Arkansas Conference President, 1917-1922
His Early Years
John Ira Taylor was born March 28, 1872, near Savoy, Texas, the third child of Matthew LeRoy and Mary Josephine Taylor (Ancestry, 2021). On December 20, 1894, he was married to Maggie May Flowers, with whom he lived devotedly for over fifty years. In 1897 at the age of twenty-five, John gave his heart to the Lord and was baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church (Record, 1959).
Years of Service
Ten years of his married life he spent on the farm before engaging in public ministry. During this time, however, he was actively engaged in lay evangelism. His first public ministry was as a singing evangelist as a self-supporting worker. He sold small religious books from house to house during the day and in the evening directed music for tent meetings. During this time, Elder Taylor was spending three to five hours daily studying those subjects, which later made him an able student of Bible prophecy. He was ordained to the gospel ministry on August 11, 1907, in Fort Worth, Texas (Record, 1959).
Elder Taylor later held positions as President of the South Texas Conference, the Texas Conference, and the Arkansas Conference. Some years were spent in ministerial work as district pastor in the Illinois Conference and as chaplain of the Hinsdale Sanitarium in Hinsdale, Illinois (Record, 1959).
In 1930, Elder Taylor suffered and illness which resulted in his retirement from active ministerial work. He and his wife returned to their little farm near Sherman, Texas. His health soon improved and until a few years before his death he regularly filled the pulpit in Sherman, Denison, Gainesville, and Valley View, Texas. He sent hundreds of subscriptions of “Signs of the Times” and the “Liberty Magazine” to the businessmen and interested people of Grayson County. Maggie preceded her husband in death in 1951. Elder Taylor placed a copy of Great Controversy with each minister of Sherman just a few years before his death. On December 30, 1958, Elder Taylor died in Sherman, Texas, and was buried at Sunnyside Cemetery in Savoy, Texas. Elder Taylor was truly a consecrated pioneer minister of the Adventist message who was a servant of God and a loyal friend to man (Record, 1959).
Ancestry.com. (2021, Aug. 7). John Ira Taylor. Retrieved from ancestry.com.
(1959, Apr. 15). Southwestern Union Record, pp. 6, 7.