Spreading God’s Word

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 30, 2000

ERIK SANZENBACH / L’Observateur / August 30, 2000

LAPLACE – The Rev. Danny Taylor has only been in town for a month, but hehas one definite opinion about St. John the Baptist Parish.”You gotta love the food,” Taylor said with a big smile.

And food isn’t the only thing that interests Taylor, a friendly, open person.

He looks forward to participating in the community here.

Taylor is the new pastor at First Baptist Church of LaPlace and is looking forward to a long stay in the River Parishes.

“Major Speights was here for 28 years,” Taylor said, referring the previous pastor, who retired last year. “And I want to see if I can break his record.”A former Air Force brat, Taylor has lived all over the country, but he originally comes from Biloxi, Miss., and he likes to call Deville, La., home.Before answering the call to the ministry Taylor worked in the automotive business. He was employed as a quality control agent in the servicedepartment at car dealerships.

“It’s a job that makes you develop a thick skin,” said Taylor.

But he didn’t become a minister because of the rigors of quality control.

“It isn’t quite what you would call a vocational decision,” he said. “Godcalled on me to serve as pastor to local churches. I accepted that call in1988.”Taylor enrolled at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and earned a master of divinity degree. From there he began a career ofspreading the word of God and ministering to the people.

Taylor’s last ministry was at a church in DePhuniak Springs, Fla., when hewas informed First Baptist Church of LaPlace was looking for a pastor.

After some talking, Taylor and his family moved to LaPlace in mid-July.

“I really think that God was leading me here to this church and this area,” said Taylor.

Taylor sees this congregation as a very vital and growing church. Becauseof the increase in industry, a lot of transplanted Baptists are coming to the River Parishes, and Taylor said that is reflected in the population of his church.

“The congregation is growing,” said Taylor. “We have 400 coming toworship services and 330 in Sunday school. This is a substantial Baptistcongregation.”First Baptist Church has been in LaPlace since 1957, and Taylor said the congregation has grown significantly since then.

“We want to be the church of the River Parishes,” said Taylor.

As a pastor, Taylor sees himself spreading a certain message to his flock and others.

“I’d like people to see that what Jesus taught 2,000 years ago still applies to today,” Taylor said.

Besides tending to his LaPlace congregation, Taylor is busy right now working on his doctorate of divinity at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

He and his wife of 15 years, Christy, a native of Monroe, are also busy taking care of their two children. Robyn, 13, just started school atGaryville/Mt. Airy Magnet School. Little Melissa just turned 2 and takes upa lot of time.

Right now, First Baptist Church is busy getting ready for its Fall Fun Festival. Held on Halloween night, Taylor said tents will be put up in thechurch parking lot, and there will be food, fun, and games for children and the parents.

Judging by the way he has been accepted into the area, Taylor won’t have any problem getting people to come celebrate at the festival.

“This is a most receptive community,” said Taylor. “Everybody has justbeen great.”

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