A Voice in the Wilderness: The Contribution of Gardner Calvin Taylor to American Civil Rights and Social Justice

Edward Taylor

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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A Voice in the Wilderness: The Contribution of Gardner Calvin Taylor to American Civil Rights and Social Justice is an exploration of Gardner C. Taylor’s life through the lens of Christian activism. In turn, the project enlightens historical inquiry about matters of race, northern civil rights leadership, economic justice, and the power of religious speech as a tool for social change. Gardner Calvin Taylor was born in 1918 and is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Taylor was molded by experiences from his pastoral ministry in Elyria, Ohio; New Orleans, Louisiana; Baton Rouge and Brooklyn, New York. Gardner Taylor’s initial entry into social justice began during voter registration drives in New Orleans and attempts to gain equal pay for African-American teachers in Louisiana. However, it was during his tenure as pastor of the Concord Baptist Church of Brooklyn, New York, that he engaged in what would become a life-long effort to attend to community needs by seeking equality for all its citizens and social uplift for those in need. Taylor continued his ministry of activism by serving on the New York City Board of Education and government committees; leading Brooklyn’s democratic party; protesting for the appointment of Protestant judges; seeking integrated hiring practices on construction sites; urging an end to South African apartheid; establishing a wide range of community development programs; advising U.S. Presidents; and speaking as an advocate for civil rights across America. The assessment of Taylor’s life is informed by previously-published writings about Taylor, literature specific to the civil rights era and access to Taylor's personal papers, library, sermons and multiple interviews with the subject.

Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Gibson, Dawn-Marie, Supervisor
  • Kirk, John, Supervisor
Award date1 Jun 2015
Publication statusUnpublished - 2015


  • Gardner C. Taylor
  • Civil Rights
  • social justice, gender, race, ethnicity, ESRC, governors, school reform
  • religion, Black Church
  • Preaching, Homiletics
  • African American Studies
  • New York, Louisiana
  • National Baptist Convention
  • Progressive National Baptist Convention

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