Bethel Music CEO Joel Taylor has resigned after 13 years at the helm of this popular music ministry of worship.
Taylor helped establish Bethel Music in 2009, along with co-founders Brian and Jenn Johnson. The music ministry—created to curate songs from the charismatic Bethel Church in Redding, California—now reaches more than two million monthly listeners worldwide and more than four million through social media.
Taylor reminisced about Bethel Music’s humble beginnings when he announced his decision to leave the ministry on Instagram.
“When we started the label, we knew God would use us to build something special, but God’s plan was even bigger than our dreams — and we had big dreams,” Taylor wrote.
“We had no investment capital and minimal support, so with little income, I hired a part-time bookkeeper and got an intern. At the time, the music industry was in a downward spiral, and labels had to be fired en masse,” he said.
Taylor continued: “When we tried to create our label, we were told we could never do it alone. When we wanted to bring worship to the world on tour, we were told that people would not receive us. They didn’t play worship on the radio then and they told us we would never be on the radio. We had to listen to God and believe in our hearts that the ‘impossible’ could happen, and it did.”
While Taylor has been instrumental in Bethel Music’s success behind the scenes, he is perhaps most famous 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 disease had spread through his kidneys, and doctors rushed him to the operating room, thinking he might not make it through the night.
Joel and his wife Janie took to social media to ask for prayers for their son and their daughter Addie (then four), who was also hospitalized with the infection, although it was not as serious.
The song “Raise a Hallelujah” was written by Bethel performers 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 mother and Joel’s wife, Janie Taylor, posted the following: “Jaxon’s recovery was not only a victory for our family, but for all of you who prayed for him. In turn, I pray that this song will give you hope and contribute to the victory you are fighting for this season. I pray that Jaxon’s testimony is a gift to you – to believe that anything is possible no matter what mountains you encounter.” ⠀⠀⠀
Songwriter Melissa Hesler described “Raise a Hallelujah,” featured on the Bethel Music album Victory, as a “song of breakthrough and intercession and joy and delight in Jesus.”
Bethel Music released a video in February 2019 detailing Taylor’s ordeal and Jaxon’s miraculous recovery.
Taylor shared a photo of his family alongside his resignation announcement and said they are moving into a new home in Tennessee.
While he wasn’t definitive on where he’s going, Taylor said he’s been following a “deep search for God, His truth, His presence, and His direction as I enter the second half of my life.”
“I am grateful for my time at Bethel in Redding and leave with a heart full of love and gratitude,” said Taylor.
Referring to the seemingly impossible growth of Bethel Music—and perhaps thinking of the miraculous recovery of Jaxon’s health—Taylor added: “I love to step into the unknown and trust God as he manifests what seems impossible, and I am excited to do it again.”