|When word was received over the Louisiana Conference on Sunday morning, March 23, 1975 that J. Taylor Wall, as he prepared for an early service at Holly Ridge, had a heart attack and in a few minutes his brave heart ceased to beat, his death brought sadness to both the laity and clergy of the Louisiana Conference.
It was on Easter Sunday, April 6, 1969, that he lost his first wife, Susie Camille Ellison Wall. To them were born five lovely children: Susan Elizabeth, John Taylor, Jr., Marilyn June, Carolyn Rae, and Camellia Ann.
Taylor and Shirley N. Garner were united in marriage only five weeks before death came to him. The marriage promised a most happy future.
Brother Wall attended Centenary College and Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. He served in the United States Air Force in World War II with distinction.
During his ministry Taylor served the following appointments: Caddo Mills-Salem Kinser, Crandall, Bellevue—all in the North Texas Conference. In the Louisiana Conference he served Merryville, Northside-St. Luke’s (Lake Charles), Cameron-Grand Chenier, Gretna, Istrouma, and Rayville-Holly Ridge.
Taylor Wall was, above all else, a minister of the Gospel. There were no side issues in his life. He concentrated his life on making the Christian Faith a reality in the lives of those who looked to him as pastor. His outstanding quality was his friendliness. It was not assumed, but genuine. He was an excellent preacher of the Word and most effective in the pulpits he served. He was preeminently a good pastor. No need among his people escaped his concern and attention. He possessed a fine executive ability in managing the organization and program of the local church. His home life was a beautiful example of what a Christian home ought to be.
We catch a glimpse into the faith that held his heart captive when in the Rayville bulletin for Easter Sunday, in the “Pastor’s corner” Taylor wrote:
“What a glorious season this is! Each Easter I feel more dramatically the power of it all and realize that there is a tremendous wonder in all that God did for us mere mortals . . . Think about it! God loved You so much that He Who created everything which has been created, out of His love and mercy for You, gave His only Son in death that You might live! And the final act of the drama is that He lives forevermore, that neither death nor grave can constrain Him and that He lives again in the world.
“Each year at this time, I get down the copy of a book which has been most meaningful to me over the years—‘Gentlemen—THE KING!’ by John Oxenham. As I was reading yesterday morning, these words would not leave me: ‘And what is He to us? (P.85) Might that not be a very valid question for each of us to ponder during these last days of Lent and approaching the Day of Resurrection? Oxenham answered it for the day in which Jesus lived:
He conquered Death; He broke the bars;
He set the portals wide, And led the way -
the first-fruits of God’s love –
That man might follow, without fear, the road
Which he Himself triumphantly had trod.
“This Easter if Christ is to be anything, He must be our Savior and Lord.”
It is with a hearty salute to his vigorous personality, his stalwart Christian character, and his effective ministry, with blessings upon his memory, that we here bring to a close this brief memoir of our dear friend, J. Taylor Wall, a good servant of the Lord.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1975; p. 185 By Carl F. Lueg|