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Mercer Press Book Named Book of the Year by Preaching Magazine

April 27, 2011

Media Contact: Mark Vanderhoek, (478) 301-4037 or

MACON — Prominent national magazine Preaching has named the Mercer University Press book Our Sufficiency is of God: Essays on Preaching in Honor of Gardner C. Taylor as its Book of the Year. The book is a collection of essays inspired by renowned preacher and civil rights advocate Gardner C. Taylor and is edited by Timothy George, James Earl Massey and Robert Smith Jr.

“It’s appropriate that a book celebrating Gardner Taylor’s life and ministry should focus on preaching, and this volume is a remarkable collection of essays dealing with various elements of the preaching craft,” said Michael Duduit, editor of Preaching magazine in the review of the book.

Among the contributors to the collection are a host of names known to students of preaching: James Earl Massey, Thomas Long, Henry Mitchell, William Willimon, Robert Smith Jr., David Buttrick, Joel Gregory and many more. The book comes with an accompanying CD that includes audio of Taylor’s lectures inaugurating the William E. Conger Lectures on Biblical Preaching at Beeson Divinity School in 1993.

The book’s editors also hail from strong preaching backgrounds. George is founding dean of Beeson Divinity School at Samford University and a senior editor for Christianity Today. Massey is dean emeritus and distinguished professor-at-large of the Anderson University School of Theology and is pastor emeritus and founding pastor of Metropolitan Church of God. Smith serves as profes¬sor of Christian preaching at Beeson Divinity School.

“Gardner Taylor is one of the best preachers America has ever had,” said Marc Jolley, executive director of Mercer Press. “He has passed his mantle to a new generation, and I hope we can find someone to wear it half as well as he did. This book honoring his legacy is a treasure. It is an honor for Mercer University Press to have published this book, but truly the honor is for Gardner Taylor.”

Taylor is best known for his more than 40 years as senior pastor of Concord Baptist Church of Christ in Brooklyn, N.Y.; he retired from the 14,000-member church in 1990. He was a founding member of the Progressive National Baptist Convention and one of its first presidents. Through the years, he taught preaching at Harvard, Union Seminary and Colgate Rochester, as well as preached around the globe. In 1976, he delivered the 100th Lyman Beecher Lectures on Preaching at Yale, along with a variety of other lectureships at various seminaries and universities.

Taylor was named by Time magazine as one of America’s seven greatest Protestant preachers in 1979 and the Dean of the Nation’s Black Preachers in 1980. Ebony magazine recognized him as one of the nation’s 15 greatest black preachers in 1984. A Baylor survey ranked him as one of the 12 greatest preachers in the English-speaking world in 1997.

About Mercer University Press
Established in 1979, Mercer University Press has published more than 1,200 books. Operated by an six-member staff, the press publishes more than 35 books annually. The reputation of the Press significantly enhances the academic environment of the University and carries the name of Mercer throughout the world.  The Press seeks and acquires manuscripts that contribute to the advancement of knowledge; publishes monographs and other texts in the humanities, primarily in history, philosophy, religion, and Southern studies; and disseminates these publications internationally to students, scholars, and libraries. The annual Authors Luncheon is a fundraiser for Mercer University Press.  For more information, visit

About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,200 students in 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah and at four regional academic centers across the state. Mercer is affiliated with two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah and the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. The University operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit
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