Bethel Music CEO, Joel Taylor, has resigned after 13 years at the helm of this popular worship music ministry.
Taylor helped bring Bethel Music into being in 2009, alongside its co-founders Brian and Jenn Johnson. The music ministry – created to steward songs coming out of the charismatic Bethel Church in Redding, California – now reaches over two million monthly listeners worldwide and over four million through social media.
Taylor reminisced about Bethel Music’s humble beginnings when announcing his decision to leave the ministry on Instagram.
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“When we founded the label, we knew God was going to use us to build something special, but God’s plan was even bigger than our dreams — and we had big dreams,” Taylor posted.
“We had no investment capital and minimal support, so with the little revenue we had, I hired a part-time bookkeeper and got an intern. At that time, the music industry was in a downward spiral and labels were doing massive layoffs,” he said.
Taylor continued: “As we tried to create our own label, we were told we could never do it on our own. They didn’t play worship on the radio back then and they told us we wouldn’t ever be on the radio. When we wanted to bring worship to the world on tour, we were told people wouldn’t host us. We had to listen to God and believe in our hearts the ‘impossible’ could happen, and it did.”
While Taylor has played a significant role behind the scenes in the success of Bethel Music, he is perhaps best known publicly for his son Jaxon’s miraculous recovery from an E.Coli infection.
When then two-year-old Jaxon contracted the infection in December 2017, doctors thought it would kill him. The infection had spread through his kidneys and doctors rushed him into surgery, thinking he may not make it through the night.
Joel and his wife Janie took to social media to ask for prayer for their son, and for their daughter Addie (then four) who was also hopsitalised with the infection, although it was not as severe.
The song “Raise a Hallelujah” was written by Bethel artists Jonathan David and Melissa Hesler in response to Jaxon’s struggle for life in the weeks following his surgery.
Reflecting on Jaxon’s miraculous recovery in December 2018, his mum and Joel’s wife, Janie Taylor, posted: “Jaxon’s healing was not just a victory for our family but for all of you who prayed for him. I pray that this song will, in turn, give you hope and issue in the victory you are contending for in this season. I pray Jaxon’s testimony is a gift back to you – to believe anything is possible no matter what mountains you face.”⠀⠀⠀
Songwriter Melissa Hesler described “Raise a Hallelujah”, which featured on the Bethel Music album Victory, as a “song of breakthrough and intercession and rejoicing and delighting in Jesus.”
Bethel Music released a video about the Taylor’s ordeal and Jaxon’s miraculous recovery in February 2019.
Taylor shared a photo of his family alongside his resignation announcement, saying they are moving to a new home in in Tennessee.
Although he was not is definitive about what he is moving on to, Taylor said he has been on a “deep pursuit of God, His truth, His presence, and His direction as I enter into my second-half of life.”
“I’m grateful for my time with Bethel in Redding, and leave with a heart full of love and gratitude,” Taylor said.
Referring to the seemingly impossible growth of Bethel Music – and perhaps thinking about the miraculous restoration of Jaxon’s health – Taylor added: “I love stepping into the unknown and trusting God as he manifest what seems to be the impossible and am excited to do it again.”