“Everybody can be great because everybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve… You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.” So wrote Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and no one has taken that message to heart and lived a life more aligned with those sentiments than David Taylor, pastor and spiritual leader of Joshua Media Ministries International, whose global outreach is committed to spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world.
In 2017, Pastor David E. Taylor was recognized for close to three decades of community service with a Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award by President Barack Obama. The prestigious award is granted to conscientious volunteers who have dedicated a minimum of 4,000 hours of community service.
David Taylor, pastor and spiritual leader, has not only exceeded that minimum, but likely set a record for hours of community service tendered. However, he’s not keeping count, and as it says in Luke 14:11, “For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
“You have been an inspiration to many and we would like to celebrate the positive impact you are making in bettering our communities and the world,” reads the nomination recommendation that led to Pastor David E. Taylor becoming a Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.
Over the course of his spiritual career, David E. Taylor has been stalwart in his commitment to serving communities at risk. In addition to bestowing religious guidance, Pastor Taylor has led numerous volunteer initiatives to battle the scourge of food insecurity and also provided clothing and other basic necessities to families in need who reside in some of America’s most marginalized neighborhoods.
In times of crisis, Pastor David Taylor has tirelessly organized and coordinated extensive relief efforts to give aid and comfort to those afflicted by the destructive forces of unforeseen tragedy, dispatching JMMI’s disaster relief team — known as the Convoy of Miracles. The JMMI fleet includes several massive 18-wheeler trucks and a cargo plane that deliver essentials such as fresh water, clothing, personal hygiene products, diapers, blankets, and other vital goods, as well as medical treatment vans and construction equipment and crews to help rebuild neighborhoods ravaged by natural disaster.
Just before the week of Christmas 2021, David E. Taylor directed the convoy to Kentucky, where the catastrophic force of deadly tornadoes took more than 75 lives and destroyed hundreds of homes. The scene was one of total devastation. Entire towns lay flattened and covered in twisted wreckage.
According to Pastor Tony B., a JMMI minister, dispatched to the tornado zone with a group of volunteers by Pastor David E. Taylor, what they encountered was nearly incomprehensible. “Just the one church we were talking to… they lost nine people in the congregation. Can you imagine that? There’s not one person around here who hasn’t lost somebody,” the pastor said.
Driven by compassion and unwavering faith, Tony B. credited David E. Taylor with getting help to the victims quickly. “[His] heart breaks for these people,” Tony B. said. “You can’t see this and not have tears be brought to your eyes. You can’t see this and not think, ‘Wow, what if this was me in this moment and I was going through?’ As you’re watching… you might think, ‘OK, the government’s coming through’… [but] the first people on the scene here was the church.”
In September 2022, under Pastor Taylor’s leadership, JMMI’s volunteers hit the road again, this time to Florida, where the victims of Hurricane Ian were still reeling from the crushing blow the mammoth storm dealt the battered coastline.
For those who know that David E. Taylor has spent a lifetime giving back to those in need comes as no surprise, because the Pastor David E. Taylor was once David E. Taylor the gang member. Taylor says at 17, a stunning conversion brought him “face-to-face” with Jesus. Since then, walking a righteous path that glorifies God has been the driving force behind his every action, and for him, that’s reward enough.