Just one quick question... my dear friend, Dr. Eldred Taylor

We taught Sunday School classes for 12 years.  For most of those years, our classes were directly across the hall from each other.  When we began, he was 78, and I was 39.  I taught women; he taught men.  More often than not, we were teaching from the same material, so on Saturday morning as I was preparing and hit a bump in the road, I called my friend, Eldred Taylor.

My question was often the same, "Dr. Taylor, do you have a 'minute' to give me a little help?"

 I could him see him grin as his answer was always the same, "Susan, I have all the time you need."

He would graciously and patiently talk me through the passage complete with additional Biblical reference and rich history to give me full understanding.  I would thank him for his time, his wisdom and his knowledge.

As our class would begin the next morning, he would stroll in our classroom, give me a wink announcing just loud enough for my ladies to hear. "Susan, thanks for the clarification yesterday, I 'm ready to teach these guys this morning!"   And off we would go.

A gracious saint he was - His earthly body gave out on Friday, January 16th, as he quietly made the journey to Heaven.  He described for me once how he thought the gate into Heaven might look.  In one of those church hallway conversations... he just threw it out there:
"I think the sign above the gate will read, 'All are WELCOME', and then when we walk through the gate and turn back to look above the gate inside Heaven, it will read, 'WELCOME, chosen ones!'"... and the celebration of praise and worship will begin!  So he would remind me, "We've got work to do to bring 'em to Jesus!"

Now keep in mind, that conversation was not a planned theological discussion to end all explanation about our entrance into Heaven - it was simply a thought on a given Sunday.

Eldred joined a group of men on the day our daughter, Katie, got married.  The group included men from their Sunday School class, men from both our families, and additional friends.  As they gathered around Chris with each hand touching a shoulder toward him, Eldred's voice of blessing over Chris and their marriage was strong.  His words continue to encourage them and us each time we replay that precious video moment.

I think I'll go listen to it right now... my question for you, our dear friend and teacher...

Do you have just a minute to answer a question about heaven?

Author's Note:

Eldred Taylor, a noted Baptist pastor who once served as president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, died Friday in Louisville. He was 93.
Taylor served most of his ministry as pastor at First Baptist Church of Somerset from 1958 through 1981. He was also pastor at Rosedale Baptist Church in Richmond; director of missions for Daviess-McLean Baptist Association; director of missions and evangelism for the KBC; a member of the Foreign Mission Board (now the International Mission Board); and executive director and board member of the Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children (now Sunrise Children’s Services).
He served as KBC president in 1967-68.

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