Margaret West Taylor, Wife of Dr. Kenneth Taylor and Cofounder of Tyndale House Publishers, Celebrates 100th Birthday
On Thursday, March 23, 2017, employees and friends of Tyndale House Publishers will honor Margaret West Taylor, wife of the late Dr. Kenneth N. Taylor and cofounder of Tyndale House Publishers, at a special chapel program on her 100th birthday.
Margaret Taylor was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. She studied home economics at Oregon State University (and at Wheaton College for one year), graduating with the highest GPA of anyone in the department. After a long courtship that culminated in a spur-of-the-moment marriage in 1940, Margaret and Ken Taylor embarked on a remarkable, and at times challenging, ministry journey.
By the time Tyndale House Publishers was launched with the publication of Living Letters in July 1962, the Taylors had 10 children. Margaret was the glue that held the family together, navigating through several moves (due to the housing shortage following WWII) and managing a large household with limited finances while Ken commuted long distances to work and was often gone for days at a time. In the dedication of his autobiography, Ken Taylor writes, “she worked unceasingly at home during the family years,” and later describes Margaret as “the stronger one” during that difficult period.
Margaret also had a hands-on role in the business, working as a proofreader, order-entry clerk, and business manager, and effectively serving as Tyndale’s first COO. She retired from business operations in 1981 at age 64 after having worked for 19 years. The company had grown from ground zero to being one of the larger Christian publishing companies.
In April 2001, Tyndale House achieved record annual sales of $178 million. Later that year, Ken and Margaret Taylor donated the majority of their stock in the company to the Tyndale House Foundation.
In addition to her impact on the vision and long-term success of Tyndale House Publishers, Margaret Taylor’s legacy is one of faith and dependence on God. Throughout her 100 years, she has been, and continues to be, a living example of what it means to love and follow Christ wholeheartedly and in all circumstances. Ken Taylor wrote, “Her own quiet, steady love for our Lord has been a constant inspiration to me”—just as it has for all who have come to know her.
The next generation of Tyndale House employees now strives to live out the corporate purpose to “minister to the spiritual needs of people, primarily through literature consistent with biblical principles.” They do so with Ken and Margaret Taylor’s example of humble servanthood and faithful leadership. It is the company’s hope and prayer to carry on the Taylors’ legacy for the next 100 years and beyond, to the honor and glory of our heavenly Father and his Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.