Pastor Edward George Taylor must surely be classed as one of God’s General’s for North Antrim and Northern Ireland.
Gifted and anointed to preach, teach, pastor, evangelise and to show forth the love of Christ, God has used this man to transform hundreds of lives and establish one of the greatest community inclusive churches in the area. Following a serious health issue in September 2015 Pastor Taylor had taken the decision to step back from day to day pastoring and thus fulfil the role of Pastor Emeritus (Latin; meaning Old Soldier).
Nevertheless he always took a very keen interest in the day to day running of Ballymoney Church of God with all its exciting projects and events.
Born in West Belfast in 1933 to Arthur and Edith Taylor, he grew up amidst the bombing campaign of World War two. He attended the Church of God in East Belfast now called Glenmachan and he grew up in that church atmosphere playing an active role in the activities of that day e.g. organising open-airs, church outings and youth fellowships. This was to stand him in good stead for future years.
In the secular field Pastor Taylor studied engineering at Belfast College and also attained a diploma in journalism which was to prove invaluable in the years to come.
At the age of twenty-one he travelled to Winchester City, England, to pioneer a church there before travelling up north to Tyneside to assist in the Church at Gateshead. At the age of twenty three he headed back home to Ulster to help Pastor James Connolly conduct evangelistic crusades and open-airs in the town of Ballymoney, which were a tremendous success.
It was in December 1956 that he was offered the pastorate of a large, established church in Canada, but through much prayer and waiting on God he decided to stay in Northern Ireland. As God’s Sovereign Will began to unfold in this young man’s life, he was inducted as Pastor of Ballymoney Church of God. This was a decision he never regretted and over the decades proved that Ballymoney was God’s will for him. The fledgling congregation grew from a handful to hundreds under his wise leadership and anointed ministry.
In 1960 he married Flora Templeton, an accomplished pianist and soloist, and they went on to have two children, Michael and Yvonne. Michael is married to Nathalie and Pastor Taylor was always very proud of his two grandchildren Talitha and Yan. His daughter Yvonne is married to Jonathan who are now both senior ministers in the church fellowship.
In over sixty years of ministry, with his wife’s tireless support, he witnessed the blessing of God over the church as he undertook to lead four major building programmes. What we see today is a beautiful sanctuary, expansive youth halls, modern kitchens, offices, caretaker’s flat and recreational and committee rooms that are testament to a loyal and faithful congregation under his wise leadership. In fact, he pastored families to fifth generation, which very few ministers achieve in life.
In his years in ministry he travelled on all five continents, preaching at large international conferences and local churches, lecturing at bible colleges and conducting pastoral seminars, but his heart always lay in Ballymoney Church of God.
In 1990 his fellow ministers publicly presented him with a signed plaque, recognising him as a man of great integrity, a God inspired motivator and a true teacher of the Word. It concluded with the words: ‘your ministerial brethren hold you in the highest regard because of your wisdom, dependability, kindness and solid faith, which constantly inspires us all’. What an accolade and tribute to this man’s life’s work and character!
Even though he was severely limited due to his stroke, in his final five years of life Pastor Taylor continued to have a heart for the hurting, a compassion for the distressed and a hunger to bring the hope of Christ to the lost.
He held in his heart for over sixty years the God given Vision, never wavering or faltering from it! Spiritually he continued to press forward to even greater days for Ballymoney Church of God under the careful, strong leadership of Senior Ministers; Pastors Jonathan and Yvonne Payne and the youthful vibrancy of Pastor Jon Ogle.
When he was shown the plans for the new Sanctuary he declared “this is the Lord’s doing and it’s marvellous in our eyes!” Then he raised his hand and said “The Glory of this latter house shall be greater than the former!”
Sadly, Pastor Taylor went home to be with the Lord on the 15th July 2019. His homecoming service was one of celebration and thanksgiving in true Pentecostal style! Just how he wanted it!
Family and church family miss him so much but rejoice in the hope that one day we shall see him again.
The Apostle Paul sums up Pastor Taylor’s life beautifully.
“I have fought a good fight
I have finished my course
I have kept the faith”
2 Timothy 4:7
There is a keepsake DVD of Pastor Taylor’s funeral service. This can be purchased from the Church Office, please contact Hilary on 028 2766 9334.
All proceeds to the New Church Sanctuary Fund.