“Nevis! Can anything good come from there?” The answer is an “Excellent, Excellent” yes! With these heart piercing words expressed to each person he encountered, Nevis born Reverend Dr. Ira Moulton Taylor would leave a multiplication legacy of love spanning countries and continents with countless souls coming to know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior!
This love legacy was felt by Reverend Bert McCutcheon, lead pastor of Roblin Wesleyan Church and Central Canada District Board of Administration member. “He had an infectious smile, his speech was rich and gracious; he was (generally) such a gracious person,” recalled Rev. McCutcheon. “He was a unifier of believers and of cultures … he had unity written all over him. He came to Canada (as Oakwood Wesleyan Church (OWC) senior pastor in Toronto, 1968-1988) from the Caribbean (pastoring in Jamaica, Antigua, Trinidad and St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands) — he saw people from all over the world and saw how close we could be to each other.”
“Wherever Pastor Taylor had his ministry he had his faithful wife of 64 years, Eileen Brandon Taylor, who was a tremendous help to him throughout his various pastorates in the Caribbean, Canada and U.S.A. She was a large part of his success as both of them depended on the Lord for their strength when working with all his congregants that he served.” Dr. Taylor’s ministry “changed the multicultural nature of the church in Toronto as many West Indians flocked to Oakwood,” reflected Dr. Philip S. E. Farrell, former General Board of Administration member, former Oakwood member and longtime family friend. “Almost every black church in the Greater Toronto Area has roots at Oakwood!” referring to the multiplicative factor of Pastor T’s ministry.
Pastor Taylor’s love legacy continued at Maryland’s National Wesleyan Church for just under 14 years. But his greatest worldwide influence was through his Facebook page with daily inspirational words of love and encouragement during his twilight years.
Travelling extensively as an evangelist to Guyana, London, United Kingdom, Australia as well as throughout the Caribbean and the United States, these multicultural encounters were strengthened and multiplied by his excellent preaching. Dr. Taylor opened Scripture in ways that allowed his hearers to experience a “fresh hearing” of the Word. “Dr. Taylor was an excellent sermonizer, a great communicator and held Wesleyan beliefs of heart purity … and everywhere he went, he was effective in his speaking,” exclaimed Reverend Marvin Durling, a retired Wesleyan pastor in Central Canada well-acquainted with Dr. Taylor’s work.
“I remember him preaching a sermon about Revelation, with a provocative title ‘Revelation doesn’t have to happen,’” recalled Rev. McCutcheon. “Even though he knew Revelation has to happen (Revelation 1:1–3, 22:4), it was an edgy sermon — talking about how some of the events of Revelation occurred because of the failings of the church (Revelation 2:15,20; 3:3,15). We left that sermon thinking about the mission and the purpose of the church (Revelation 2:2,9,13,19; 3:8), and I observed his ability to push the envelope with his preaching, and help you see it differently.”
The teaching and preaching corresponded with Dr. Taylor’s emphasis on multiplying leaders. His ability to see the good in others, call it out and encourage people to use their gifts in service to others allowed OWC to have a reputation for creative ministry, and to be generous in offering time to other neighboring congregations, creating community across the district.
“Can anything good come from Nevis?” Absolutely! With multicultural worldwide relationships unified under love’s most Excellent umbrella as well as preaching that challenges and encourages us to follow the most Excellent way, adds to the kingdom an “Excellent, Excellent” multiplication legacy rooted in Christ’s love.
Reverend Dr. Ira Moulton Taylor, 100, of Toronto, Ontario, passed away on December 29, 2022. Dr. Taylor’s ministry spanned countries and continents, and his service was characterized by his ability to unite those of various nationalities under the umbrella of Christ’s love.
In the March 1998 issue of “The Wesleyan Advocate,” Dr. Taylor contributed an article entitled, “United around the cross.” Visit wesleyan.org/united-around-the-cross to read and hear his heartbeat and call for unity once again.
Rev. Ethan Linder is the pastor of discipleship at College Wesleyan Church in Marion, Indiana, and contributing editor at The Wesleyan Church’s Education and Clergy Development Division.
 Dr. Taylor’s most favorite and encouraging expression!