|The first District Conference I ever attended was in New Orleans in 1947. During the proceedings, a young man was presented as a candidate for the Local Preacher’s license. This young man was Luther Watson Taylor. Little did I know that over the years to follow, we would become close friends. And through this friendship, I became indebted to “L. W.”, as he was known to most.
Luther Watson Taylor was born in Americus, Georgia, on January 17, 1919. He was the son of Martha Halstead and William Taylor. The Taylors moved to a farm near Plains, Georgia, and their property fences adjoined that of the Carter family. L. W. enjoyed telling the story, “The Taylors went to sinning when they planted tobacco while the Carters went nuts.” He met a young 1 name of Berniece Ellis at her aunt’s home in Columbia, SC, in the 1942. And they were soon married. To this union were born four Martha Joyce, Michael Ellis, Edward Keith and Roy Wayne.
The Taylors entered the ministry by the way of becoming houseparents at Macdonell Center in Houma. It was at this time that L. W. felt and responded to a firm calling into the ministry. From Macdonell they went Golden Meadow then Carpenter’s Chapel, Magnolia, Lottie-Rosedale, Buras-Venice, Moss Bluff, Sterlington-St. Andrews, Sicily Island-Clayton, Many-Bayou-Sic, Blanchard-Belcher, Chalmette-Arabi, and St. Paul’s in Harahan. At the 1985 Conference, the Taylors took the retired relationship, but their ministry was not finished. He returned to Carpenter’s Chapel where he was serving when his Master called him home. Luther Watson Taylor ceased his earthly pilgrimage on Friday, May 8, 1986. A memorial service was held at Carpenter’s Chapel on Sunday, May 11, with the following ministers participating: Rev. Don Hall, District Superintendent, Jerome Cain, Pete Spitzkeit, Steve Spurlock and Calvin Lapuyade. At the time of service the members of the congregation expressed appreciation for the devotion of this pastor. He was not only theirs, but was a pastor to the whole community. They have seen an increase in Sunday School, worship services and general interest in the work of the church.
L. W. was a pastor to young and old and a friend to many of us who were young ministers coming along after him. He loved children and was devoted to his work. This devotion was exemplified in the last weeks of his life when he conducting Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunrise Services despite his failing health.
We will miss a friend and express sympathy to the family. His familiar “dahlin” will long ring upon our ears and in cherished memory. But we will most of all thank God that He has sent one among us who exemplified the true Christian graces. Life will be better because Luther Watson Taylor passed our way.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1986; p. 288-289 By Calvin 0. Lapuyade|