Rev. Wendell P.C. Taylor


Rev. Wendell P. C. Taylor

retired pastor

The Rev. Wendell P. C. Taylor, 91, died May 17, 2006 at his Jackson home.


Funeral services were held May 23 at Central United Methodist Church. Burial was in Garden Memorial Park. Collins Funeral Home, Inc., handled arrangements.


Rev. Taylor was born Jan. 15, 1915 in Rankin County, the 10th of 14 children, of the Rev. Prince Albert Taylor and Bertha Taylor. His early education was in the public schools of Mississippi. He attended high school and college at Southern Christian Institute where he accepted his first teaching assignment. Rev. Taylor attended Lampton Vocational High School in Columbia, and he later attended Clark College in Atlanta.


He met his wife Geneva Chambers and they were married on July 6, 1937. At this time Taylor was assistant chaplain of the Civilian Conservation Corps in Keithville, La. He joined the Mississippi Conference of the Methodist Church as a probationary member and was placed in a course of study for the ministry. Rev. Taylor received his B. A. Degree in sociology and a master’s in education from Columbia University. He further pursued his degree in theology at Union Theological Seminary.


Rev. Taylor taught at the Alabama State Junior College extension, now Bishop College. He served as pastor of St. John Methodist Episcopal Church in 1949, and, in 1950, was appointed as director of the Extension Service at Rust College in Holly Springs. He also taught courses in social science at Rust. In 1951, Rev. Taylor was appointed and served six years at St. Paul Methodist Church in Meridian where he completed the building of the church and refurbishing the parsonage. In 1957 he was assigned as superintendent of the Hattiesburg District.


At the conference level, Rev. Taylor served as conference secretary, treasurer, on the Education Committee and as an instructor at Gulfside Summer Training sessions for young ministers. He was elected to the General and Jurisdictional conference and again in 1963 he was elected to the Jurisdictional Conference. In 1963, Rev. Taylor was appointed to Central United Methodist Church in Jackson, where he remained 15 years, building a church and parsonage.


Rev. Taylor was awarded an honorary doctorate from Rust College in 1973. He was elected to the General and Jurisdictional conferences and the Jurisdictional Conference again in 1976. He served eight years as a member of the General Conference Council on Ministries and as secretary of Evaluation and Review. He retired in 1978 after having served 41 years as a full-time minister.


In addition to his church activities, Rev. Taylor had a long history of community involvement and social and civic responsibility. He was a leader in the civil rights movement and he utilized Central United Methodist Church as a regular meeting place. He was the first president of the Mississippi Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He was the leading force behind the action to restore Gulfside Methodist Assembly after Hurricane Camille and served as director during much of the rebuilding and repair. He served on the Gulfside Assembly Board of Directors for eight years.


Survivors include: wife of 69 years, Geneva; daughter, Carolyn “Delores”  Byrd; brother, Priestly Taylor; sisters, Virgia Bartee, Juanita James and Susie Cameron; and one grandchild and two great-grandchildren.