The closest thing to an evangelical lobby in Washington is located in a modest mezzanine suite overlooking Fourteenth and G Streets. But influencing legislation is only part of the operation in these offices, for the man in charge is 59-year-old Dr. Clyde W. Taylor, who has had the dual role of public affairs director for the National Association of Evangelicals and executive secretary of the NAE-related Evangelical Foreign Missions Association. Taylor’s jobs and interests are so varied that he himself finds them hard to spell out. It was only logical, therefore, to tap further his colorful resources when a serious vacuum developed in NAE leadership.

NAE lost its general director at year-end with the resignation of Dr. George L. Ford. But Ford had given several months’ notice, and the NAE Board of Administration was grooming the Rev. W. Stanley Mooneyham to take over eventually. Mooneyham has been editor of United Evangelical Action, official NAE monthly, and has had church administrative experience as executive secretary and moderator of the National Association of Free Will Baptists. However, about the time Ford was moving out, Mooneyham announced that he too was resigning, to join the Billy Graham team.

The upshot was that the NAE board got the good-humored Taylor to take on the general directorship in addition to his other jobs. He will continue to reside in Washington, in a fashionable split-level overlooking picturesque Rock Creek Park in the Northwest section.

Taylor’s dedication and multi-faceted Christian service have earned him the respect of many as God’s handyman in Washington. His coming in 1944 gave NAE the distinction of being the first Protestant interdenominational organization to open an office in the capital city. Since then the operation has performed a myriad of services for U. S. evangelicals ranging from visa aid to tax counsel and chaplain placement. Taylor seldom fraternizes with Washington’s elite, but he holds the confidence of a host of knowledgeable contacts in echelons where most decisions are made. Perhaps the most dramatic in a long chain of achievements was Taylor’s successful intervention in behalf of a foreign student slated for deportation and almost certain execution for his Christian stand.

Taylor’s acumen on the Washington scene is surpassed only by his grasp of the complexities of the foreign missions enterprise. Chief coordinator for fifty-nine independent missionary boards comprising EFMA, Taylor represents a task force of some 6,100 missionaries. He has flown over 650,000 miles in the last decade and has visited more than 100 countries.

Taylor is a robust, towering (over six-feet-four) man. Born in Arkansas, ordained a Baptist, and educated at Nyack Missionary College, Gordon College, and Boston University, he served as a missionary in South America for thirteen years. Frugality was the rule in those lean years, and Taylor still counts his lunch money carefully, sometimes preferring to bring sandwiches from home.

He seizes every opportunity to brief the rank and file on the status of evangelical advance. In the heat of delivery he is sometimes given to overstatement, but those who know him best say it is almost inevitable in one who is such a vivid thinker. His latest thoughts are on NAE’s future: “We plan to re-examine our whole purpose and policy to see how we can have a more dynamic testimony in society.”

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