- Faith & Family
On Thursday, Nov. 17th and Sunday, Nov. 20th, Bishop John H. Taylor and the New Beginning Embassy of Praise church family will host a special worship service to celebrate the senior pastor’s birthday. Born and raised in Overtown, Taylor has become accustomed to constant change. Raised in the Pentecostal church, during his youth, Taylor found that his love of music led him to play his guitar for his father’s church on Sundays and in the local clubs at night.
Yet he never shared his father’s opinion, which was inspired by the conservative Pentecostal Church’s view, that secular music was “the devil’s music.”
“Whether I’m playing in the club or the church, all the musical chords are the same,” Taylor said.
He would go on to enjoy more than 10 years playing professionally. However, he slowly began to give up the musician’s lifestyle and rededicated himself to his faith after he got married.
“I came back into the fold truly because of my wife,” said the bishop, referring to Lady Myra Taylor, the current mayor of Opa-locka and his wife. “She was the first girl I saw that I thought lived the life that she preached.”
Taylor credits their 41-year-marriage to advice they received in their first few years together that said he and his wife should never allow their children to become the focus or the purpose of their relationship.
“We have never even allowed our children – since they were babies – to sit between us,” said Taylor, who has eight children.
Eventually, Taylor was called into ministry and founded his own church, the New Beginning Embassy of Praise in 1984. He wanted to keep the traditions of a Pentecostal church, while adding more emphasis on ministries. In particular, he places an emphasis on healthy living, eating right, exercising – a “holistic” approach to ministry and the church frequently offers health seminars for the community and its members.
When a beloved deacon passed away from kidney disease seven years ago, it renewed his passion and focus for his health ministry. Taylor is planning to have a 58,000-square foot building remodeled for a dialysis treatment center by next year.
“Usually when people get on dialysis, they feel that it is a death sentence,” he explained.
In his vision for the future of New Beginning, while people are receiving their dialysis, they can listen to inspirational gospel music and uplifting sermons
Taylor stated, “I want people to know that you can go on dialysis and know that God can completely heal you.”
The belief that everyone is broken in someone, but God can fix them is one of the bedrocks of Taylor’s faith.
“If you come to my church all of us are ‘ex’ somethings – ex-liars, ex-thugs, ex-homosexuals,” he said. “But this church is a church of second chances, because what you’ve done in the past means nothing to God.”
By Kaila Heard