Learning from a Legend
What Gardner C. Taylor Can Teach Us about Preaching
Imprint: Cascade Books
"Rare it is that while blood is still running warm in the human body that a preacher already belongs to the ages. Only a few names belong in that pantheon of pulpit royalty. Spurgeon, MacLaren, Chrysostom and a small coterie of Christian preachers belong to those stamped with pulpit immortality while yet living. Alongside those names firmly fixed forever is that of Rev. Dr. Gardner C. Taylor. Now he has joined that great cloud of witnesses up there somewhere. His name was already mentioned with their names. The man who loved to read MacLaren has now joined that Scott in heaven. Wouldn't you like to hear that conversation?
Dr. Alcantara offers here not an encomium of praise only but also a way for us mere mortals to relate to this pulpit paragon. The mighty peal of the concerto that was Gardner C. Taylor's life can set chords vibrating in our own lives. Alcantara has let us into the concert hall so that somewhere in the gallery we feel the floorboards rattling in our lives with the thunder of Taylor's preaching."
--Joel C. Gregory, Professor of Preaching and Evangelism, Truett Theological Seminary, Waco, TX
"April 5, 2015 for me, like most preachers of the gospel; black or white, male or female, young or old was a difficult day as news began to spread throughout preaching circles and around the nation that on Resurrection Sunday Gardner C. Taylor had slipped into eternal life. It was hard then and it is hard now. For years, I have wondered what would become of the preaching methodologies of the great preaching giants whose pulpit habits and practices, preparation and delivery, should be replicated in every age.
In this companion piece to Crossover Preaching, Jared E. Alcantara has provided a most valuable resource on Gardner C. Taylor for those unfamiliar with him and for those who knew him well. For those unfamiliar, you now have a most practical, fitting, and insightful introduction to the man, his message, ministry, and method. For those who were blessed to know him well, we now have a treasure that soothes the ache his passing caused and infuses our preaching with fresh information, inspiration, and insight.
I will never forget the melody in that voice, the attention to 'lofty' pulpit language, the reverence for the sacred space of the pulpit whenever Dr. Taylor preached. As I read Dr. Alcantara's important work, I smiled and nodded my head and said to myself 'I remember' as I heard Dr. Taylor's voice on every page. I am sure you will as well. This volume will serve as an indispensable resource to the ongoing necessity to preserve the legacy of this preacher without peer: Gardner Calvin Taylor."
--Carolyn Ann Knight, Evangelist; Founder and President, Can Do! Ministries
"Gardner C. Taylor was the epitome of great preaching! This book is an instant classic that should be mandatory reading for all preachers. You will be inspired, challenged, and equipped in a fresh way as a preacher of the gospel. Dr. Alcantara not only introduces us to how Taylor models vital preaching habits, but he also gives us tools for incorporating them in our sermons. The preaching community is truly enriched by this seminal work."
--Bryan Carter, Pastor, Concord Church, Dallas, TX
"Like an archaeologist unearthing historical treasure, Jared Alcantara unveils to a wider audience one of the world's most hidden preaching gems: Gardner C. Taylor. His practical yet substantive excavations into Dr. Taylor's life will help all of us enlarge our gospel reach, enabling us to preach a multiethnic gospel, one big enough for the Presbyterians and the AME's. This is such a prophetic and timely book, I'm making it required reading for every preacher I train."
--Bryan Loritts, Pastor, Abundant Life Christian Fellowship, Mountain View, CA; Author, Saving the Saved
"The scales by which we measure preaching are imbalanced. We consider width over depth, size over weight. This book has come just in time. It gives a new generation access to the mind, ministry, and heart of Dr. Taylor. It is a compass for those at risk of losing their way. In these pages are principles that never go out of style, matters that elevate preaching from that which moves men's ears to that which moves their hearts."
--Charlie Dates, Pastor, Progressive Baptist Church, Chicago, IL
"It is the elder's voice that is little consulted by young preachers in our times; as a result, the signs of African American preaching's sacred historical and cultural legacy are increasingly disappearing. But there's hope for today's journeying preacher. In his timely work, homiletician border crosser Jared Alcantara proves why the sagely life of Gardner C. Taylor--the unequaled pulpit sage of the modern age--still speaks from the grave. Not only is it evident that Alcantara sat at Taylor's bedside, but this work also reveals that he has placed flowers at his grave. Taylor's life and work epitomized faithful globe-trotting on the blessed but uneven homiletical road. For pastor and teacher alike, this boundary-crossing book offers readers an updated roadmap for preaching the timely and timeless gospel of Jesus Christ authentically, biblically, imaginatively, and contextually, in partnership with the community. How shall we preach? With the Holy Bible in one hand and this travel companion in the other."
--Kenyatta R. Gilbert, Associate Professor of Homiletics, Howard Divinity School; Author,A Pursued Justice: Black Preaching from the Great Migration to Civil Rights