Thorney Berry Taylor

Cumberland Presbyterian Minister

1831 - 1890

Photograph from the Minutes of Springville Presbytery 1903



The Rev. T. B. Taylor, the son of the Rev. Jesse Taylor, was born January 27, 1831; died February 4, 1890, aged fifty-nine years and eight days. His parents emigrated from Tennessee to the northeastern part of Jefferson county, Ala., in the first settling of this country, where the Rev. T. B. Taylor was born, raised, labored and died within two miles of where he was born.

In his eighteenth year he embraced Christ as his personal Savior, and united with the Mt. Calvary congregation of the Cumberland Presbyterian church. But, like many others, when he felt impressed to preach he shrank back from the responsibility of the work for many years.

In 1857, the 2d day of January, he was united in marriage with Mary Ann Blythe. Two sons and four daughters were the result of this marriage. One son and one daughter preceded him to the glory land; the other four are members of the church. He was a soldier in the late war, and God in his goodness spared him.

In the fall of 1866 he joined the Elyton Presbytery as a candidate for the holy ministry, and at the February meeting in 1867, he being a respectable English scholar, was licensed to preach, and at the February meeting, 1868, was set apart to the whole work of the ministry. When the Springville Presbytery was organized he was one of the charter members.

When he commenced to preach he seems never to have looked back, or if he did it was only to spur him to greater diligence. As soon as received as a candidate he set forth in earnest work for the salvation of souls. He was a very acceptable preacher. His strong forte was his ability in exhortation. He was a sweet singer and powerful in prayer, and one of the most successful preachers in this section, and many souls will hail him at the great day as their spiritual father. The secret of his success was his deep earnestness for the salvation of souls. He always succeeded in making his audience feel that he was in earnest. His tact in the altar I have never seen equaled. He had always four, and sometimes five, congregations to which he preached, often riding five or six miles Sabbath afternoon to preach again. And yet his congregations never entirely freed his hands from the plow or schoolroom. He studied when he could, and preached the best he could. He was never absent from presbytery unless hindered by sickness, always lively and cheerful, and loved the association of the brethren.

On the 6th of April, 1889, his wife died, his two oldest daughters being married and in homes of their own. He was again married to Mrs. N. E. Barbour.

He belonged to a family in which that awful scourge, cancer, was handed down from father to son. His doctors pronounced the cause of his death an internal cancer. His place will be hard to fill, but we need to fear. The great Shepherd will lead his flock in safety. It is his own cause. We believe Brother Taylor was a true minister of Christ, and that the blessed Savior was with him to the end, and that he is now with Christ above. He loved his family tenderly and his church, but he was no sectarian. His sympathies flowed out to all; he was willing to work with any for the salvation of souls. He was truly a good man, and it is a source of satisfaction, in reviewing his life and labors, that he was employed by the blessed Savior in turning many from sin unto righteousness. To God be all the glory.

In closing this imperfect tribute to our beloved brother I know full well that I must fail to present a complete outline of his life and labors, but I know that I am surrounded by his friends, who will readily complete this sketch, no matter how imperfect. The writer preached a funeral sermon to a large audience, from 2 Tim. iv. 6-8, and he was buried with Masonic honors. May God bless the bereaved widow and children, and may they all meet him in heaven.
[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, March 13, 1890, page 2]

Please Contact the Archives with Additions/Corrections

Updated May 23, 2007