Dan Taylor, founder of the New Connexion of General Baptists, was born December 21, 1738 near Northowram. At an early age, Taylor was proficient as a reader and would draw guests to his family’s home just to hear him read. He credited his early success to mother’s love for education and seeing him grow. His parents taught their children to read at a very young age and cultivated that love throughout their childhood. They also instilled the Bible into their children so they could become well-versed in this as well. Although he had to work in the coal mine with his father at the age of five to support his family, he did everything with pride and without fear. This would later be seen in the pulpit as well. He spent every moment that he could give to learning and growing intellectually. He even brought books down to the mine so he could continue to enrich his mind throughout the day. By the age of ten, he was even instructing others! However, Taylor had quite the temper and would often be involved in fights and fits of rage from an early age. When a fellow coal mine worker accidentally hit him with a pickaxe, his heart filled with rage and he sought revenge. This became a common practice for Taylor. With the help and instruction from his father and the word of God, he learned to control his temper. The passage in Revelation 6:17 particularly stood out to him and impacted the course of his life: “For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” He even used this verse to preach at one of his parent’s funerals.
At the age of fifteen he became so burdened for his sins and salvation that he frequently went to church (even on other days of the week besides Sundays). Even though he spent most of his time in the Methodist church, his soul grew weary of the teachings and longed for more. His family did not practice worship each week, so he and one of his brothers eventually moved out once his mother died. After a while, he left the Methodist church to become part of the British Baptist movement. For 20 years, he served the Birchcliffe Baptist Church and then eventually a chapel in Wandsworth, London.
Taylor was a man whose entire life was filled with passion. He allowed the Lord to change his heart and life through the scripture. This would impact not only him, but all those who met him.
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