Christian Minister Spent Over $30,000 on Fancy Clothes… Because He Sweat Too Much

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has a profile of David E. Taylor, the leader of Joshua Media Ministries International (JMMI). The Reverend claims to have a direct line to the Almighty, who

… gives Taylor visions of the future, even football scores. When Taylor is on stage in a Louis Vuitton suit asking his followers to write checks or swipe their credit cards for his ministry, he often says Jesus is there next to him in the same body that emerged from the tomb.

Like his Dad, the Savior is invisible to mere mortals, but Taylor, being special, can totally see him. You believe him, don’t you?

By now, Taylor is fast friends with the heavenly carpenter. He’s hung out with Jesus, face to face, more than a thousand times, he says.

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Taylor claims in videos and writings that he was a gangster and drug user growing up in Memphis, Tenn., when Jesus visited him for the first time. Sometimes he says he was 17, other times 19, when that happened. He said it was the first of many visits. One included a trip to heaven.

“Jesus in 2000 took my spirit out of my body and he took me to heaven,” he said in a video published on his website. “I had a trip to heaven, y’all. I saw heaven. I don’t have time to go through the details, but when I went to heaven, one of the main things Jesus said (was) I brought you here so you could go back to Earth and tell the people what happens in the miracle crusades I told you to hold.”

Yes, miracle crusades: With the aid of his celestial sidekick, Taylor cures all manner of ailments, from spinal cord injuries and fibromyalgia to PTSD and cancer. He has even said he resurrected a dead woman by “Sending a Text Message Through Facebook” (the capitalization is his).

In matters of lesser importance, God does sometimes punk him though.

[Taylor] said … that God had revealed to a ministry colleague that the Broncos would beat the Seahawks 24-21. Seattle won 43-8.

If the Creator can tell a lie, should we expect the truth out of his humble disciple? Not always. (Shocking!) For instance, Taylor, while hitting his flock up for cash, once claimed his ministry had received a $10 million gift from Arizona Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby. However,

Dansby said through his team he was “aware of” Taylor but never gave $10 million.

Speaking of money: A natty dresser, the Reverend has invested in a personal wardrobe that’s worth a small fortune. When asked, in a divorce-related deposition, whether it was true that JMMI had spent $30,000 on Taylor’s (ha!) clothes in under two years (brands include Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Versace), he responded

“Oh, God, yes, because I was traveling so much and sweating through all my clothes.”

He added: “Macy’s don’t have the kind of suits that I wear.”

In this half-hilarious, half-infuriating video, you can also see Taylor acknowledging that he drives an elongated Mercedes, a BMW, a Range Rover, and a Bentley.

Just like Jesus would, I’m sure.

He then adds he doesn’t know how much he receives for a housing allowance, or for the maintenance of his fleet of cars, or whether those amounts are even accounted for on his tax forms. When queried about who’s on his ministry’s board of directors, and how many people are on that board, Taylor has no idea. (Couldn’t he just ask the Man Upstairs, who has all the answers?)

After the IRS crackdown on Benny Hinn, similar scrutiny should now be visited upon the Reverend Taylor. I bet it’ll be well worth the auditors’ time.

(Screenshot via YouTube)

About Terry Firma

Terry Firma, though born and Journalism-school-educated in Europe, has lived in the U.S. for the past 20-odd years. Stateside, his feature articles have been published in the New York Times, Reason, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Wired. Terry is the founder of Moral Compass, a now dormant site that poked fun at the delusional claim by people of faith that a belief in God equips them with superior moral standards. He joined Friendly Atheist in 2013.