Pastor Kevin Taylor shares the evolution of his brand

Pastor Kevin Taylor shares the evolution of his brand
Photo by Tamara Fleming for FEMWORKS PHOTOGRAPHY

Elder Kevin E. Taylor is the senior pastor of Unity Fellowship Church NewArk in Newark, New Jersey. He has been in ministry since 1993, while also writing, speaking and producing for television with BET Networks and independently through his TM3 video production company, through which he produces “Now What with Kevin E. Taylor,” a talk show that engages creative people who have succeeded through major shifts in their lives and careers.

Rolling out had the opportunity to catch up with Pastor Taylor to talk about what drives his success.

How do you utilize your knowledge to benefit and inspire others? 

Social media has proven a quick and quantitative way of seeing the impact. My Wisdom Wednesday posts are hugely successful for my outreach.

If you were to give a speech to young men, what would you title your speech and why?

“Who do you think you are!?” because so many young men struggle with identity and often do things to try to prove themselves to others, but they have yet to prove it to self. I think cracking open the conversation with self can change your outlook and your outcome.

If you could leave a legacy to your children and grandchildren, what would it be?

I want them to know that I lived. I want them to be able to see the photos and read the stories and think, wow, I come from greatness.

Name two iconic people who have inspired you or currently inspire you. 

Natalie Cole and my mother, Louise Taylor. My mother was a Mississippi woman with little education but wisdom beyond her years. She spoke power and purpose into my life.  Natalie Cole spoke fire into me, making me realize college was a real pursuit when I didn’t know and giving me access to words and then worlds that I could never imagine, first indirectly and then as friends.

Please share the evolution of your brand and purpose. 

I went from being an assistant at BET to leaving as a senior supervising producer for series and specials. I went from believing I had one good book in me to working on my ninth now. My brand has evolved as I have and showing people my personal evolution, given my background, makes them see the potential and the purpose in themselves.

How do you build your network for success? 

As I have already, gathering people to me who do what they do well so that I can focus on my work. I have learned that supporting people who are excellent in their fields –publicity, production, et al. — leaves me space to do my part without trying to juggle too many balls in the air.

What two moments in your life changed you the most?

In [the span of] 18 days, I was supposed to be on the flight that took Aaliyah (and seven other wonderful human beings and their pilot) and the Newark-to-LA flight that crashed on 9/11. I think something in that made me look and listen for God in new ways, so when God said go and preach full-time, I had to listen. I kept listening when God opened new production doors, new speaking opportunities and other new wonders.

What piece of advice would you give your teenage self? 

I would tell my teenage self to get out of my head. I overthought everything and while it helped with tests and data, it made me afraid of my own skin is too much. I still forgive my 18-year old self, daily.

What advice would you give to young men about dealing with their emotions?

… your greatness is in your emotions. If you can address them, you can engage them and a man with a heart, head and hope is unstoppable.

 What do you define as your #BlackManMagic?

The greatest definition of it is that we are. In this age of killings and random police calls, the fact that we still create, still love, still endure, that is the stuff of legends.

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