James Barnett Taylor was born in England in 1804. His family moved the next year to New York City. At the age of 13, James was born again – he placed his faith in the sacrifice which Christ Jesus made on the cross. After that he was baptized and joined the First Baptist Church. The same year his father moved the family to Virginia, where at the age of 16, young Bro. Taylor began to preach the gospel. He was ordained on this day in 1826 by the Sandy Creek Baptist Church.
In 1826 J. B. Taylor became pastor of the Second Baptist Church of Richmond, where he served for sixteen years. During that time there were 660 members added to the church, three new churches were started out of their ministry and about a dozen men were called from their membership into the ministry. After his ministry in Richmond, he went on the pastor several other Baptist Churches.
Bro. Taylor believed in an educated membership and ministry. He led in the formation of several Sunday Schools and Bible societies. In 1839 he was elected to be the chaplain of the University of Virginia.
He was also very interested in the spiritual condition of the Blacks in his state. He was appointed to work with the secretary of the Freedmen’s Bureau, and his last sermons were preached in Alexandria to Black congregations. He ministered faithfully during a very difficult time in American history, dying on December 22, 1871.