Philadelphia PA. April 7, 2015 – Grand Polemarch (CEO) William "Randy”
Bates, Jr., Esq. of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. ® has announced that Rev. (Dr.)
Gardner Calvin Taylor, one of the most prolific theologians in the nation
transitioned April 5, 2015. Dr. Gardner Dr. Gardner was a native of Baton Rouge,
Louisiana, born June 18, 1918, studied at Oberlin College, and Cleveland State
University where he was initiated into the Alpha Omega Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi
Fraternity, Inc. ® May 5, 1939 and is a Life Member of the fraternity.
Dr. Taylor was known as "the dean of American preaching” and noted for
his eloquence and deep understanding of Christian faith and theology. He went on
to help found the Progressive National Baptist Convention with Dr. King, providing
an important base of support for Dr. King's civil rights work.
Rev. Taylor preached the pre‐inauguration sermon in January 1993 for President Bill Clinton who
awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2000.
According to Rev. Al Sharpton who knew Dr. Taylor; "His regal bearing held a most fertile mind
and silver tongue that earned the adulations of thousands of preachers and millions of people all over
Dr. Taylor accepted the call to pastor Concord Baptist Church in Brooklyn, New York, and
immediately faced challenges such as the fire that burned the church to the ground. Taylor also had the
experience of traveling to Copenhagen and later Australia, where he spoke with Australian Aboriginals
about their mutual obstacles to equality
As pastor emeritus of the 14,000‐member Concord Baptist Church of Christ, Taylor labored as
shepherd and prophet in Brooklyn’s rugged Bedford‐Stuyvesant neighborhood for 42 years until his
retirement in 1990. Taylor was called upon to fill pulpits, give lectures, and provide keynote addresses at
churches and educational institutions throughout the country after he retired. He retired to Raleigh,
The world has lost a magnificent civil rights icon and theologian extraordinaire. It can only be
hoped that those who had the opportunity to learn from his teachings, will share all they can with the
rest of us.