(Special thanks to the Taylor family for providing this memorial for Dr. Taylor. We continue to give thanks for God's grace and goodness in the life of Dr. Taylor.)
Dr. Taylor, ordained in the Reformed Presbyterian Church, and missionary dentist, passed on to glory on January 31, 2013 at age 98. John is the son and eldest of five children of doctors John and Elizabeth Taylor, lifelong missionaries to India, under the Reformed Presbyterians (WPM) from 1914 to the late 1960’s. His parents took John to India as an infant where he spent all but one year of his childhood until he was 16. He received his further education in the U.S.
It was at the age of 18 that John realized his new birth in the Lord and committed his life to his Savior and to missionary service. Following 4 years at Muskingum College he went on to receive his ministerial degree from Cedarville Seminary; and was ordained to return to India as a minister of the Gospel under the R.P. board. In India, in 1939, he met Adah Boggs, a missionary nurse under the old United Presbyterian board. They were married in 1941. Adah joined John under the R.P. board and together they filled the leadership of the mission while his parents went on furlough. During that time John and Adah did evangelism and medical work in the villages of North India until his parents returned near the end of World War II.
In 1945 Dr. Taylor and his wife returned to the U.S. along with their first child; and over the next two years John took 2 different interim pastorates of R.P. churches: The first in Richmond, VA and the second at Fairview R.P. in PA. At one point, in this early U.S. ministry, John served as moderator of the denomination. Also at this time John entered dental school at the Medical College of Virginia because he had a call to take up dentistry due to the great need for a dentist in India. When his pastorate moved from Richmond to Fairview he transferred to the University of Pittsburgh and there completed his dental degree with a DDS. Following the two years of interim pastoring the family moved to Imperial, PA near Pittsburgh and while studying dentistry he also pastored an integrated U.P. Mission church nearby in San Diego, PA.
In 1953, upon completing a few years of dental practice in McDonald, PA, John and Adah, now with six children, returned to India as self-supporting missionaries. John served the Christian missionary community, which included Woodstock International Christian School, as dentist. He also served Indian brethren and outlying people groups, caring for their physical and spiritual needs.
In 1959 the family, now complete with seven children, returned to the U.S. due to the children’s further educational needs. They settled in central PA where John had 2 different dental practices. In 1969 John and Adah, with their two youngest children, returned to India. This time he served in Christian hospitals, doing dentistry. He preached when called upon in various local Indian mission churches. Since the 1970’s, Dr. Taylor has been back and forth serving five children’s homes and others with Adah’s assistance until their retirement in 1999. The Bhogpur children’s homes were started by the senior Taylors for untainted children of leper parents.
John was also affiliated with the Missionary Dental Association through which he did short-term mission trips to: Liberia, Pakistan, Ecuador, and Mexico. He did a few dental mission trips to Nepal and one for YWAM mercy ships. From the 1970’s until the middle 1990’s, Dr. Taylor had a U.S. home dental practice in and near North Huntingdon, PA. During this time he and Adah were members of Calvin PCA where they sang in the church choir. All of their seven children have been and continue to be involved in foreign mission work in varying ways.
Dr. Taylor was known as a big game hunter over his many years in India. He was also a founder and member of the (Animal) Conservation Society of India. By hunting, he supplied meat for his family, the Christian community, and the children’s homes. He was also called upon to shoot cattle-lifting tigers and man-eaters, a killer bear, and a rogue elephant among others. John was also an author of four autobiographical books with his theological thoughts on Nature, Science, Politics and Culture: Wildlife in India’s Tiger Kingdom (his hunting tales), Facing the Tiger’s Roar, God’s Kingdom Helps Animal Kingdoms, Our Creator Saves Lives—some eternally.
Dr. Taylor was remembered by family, friends, and co-workers for the Gospel at two memorial services: one held at Calvin PCA where he was a member; and the other at the Bhogpur Children’s Home. John’s beloved wife, Adah, who preceded him to heaven on Nov. 15, 2011, was also remembered at the Children’s home memorial attended by approximately 600 people.