In the Parish of East Baton Rouge, September 17, 1867, there was born a preacher who was named Washington M. Taylor. His parents, though ex-slaves, were much interested in their son's education, and sent him to the Parish Public School. Here he showed a keen desire for knowledge and won the confidence and esteem of schoolmates and teachers. He was converted and notified of his call to the ministry at the age of 17 years. Elder Hannibal Williams baptized him into the membership of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Baton Rouge, La. Feeling very keenly his need of preparation to preach, he began saving his earnings, and in due time entered Leland University and became a diligent student. While here at Leland he accomplished much, but on account of the urgent request of his people that he take up some work at home, he was compelled to leave before finishing his course
He was licensed to preach January 21, 1893, and six months thereafter was called to the pastorate of the Morning Star Baptist Church. His success with this church moved New Rising Sun Baptist Church to call him also. More well-done work added to his list of churches the Ebenezer Baptist Church. When Elder Hannibal Williams, pastor of the "Big" Mt. Zion Baptist Church, went to his reward his pastoral mantle fell upon Brother Taylor. Accordingly he was elected January 6, 1901. He entered this new field with a strong determination to win. How well he has done is told by the work he has accomplished here. In 1909 he received a call to another Baton Rouge church, Jerusalem. Perhaps no pastor in the state presides over more people than Elder Taylor. He is now (1910) serving his fifth term as Moderator of the Fourth District Association. He resigned recently but after his successor had ruled only a short while he was re-elected.
His District is one of the largest in the state, and operates one of our leading Baptist schools, the Baton Rouge College. The building is a large brick structure. Bishop Taylor traveled and lectured no little throughout the length and breadth of his District in the interest of this school. In 1907 he was elected Vice President of the Louisiana Baptist State Convention, and when Elder Flood went to Heaven succeeded to the presidency. Brother Taylor is a man of keen perception and lofty ambition, possessing many winning traits. His life is not an empty shadow, but a real line of thoughts and deeds. He can easily preach to his people both of a home on earth and a home in Heaven, since he owns several houses and lots in Baton Rouge. He has a nice home, his wife being a graduate of the Baton Rouge College. As a speaker this clergyman is logical in his reasoning and witty in his argument. He swayed the great National Baptist Convention in session at Columbus, Ohio, like a mighty tempest sways a forest, when on behalf of his state with pleasing manners and persuasive eloquence he delivered the invitation inviting the greatest body of religious workers in the world to meet (1910) in the city of New Orleans, La. He swept this great body, so to speak, from its feet and forced it to cry out, saying, in substance, "we are willing, we are coming, Father Abraham, 2,500,000 strong." Bishop Taylor, being comparatively young, has a great future before him.
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