Rev. Dr. Morris Alford Taylor entered the Church Triumphant January 29, 2021.
A native of the Denham community near Waynesboro, MS, he was born November 10, 1931, the sixth of seven children born to Bertha Gandy and David C. Taylor. He was preceded in death by his parents; his beloved wife of 48 years, Lottie Alford Taylor; and his four brothers, John, Earnest, Cliff and Bobby.
Morris loved his God, church, country, family and friends, and enjoyed being with people from every walk of life. He received his early religious training at Philadelphus Presbyterian Church. He played football and basketball in high school, graduating from Wayne Central High School. He attended Maryville College in Maryville, TN, his freshman year and played football until an injury sidelined him.
Morris was the first brave young man who attended Belhaven College in 1954, making the school coeducational. He was drafted into the Army the latter part of his sophomore year. Morris served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War as a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne Division and later in the Medical Corps. He was stationed in Korea and New York. He later served in the Mississippi National Guard as Chaplain.
After service to his country, he resumed his studies at Belhaven, graduating through a cooperative program with Mississippi College in 1960 with a bachelor's degree in philosophy. While at Belhaven, he played basketball under Coaches McLeod and Rugg.
Morris earned a Bachelor of Divinity Degree in 1963 and Doctor of Ministry Degree in 1986 from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA. He served the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) faithfully and selflessly for nearly 60 years and touched many lives in a positive way. He was a staunch supporter of justice for all people and what he believed to be right and true.
Morris served as minister of Shongalo and Blackmonton Presbyterian Churches, Vaiden; Carrollton Presbyterian Church; First Presbyterian Church, Canton; First Presbyterian Church, Starkville; Briarwood Presbyterian Church, Jackson; returning to the Canton church, from which he retired in 2003. He was elected Pastor Emeritus upon retirement. Dr. Taylor served as interim minister at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Meridian, MS; and Covenant Presbyterian Church, Monroe, LA; supply preacher at Prospect Presbyterian Church, Meridian, MS; Westminster Presbyterian Church, Natchez, MS; and First-Trinity Presbyterian Church, Laurel, MS. Morris served on many committees on the Presbytery, Synod and General Assembly level, serving as a delegate to General Assembly numerous times.
Morris was a diehard Mississippi State University Bulldog fan and cheered them on at numerous games, traveling near and far. He served as President of the Canton and Starkville Chambers of Commerce, receiving the Golden Deed Award in Starkville. He was a long-time Member of the Canton Lions Club, serving as President several times. He was on the United Way and Madison County Hospital Boards of Directors, helping facilitate the building of the new hospital, now Merit Health Madison. He was a proud member of the Belhaven University 50 Year Club.
Morris was the eternal optimist. He had a great sense of humor and a jolly, infectious laugh. He loved to travel and see new sights. Every day was the best day of his life, and every meal was the best he’d ever eaten.
Morris was a dearly loved father, husband, “KK,” “KK the Great,” brother, uncle, “Coach” and friend. He leaves to cherish many happy memories his wife of 10 years, Sue Fisher Taylor, daughter Jane Lee Taylor Foster (Lantz), son Morris Alford "Mat" Taylor, Jr. (Caryn), step-daughter Rebecca Hardy (Ty) and step-son Ben Herring (Sara). He leaves nine precious grandchildren, Brittany Sones (Sam), Landon Foster, Jared Foster (Meghan), Zachary Allen Taylor, Jack Thomas Taylor, Anabelle Lee “LeLe” Taylor, Dexton Cole Taylor, James Cullen Hardy II and Campbell Elizabeth Hardy; and four adored great-grandchildren, Samuel Gates Sones, Silas James Sones, Lottie Jane Sones & Rosie Love Sones. Morris leaves two sisters, Marie Rigdon and Betty Little (Floyd), sisters-in-law Mary Alford Bennett, Ruth Carmen Poindexter (Lewis) and brother-in-law Burke Fisher (Rita). He also leaves a host of nieces, nephews, friends, his companion and friend Morton “Marlo” Tyler and his little dog Maggie.
Private funeral service will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Canton. A public graveside service will be held on Tuesday February 2, 2021 at 12:00 PM in the Canton City Cemetery. Everyone attending the graveside service will be asked to follow Covid-19 guidelines, including wearing a mask.
Memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church, 202 E. Peace St., Canton, MS 39046.
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