Thomas V. Taylor: Good and Faithful Servant
(May 17, 1928-January 17, 2015)
“Tom Taylor passed away late Saturday afternoon. He is now with his Lord whom he loved and served faithfully,” shared Dr. Todd Mangum, Academic Dean. “What a legacy this man of God leaves. In my own case, it’d be hard to overstate his impact.”
Dr. Thomas V. Taylor, Emeritus Professor of Church History and Old Testament, left his position at Faith Seminary to help found Biblical Seminary in 1971. His love and knowledge of God’s Word coupled with his ability to engage listeners through storytelling and humor will be remembered and treasured by all who had the privilege of learning from him. He and his wife Ruth demonstrated their love for Christ, the church, and Biblical Seminary through countless acts of sacrifice and generosity.
Tom wrote and published the “Taylor Weakly.” In his words, it was “that mighty paper that enabled me to publicly poke fun at fellow faculty and otherwise be the means of disseminating announcements to the student body.” Donors and graduates will also remember his monthly publication for the broader BTS community, the “Taylor Monthly.” He also published the booklet What Every Christian Should Know about the Bible (1983) and Your Old Testament Toolbox (Gospel Folio Press, 2005).
Even after retiring as a full-time faculty member, Tom continued in ministry at BTS as a regular speaker for Breakfast with Biblical and teaching whenever the dean requested. He also had an extensive preaching and radio ministry. President Emeritus Dr. David Dunbar shared the following upon hearing the news of Tom’s death:
I first met Tom Taylor in 1960 when my family moved to Bucks County and we began to attend a church where Tom was also a member and a preacher. As a teenager I came to appreciate his self-deprecating humor and his practical insight into the Word of God. During my senior year in college the Lord led me to consider attending seminary. Because of Tom’s influence on my life, I chose to enroll at Faith Theological Seminary where Tom served as Professor of Old Testament. His classes were among the most challenging and interesting that I ever took in graduate school. Two years later (1971), I followed Tom and a number of other faculty members to Hatfield for the opening classes of BTS (first called “Biblical School of Theology”). In later years I had the privilege of serving with him on the seminary faculty.
One of the best ways to get to know Tom was in a boat. He loved to fish, and we enjoyed many wonderful days chasing bass and walleyes on Lake Oneida in upstate New York. He never caught a lot of fish, but he told great stories and we had many laughs. When the fishing got slow he would stop to eat a candy bar, tell another story, or maybe play his harmonica.
Many of you have your own good memories of Tom. We shall miss his gentle spirit and his love for the Lord.
Another of our founding faculty members, George Clark and his wife Sheri, said:
Rejoicing with Ruth that Tom no longer suffers, and that he is safe and happier than we are able even to imagine with his Savior! What wonderful reunions await us in heaven one day.
Ken Lont, BTS alum and former board member, expressed what so many grads could and would say:
I simply cannot state how much he formed my thinking and attitudes.
His legacy will continue on at BTS through the lives he has impacted and the professorship named in his honor, The Thomas V. Taylor Professor of Practical Theology, held by Dr. Charles Zimmerman.
Please keep Tom’s wife Ruth and their family in your prayers. You will also want to read Dr. Todd Mangum’s tribute to Tom on the faculty blog, to be published on Wednesday, January 21.
The memorial service will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 24, 2015 at Calvary Church at 820 Souderton Rd. (Rt. 113), Souderton, Pennsylvania 18964. The family will also host an informal greeting time from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. the same day.