Joe Taylor


The Rev. Joe C. Taylor, 85, a resident of Cleveland, passed away on Sunday, July 12, 2020, at a Cleveland hospital. 

He was born in Lawrenceburg, to the late Rev. C.M. and Jenorah Taylor. Bro. Taylor was born into a minister’s home, the eldest of three. Joe gave his life to the Lord when he was 13 years old. He received his calling from God to preach the gospel as a teenager. Joe evangelized in Southern California, before attending Lee College, where he met the love of his life, Mava Wimberley. After a courtship at Lee, that included going on dates with a chaperone, Joe and Mava married on Aug. 31, 1957, in Houston, Miss. 

Bro. Taylor and Mava ministered in churches in California, Mississippi, Alabama, Indiana and Tennessee. Bro. Taylor and Mava planted a church in Houston, Miss., in 1965. Their home on Judy Street was the location for worship service in the living room. Not long after, the Houston Church of God was established. Bro. Taylor’s tenure at the Starkville Church of God remained sentimental, until his death, as a shining example of where the Lord moved in a powerful way. Through visitation, fasting, door-to-door campaigns, bus ministry, choir, new church and parsonage, Starkville Church of God was a full expression of his ministry. Bro. Taylor served as a District Overseer throughout his ministry, serving on boards and committees including the Mississippi Church of God State Youth Board, and Indiana Church of God State Council.

Bro. Taylor had a true passion for people. He was a mentor to those entering the ministry. He helped many young, aspiring ministers and their wives who were called to serve the Lord and others.

Joe enjoyed gardening, fishing, and Tennessee Volunteer football. Life with Joe Taylor was never boring. Anyone who knew Pastor Taylor could tell you his favorite pastime was playing practical jokes on all his friends and family. Pastor Taylor and Mava were pastoring Ladd Springs Church of God, until March of this year, four months prior to his unexpected passing.

Joe, primarily referred to as Bro. Taylor, Pastor, Honey, Dad, Daddy and Papaw, stayed active in Cleveland after his official retirement in 1999. He worked for Cleveland City Schools as a bus driver for 17 years.

Bro. Taylor is survived by his wife of 62 years, Mava; his three children: Sherry (Phil) Underwood, Terry (Renea) Taylor, and Cathy Taylor; grandchildren:  Lee (Rachel) Taylor, Darren (Candace) Echols, Josh (Aly) Taylor, Ross (Lindsey) Hagan, Drew Echols, Alex Reid and Dylan Reid; great-grandchildren:  Sullivan Taylor, Oliver Taylor, Elliott Echols, Emery Echols, Hudson Hagan, Genevieve Taylor, Vera Taylor and Lydia Taylor; brother and sister: Jimmy (Marilyn) Taylor and Gail Gunderson; and a host of nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers will be Lee Taylor, Darren Echols, Josh Taylor, Ross Hagan, Drew Echols and Dylan Reid.

A Celebration of Life service will be held on Thursday, July 16, 2020, at Jim Rush Funeral and Cremation Services, North Ocoee Street Chapel. 

The family will receive friends from noon until 12:45 p.m., prior to the 1 p.m. service.

On Friday, there will be a Celebration of Life at Houston Church of God, at 108 2nd Avenue in Houston, Miss., at 1 p.m. (CST). The family will receive friends at noon until 12:45 p.m., prior to the service at 1 p.m. 

Interment will take place at Chickasaw Memorial Gardens in Houston.

We encourage you to share your memories and condolences with the family by going to

Due to current COVID-19 regulations, our staff is committed to taking care of our quests and families that we serve. Please understand we will be following the State’s COVID guidelines. We also ask all guests and family members attending visitations and services to please bring and wear a mask.


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