Rodney Taylor spent a total of nine years in the U.S. Marine Corps but he proudly proclaims he is now serving in the "Army of the Lord."
The Southaven resident is the founder of the Holy Bible Ministry, a nondenominational ministry aimed at preaching the Word of God to listening ears across the Mid-South and especially those of young people who may be in harm's way.
"The young men of today are looking for something," said Taylor, 57, who grew up on the mean streets of Gary, Ind. "They are trying to find themselves. They want a better life."
One of 14 children, Taylor moved to the Mid-South more than 11 years ago.
He cares now for his 83-year-old mother Bernice Taylor and his sister Mia Shaunte Taylor, who has Down syndrome, in addition to launching a gospel performing career and a ministry aimed at saving souls and transforming lives.
"Our main goal is to reach the lost and have a ministry of motivation, healing and deliverance," Taylor said. "Our main goal is to impact as many lives as God will allow."
Taylor said he feels that he not only impacts lives through the spoken Word of the Gospel but praise music as well.
"Music has always been a part of my life," Taylor said, adding that he leaves for Nashville this week to record his first EP of gospel music. "As Christians, we believe in singing and the anointing of God."
Taylor said there was a time in his life when he did not have such a clear purpose and direction.
"I had the street knowledge — but not the wisdom and knowledge of God," Taylor said. "I grew up with a lot of the gang banging and killing but I never got shot, killed or stabbed. I was tough but I was nice."
Taylor said God was saving him for another day. After enlisting in the Marine Corps, Taylor said his life began to turn around.
Taylor enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1979 after desiring a need for discipline in his life.
"It was in the Marine Corps when I really began to know God," Taylor said. "He really began to deal with me when I was in the Marine Corps."
Taylor, who is a fan of the movie "A Few Good Men," said his life changed in 1986 for the better.
"In 1986, God transformed me," Taylor said. "I needed that sense of discipline that I found in the Marine Corps, and the Marine Corps helped me cope with life up until I got empowered by the presence of God. He filled me with his power and gave me a whole new walk in life. From that point on, God has been using me to inspire people. You have to have a light inside of you to inspire people's lives. My light is the Lord Jesus Christ."
Robert Lee Long is Community Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252