assist his son, Judson S. Taylor
in a protracted meeting at Providence Church, Warren County, Ky. Elder J. F.
Austin, his son in the ministry, preached his funeral at Green River Church,
Ohio County, and he was buried in the family cemetery nearby where Slaty Creek
Church now stands. A monument was erected to his memory and on it are to be
found these words: "A SINNER SAVED BY GRACE."
Prior to 1842 Elder Taylor had preached in and about Owensboro on both
sides of
the Ohio River. The success of some meetings in Indiana laid the basis for his
call to the church at Owensboro in May, 1843, though he had been preaching for
this church sometime before along with Elder John G. Howard. He remained until
October, 1844, when he resigned. In June, 1847, he was called again. The
church had made some advancement since his first pastorate and called him for
half of his time. In all he labored in five, revivals here with over 100
baptisms. Bro. George N. McKay, a constituent member of this church, in speaking
of his labors, says "He preached Christ with a great deal of zeal and
earnestness, and the Lord always blessed his labors. The entire church was much
attached to him. We always liked to have him with us and were fond of hearing
him preach." He remained with the church until May, 1848, when he resigned. He
preached for the church on several occasions after this but never served again
as pastor.
He helped to gather several of the churches he pastored and many others
that he
never pastored. Owensboro Church was the only church he served directly in
connection with Daviess County Association but he also served Beaver Dam, West
Providence, and Walton's Creek Churches which later belonged to this body.

Asher Austin Childress Coleman Frogge Howard Jenkins Kelley Mansfield McKay
Miller Peay Pendleton Taylor Tolbert Warder Young
IN Butler Christian Logan Muhlenberg Ohio Warren KY

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