Robert Maurice Taylor Sr.
Robert Maurice Taylor Sr. was born on November 2, 1954, to Bessie Taylor and the late Joseph Taylor. He was the youngest of three in the Taylor family. He was liberated and elevated from this life on December 25, 2017.
He was educated in the Philadelphia school system and graduated from West Philadelphia High School. He further pursued his educational endeavors at Temple University and Manna Bible Institute in Philadelphia, Pa. He worked for many years at Gratz High School and for the United States Postal Service.
He met and married Linda Jones in 1973. From this union was born two children, Robert Jr. and Kevin Taylor. His sons were the pride of his life and he worked diligently to support his family
His Christian life began at the Evangelical Fellowship Tabernacle Church under the leadership of his grandfather, the late Reverend C.C. Sharpe. He later joined the Christian Tabernacle COGIC in Philadelphia, Pa., under the leadership of Bishop and Mother R.T. Jones Jr. He served at Christian Tabernacle for many years as an adjutant and driver for Bishop Jones, as pianist for the Radio Choir and Sunshine Band, and he kept the Church clean! He was known for his strong tenor voice and for his love of music. He worked diligently at Christian Tabernacle with loyal service to God, the Congregation and the Leadership.
In 1979, God led then-Pastor Taylor to form the Fellowship Tabernacle Church in Philadelphia, Pa. A band of believers marched into their first service Easter Sunday 1979 at which time 17 souls joined the ministry. The Church quickly outgrew the rental space it was in and moved to 16th and Dauphin Street, where it began to expand again to standing room only! It was at the Dauphin Street location where the Fellowship Tabernacle Choir was birthed. Pastor Taylor’s anointed preaching and the Spirit-filled music and prayer ministry had a powerful impact on the City of Philadelphia. Under Pastor Taylor’s leadership, and with the gifts and skills of the music ministry leaders, the Fellowship Choir became one of the nation’s finest choral aggregations.
The Dauphin Street location soon became too small so the ministry moved to 1526 W. Cumberland Street. At the Cumberland Street location, Pastor Taylor’s vision of the Sunday night “Showers of Blessings Broadcast” came to fruition. Hundreds of souls would come to be saved and delivered through this powerful outreach. The ministry, the congregation, and the choir all grew exponentially. The Choir went on to receive many local and national awards, including the national Singsation Choir Award for best choir. The Choir toured Europe with the play “The Gospel at Colonus,” featuring the famous actor Morgan Freeman and did several other plays that came into Philadelphia. In concert with Pastor Taylor’s vision and direction, the Fellowship Tabernacle Choir traveled the country singing God’s praises as Pastor Taylor preached the Liberating Gospel of Jesus Christ, with conviction and power. He was grateful for the Ministry’s accomplishments and worked hard to continue building the ministry in Philadelphia. Pastor Taylor and Fellowship Tabernacle Church received many social and civic awards over the years for religious and secular community leadership. Soon the Cumberland Street location was standing room only. It was time to seek larger facilities to accommodate the growth. On New Year’s Eve of 1992, Pastor Taylor stood before the congregation and prophesied that this would be the last watch night service on Cumberland street and … IT WAS!!!
In 1993, the Fellowship Tabernacle Church relocated to a larger facility at 4541 North Broad Street. Through prayer, teaching, consecration and faithfulness encouraged by Pastor Taylor, Fellowship Tabernacle continued to grow spiritually and numerically. Pastor Taylor and the Church soon birthed many outreach programs to meet the changing needs of the community. The FTC Academy, the FTC food pantry, the Kings Table Catering Company, GED classes, HIV/AIDS support groups and many more community outreach programs were successful under his watchful and disciplined eye.
Pastor Taylor believed that there was no ailment in this world that a plate of his famous macaroni and cheese, candied sweets, fried chicken and seafood salad couldn’t cure. He loved to serve his family, his congregation, the community ... and he encouraged his congregants to serve with love and excellence. His heart for souls was second to none. Pastor Taylor’s passion was PEOPLE!! He was anointed to reach the lost, broken and disenfranchised, often sending out the church van to pick up the homeless in the community for worship and to be served.
Consecrated to the Sacred Office of Bishop in 1996, Bishop Taylor motivated, trained and led many leaders in the gospel who now serve at every level of ministry. His hands-on approach to ministry was the driving force behind the launch of the International Covenant Ministries Fellowship. ICMF was a communion of leaders from around the country who benefited from his watchful eye, his experienced tutelage, and his anointed ministry. From Convocation to Convocation, Bishop Taylor continued to give birth to many sons and daughters in ministry.
Bishop Taylor was a founding Board Member of Love Fellowship under the leadership of the Late Bishop Walter Hawkins. He was also one of the Founding Bishops of The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries, under the leadership of Bishop Yvette Flunder
In 2004, Bishop Taylor moved the ministry of Fellowship Tabernacle Church to Statesville, N.C., leaving the Philadelphia work to his sons and daughters to carry on. In Statesville, obeying the call of the Lord, Bishop Taylor worked, ministered, preached and consecrated leaders to reach souls at any cost. He continued his commitment to community service and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina he opened the Ark of Refuge. This facility housed and fed those that were adversely affected by the storm. In view of his work and leadership with Bishops throughout the Body of Christ, Bishop Taylor was elevated to the Holy Office of Apostle while serving in Statesville. He worked tirelessly from the Statesville headquarters until his health began to decline.
Apostle Taylor was a profound visionary who traveled the length and breadth of this country reaching souls for the Lord. As much as he enjoyed the work of ministry, one of his greatest joys was spending time with his family. Many times, you could find him cuddled and singing songs with his precious grand-daughters. He considered his two sons his "greatest accomplishments" and he cherished the quality times he spent with them. His last years were spent taking care of his mother which led to an even stronger loving bond between them.
We cherish Apostle Robert Maurice Taylor Sr.’s journey with the Fellowship Tabernacle Church and praise God for the thousands that he, the Pastors, Choirs and Congregants helped win to Christ from 1979 to 2017. The work and worth of this great Leader ... will never be forgotten! His fruit and his sheaves are now laid with Joy, at the feet The One he loved above all!
He leaves to mourn his transition, his mother Bessie Taylor; his two sons, Robert Jr. and Kevin (Lasha); devoted sister Mary Taylor; grand-daughters Ashley and Lauryn; three aunts, Rosalie Johnson, Gloria Booth, and Julia Carr (Claude); and Uncle Robert Sharpe (Jessie), along with many other relatives, a host of friends, including his Fellowship Tabernacle Church family, and Church/Government/Community Leaders. He was proceeded in death by his father, Joseph Taylor, his brother Glenn Taylor and his beloved niece, Kris Nicole Taylor-Seals.
Celebration of Life Services were conducted on Saturday, December 30, at the Fellowship Tabernacle Church in Statesville.
On next Saturday, January 6, 2018, a second Celebration Service will be held. This will be a Memorial Service and will be held at Love Fellowship Tabernacle Church, 5918 Hulmeville Road, Bensalem, Pa. at 1 p.m.
Condolences can be sent to The Taylor Family at 1860-C 20th Avenue Drive NE, Hickory, NC 28601.
Visit the Book of Memories for Apostle Taylor at www.rutledgeandbigham.com.
Rutledge and Bigham Funeral Home, 603 South Center Street, Statesville, N.C. is serving the family of Apostle Robert M. Taylor.
On behalf the family of Apostle Taylor, thank you all for your kind words and prayers for their family.