Ralph Burks Taylor was born January 10, 1954 in Dickson, Tennessee to Ralph Andrew and Wilma Burks Taylor. Burks attended public schools in Dickson graduating from Dickson High school in 1972. Burks received a B.S. degree from David Lipscomb College in 1976 and M. A. degree from Tennessee Technological University in 1983. Burks retired from service with the State of Tennessee on May 30, 2008 with 30 years of service.
Burks married Marcia Jane Smith on July 15, 1978 and she passed away on November 20, 1994. They have one son, Andrew Warren Taylor age 27. Burks and Andrew attend the First United Methodist Church in Dickson, Tennessee where he has been an Adult Sunday School Teacher, worked with the Youth Group and served as a Trustee of the Church. He also does sound and video at the 10:30 am Sunday Service.
Brother Taylor was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason on August 6, 2001 in Dickson Lodge No. 468 in Dickson, Tennessee where he served as Worshipful Master in 2005. He is currently serving as Secretary.
Companion Taylor was exalted in Dickson Chapter # 123 Royal Arch Masons on November 8, 2001 and served as Excellent High Priest in 2007 and 2011. He is a life member of Dickson Chapter No. 123. He received the Order of High Priesthood on March 26, 2007. He is a plural member of Donelson Jere Baxter Chapter # 197 and is currently serving as Secretary. In the Grand Chapter, he served as Grand Master of the First Veil in 2008 and the Grand Representative to the State of Delaware since 2005. Companion Taylor served as the District Deputy Grand High Priest for District 6 from 2013 – 2017 and is serving as the District Deputy Grand High Priest for District 5.
Companion Taylor was greeted in Dickson Council No. 107 on November 14, 2001 where he served as Illustrious Master in 2006. He received the Order of the Silver Trowel on March 26, 2007. He is a plural member of Nashville Council No. 1 and served as Illustrious Master in 2013 and is the current Recorder. In the Grand Council, he served as Illustrious Grand Steward in 2010. He was the District 2 Grand Instructor from 2010 to 2014. He is a life member of Dickson Council No. 107. Companion Taylor received the Cryptic Mason of the Year Award on March 23, 2014. Companion Taylor has served as the Chairman for the Advancement of Cryptic Masons since 2010.
Sir Knight Taylor was knighted in Dickson Commandery No. 41 on November 16, 2001, where he served as Eminent Commander in 2007. He received the Knight Crusaders of the Cross on May 4, 2007. He was elected Recorder for the Knight Crusaders of the Cross in 2013. He is a plural member of Nashville Commandery No. 1 and served as Eminent Commander in 2013 and has been the recorder since 2014. SK Taylor is also a plural member of Baldwin Commandery No. 7 where he serves as Instructor and a plural member of Paris Commandery No. 16. SK Taylor is a life member of both Nashville Commandery No. 1 and Dickson Commandery No. 41.
SK Taylor received the Knight Templar Cross of Honor on May 2, 2014 and the Knight Commander of the Temple on May 19, 2014.
In the Grand Commandery SK Taylor is the Grand Representative for Wisconsin (2015). He served as Aide de Camp in 2009, Grand Junior Warden in 2010, Grand Prelate in 2012, and Grand Warder 2014, and was the Knight Templar Eye Foundation State Chairman from 2012 – 2016. On March 24, 2015, SK Taylor was elected Eminent Grand Captain General and has advanced each year, being the current Very Eminent Grand Commander.
Sir Knight Taylor was invited to receive the Knight York Cross of Honor in Tennessee Priory No. 15 on May 1, 2008. He was invited to Middle Tennessee York Rite Sovereign College on January 24, 2004. He received the Order of the Purple Cross, Associate Regent in 2013. He is a member of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry Valley of Memphis (2016). He is a member of Dickson Chapter Order of the Eastern Star # 291 and was Worthy Patron in 2004 and 2006. He is a member of the Royal Order of Scotland (2007); Middle Tennessee Past Masters (2008); Life Member of the Middle Tennessee York Association. He is a past President of the Association and has served as Secretary from 2009 to 2012 and 2015 – 2017. He is a member of the Tennessee Lodge of Research, a life member of Ezra Council No 89 Knight Masons of USA (2008) and currently serving as Scribe, Ray S. Garton Allied Masonic Degrees 2007. He served as Sovereign Master in 2015. He served as Secretary from 2008 – 2014 and 2016 to present. He is Past President of the Tennessee Allied Masonic Degrees Association (2009); Cornelius Chapel #22 Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of Acon (2012) where he is serving as Secretary; Received as a Noble of the Mystic Shrine of North America, Al Menah Temple in Nashville (2001), Masonic Order of the Four Black Llamas (2012). He was elevated to the rank of Companion of the Ancient and Heroic Order of the Gordian Knot (2013). He is a member of Tennessee College Masonic Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis (2013).