Bishop Lewis Taylor passes away at age 80 | News | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | October 4, 2017 5:00 pm
Last Updated: October 4, 2017 at 1:03 pm
No matter where Bishop Lewis Taylor lived, his hometown always called him back.
The afternoon of Oct. 2, God called him to His heavenly home.
Taylor, 80, suffered a heart attack while shopping and was pronounced dead Oct. 2 at 4:08 p.m. in the Colleton Medical Center’s Emergency Department.
Few people have the courage to walk down the path in life God chooses for them. But Taylor was one who did. Before retiring this summer, Bishop Taylor spent 42 years ministering to the needs of the parishioners of Saints Center Ministry and the prior 10 years serving churches in California and New York. After his retirement, his son, Phillip Taylor Sr., took over the ministry in a ceremony on July 16, culminating a five-day celebration of Bishop Taylor’s 52 years in the ministry.
When Taylor started his leadership at what was then Greater St. James, the church had a small congregation. However, that quickly changed and as the congregation grew, the church began looking for a new home. With $500 and a lot of faith, Taylor and the congregation began work on what is now the home of Saints Center Ministry. A contractor, he supervised most of the work himself on the 14,000 sq.ft. building. The best thing about having a big sanctuary, he said in an interview about his retirement, was that it gave the church a chance help others — to offer its space to smaller churches when needed, as well as giving the community a place to hold feeding programs, cleanup days and other service-oriented events.
Taylor married the love of his life, Leviticus, 55 years ago and they raised six children. “We’ve had a quiet, simple life. We raised them to be decent and live a wholesome life and respect other people,” Taylor said.
He loved gardening, tinkering with “fixing things,” working with youth and helping people. And although life wasn’t always easy, “I really have no regrets,” Taylor said.
His life set an example for many in the community, as illustrated by some of the comments from Facebook:
“God has called home one of the greatest men I know. Not only he was my bishop, he was my spiritual father. Bishop Taylor was more like a dad to keep me on track. He would always say, “Now Ert you know you’re not supposed…” Whatever the supposed was, I knew I wasn’t supposed to do it… He was always the same. Never changing. Thank you Bishop for allowing me to be a part of your family and teaching me to display the Love of God without judgment. You will always be loved and truly missed. As much as you loved here on earth, God needed you more… I know you’re looking down from heaven to check on your people, because that’s who you are. You love with that God love. Until we meet again.”
“Thank you all personally for sharing the greatest gift to the world with us! The key to the city belonged to the greatest man in the world! Just know his legacy lives on and his well taught lessons will reflect through me and mine.”
“The man who taught me how to be a man of God has left this earth. I can’t grieve properly right now because I am praying strongly for the family. I sat at his side in the pulpit when he preached his mother’s funeral, as well as other immediate family members. He approached it as “Bishop Taylor.” He showed a spiritual strength and professionalism during these services that spoke volumes to me, showing me how to take care of God’s work first above all else. He was always sharing wisdom with me and was so supportive in my development as a minister. Every opportunity he had, he let me bring forth the word at Saints Center and other churches as well. His legacy for the Riggins family will always be strong leadership through a humble spirit…We will carry on and make Bishop Taylor proud! I love you Bishop Lewis N. Taylor and I will miss you dearly!”
Minister Scott Riggins
The funeral will be Thursday Oct. 5 at 11 a.m. at Saints Center Ministry on the corner of Robertson Boulevard and Hampton Street.