Home—New York, NY.
Writer, pastor, and novelist. East Seventh Baptist Church, New York, NY, pastor, 1986—; Graffiti on East Seventh Street, pastor, 1991—.
Best Outreach Resource Award, Testimony/Biography category, Outreach magazine, 2003, for Mercy Streets.
(With Susan Field) Peace in a Violent World: A Look into the Garden from the City, Woman's Missionary Union (Birmingham, AL), 1998.
(With Jo Kadlecek) A Church Called Graffiti: Finding Grace on the Lower East Side, Broadman & Holman (Nashville, TN), 2001.
Mercy Streets: Seeing Grace on the Streets of New York, Broadman & Holman (Nashville, TN), 2003.
Squat (novel), Broadman & Holman (Nashville, TN), 2006.
Taylor Field is a writer and a pastor who has served congregations in some of the bleakest, most violent areas of New York City. In A Church Called Graffiti: Finding Grace on the Lower East Side, Field describes how he was called to leave his home in Oklahoma for more challenging surroundings. Field found himself and his family living and working in the drug-ravaged, dangerous streets of Manhattan's Lower East Side. At first unsure of why he was there, Field eventually settled into a productive routine and spent more than fifteen years in the city. He ministered to a diverse congregation, including a woman whose apartment was filled with a quarter-century's accumulation of trash; a local drug lord; and a homeless man wracked with grief over the death of his dog. Field's adventures in the inner city inspire "important questions for Christians about the meaning of the gospel," commented John Green in Booklist. Field speaks honestly and clearly about his "struggles with success, his family's safety, and his season of burnout," noted David E. Carlson in Leadership.
In the essay collection Mercy Streets: Seeing Grace on the Streets of New York, Field "shows how God can salvage hope amid the wreckage of lives in New York City," commented Cindy Crosby in Christianity Today. Field's work with people who are at the lowest point in their lives, including drug addicts and the desperately poor, provide inspiring stories of redemption and the reclamation of lost dignity. For example, an addict watches a small tree fight for survival among the cracks in the concrete and uses the example of its tenacious struggle as a metaphor to help him toward recovery and wholeness. Field also recounts stories of the everyday running of the ministry, and finds additional inspiration in the story of planned events such as "Dog Day Afternoon," in which homeless people are encouraged to bring their pets for veterinary care. Field's proximity to the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, also provides him with stories of hope, including one about a young couple who held their marriage ceremony in the midst of the cleanup. Crosby called Field's insight into the humanity of his flock "inspiring."
Squat, Field's debut novel, follows protagonist Squid as he traverses twenty-four hours in his life. The young man, suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears for his life after being involved in a drug deal gone bad. The reader catches a glimpse of the ways in which desperate and impoverished city dwellers survive on the street as Squid begs for money, wanders the streets, and visits a mission to pray for assistance. With this book, Field "paints believably … an almost inescapable universe worlds away from the lives of middle-class New Yorkers," commented a Publishers Weekly reviewer.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 15, 2001, John Green, review of A Church Called Graffiti: Finding Grace on the Lower East Side, p. 167.
Christianity Today, February 1, 2004, Cindy Crosby, review of Mercy Streets: Seeing Grace on the Streets of New York, p. 84.
Leadership, winter, 2002, David E. Carlson, review of A Church Called Graffiti, p. 113.
Publishers Weekly, July 31, 2006, review of Squat, p. 53.
Bedford Review,http://jimfictionreview.blogspot.com/ (September 14, 2006), interview with Taylor Field, part one; (September 15, 2006), interview with Taylor Field, part two.
Taylor Field Web Log,http://www.taylorfield.wordpress.com (April 24, 2007).