News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Obituaries

February 11, 2014

James K. Taylor

TERRE HAUTE — James K. Taylor, 78, of Cicero, N.Y., a much-beloved Episcopal priest, died Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, after a long illness. He was born in Terre Haute, on Oct. 31, 1935, to parents who encouraged his interest in the arts. He graduated from Indiana State University, with a bachelor’s degree (1957) and master’s degree (1958) in Speech and Communication and he took pride in the fact that, for eight years, he was a radio broadcaster for classical music at station WBOW in his hometown. Early on, he developed an expertise in the technical aspects of electronics, which turned eventually into a lifelong interest. In 1961, he graduated STB from Berkeley Divinity School, New Haven, Conn., and was ordained deacon and priest in the Diocese of Indianapolis. Later, Berkeley awarded him an M.Div. in Liturgics.

Fr. Jim served Episcopal congregations in Seymour and Rushville, and was briefly rector of St. Matthew’s Church, Indianapolis. He then became associate rector of Trinity Church in Bloomington, serving as Episcopal Chaplain at Indiana University.  As a scholar of church history and scriptural hermeneutics, he served on the examining committee of the diocese for the vetting of postulants for ordination. Also at Indiana University, Fr. Jim founded a chapter of Integrity (the Episcopal LGBTQ organization), which proved immensely popular and helpful to the entire university community as a means of addressing the then-emerging issue of sexual orientation as a prominent social and religious concern. Moreover, he created Congregations for Peace, a student organization with connections to the broader world of international peace movements. An early supporter of women’s ordination in the Episcopal Church, Fr. Jim organized the liturgy for the first officially sanctioned ordination of a woman, that of the Rev. Jacqueline Means, in January, 1977.   

In January 1988, Fr. Jim moved to Syracuse University as Episcopal Chaplain, and in December of that year, he provided pastoral care to the friends and parents of the numerous Syracuse students who lost their lives in the Pan Am disaster over Lockerbie, Scotland. Concurrent with his university duties, Fr. Jim served as rector of Grace Church, Syracuse, ministering self-sacrificially to an inner-city parish. In 2005, five years after his retirement from these duties, he became priest-in-charge of St. David’s, Barneveld, where he was much revered as a pastor and a scholar. Not least of all, and of particular importance to Fr. Jim, he was a longtime member of the Order of the Holy Cross, a Benedictine order, and counted himself among the Oblates of Mount Calvary, a subsidiary.

Fr. Jim’s sister, Ann (Taylor) Boyd, predeceased him in 2013, and he is survived by his brother-in-law Roy Boyd. Fr. Jim’s devoted friends will remember him as a person of gargantuan generosity and warmth, keen insight, and remarkable learning, together with a profound and infectious religious faith.  

A requiem mass will be celebrated at the Church of the Saviour (437 James St., Syracuse) at a future date, to be announced later, with interment to follow in the church’s columbarium. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Goddard-Crandall-Shepardson Funeral Home, James St., Syracuse, N.Y. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the parish endowment fund.  

 

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