Pastors' Memoirs

Albert Ray Miller, 1927-2002

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  Albert Ray Miller went to his Heavenly Home on June 28, 2002. He was born on Sept. 20, 1927, in Whitetop, Virginia. He was the son of a Baptist minister. He graduated from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Chesapeake Community College and Duke University Divinity School. He pastored Red Valley (Boones Mill), Rehoboth (Wirtz), and Concord (Chatham). After retirement he pastored Westover Hills (Danville) and Fork Mountain (Bassett).

  He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Goldia Miller. He is also survived by three daughters, one son, one brother, two sisters, 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

  It was my privilege to know and work with Ray Miller during my first pastoral appointment. During the few years we shared after his retirement, Ray was to me what every pastor hopes to have, a model of Christian discipleship and pastoral leadership that inspires and challenges one to faithfulness in ministry. He was also my friend.

  Ray had a keen sense of the dynamics of church life born out of his many years of pastoral experience, but also out of his profound commitment to the integrity and unique challenges of pastoral ministry. This he demonstrated by going out of his way to offer support, encouragement, and assistance whenever it was needed, while yet insisting that he do nothing to "get in the way" of my leadership or the ministry of the congregation. For everyone who knew this humble and gentle man, that was the least of our concerns.

  Even in declining health Ray continued to serve others as long as he was able; filling the pulpit, mentoring another new pastor, serving Communion monthly to a congregation in need and, with Goldia, attending Disciple Bible Study classes. He had even, at my urging, dug out his old guitar and began working on the long list of Faith We Sing choruses that we hoped to introduce to the congregation.

  It has been said that, as we live, so we die. In the last months and weeks before his death, Ray’s spirit of service remained steadfast as he encouraged and ministered to those of us who attended his bedside. His testimony to the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness was unwavering. As his pastor, I often felt as if I had received from him far more than I was able to give. Ray was, to the last, a faithful servant of Christ and the church, and an inspiration to this young pastor whose life he touched so deeply and graciously.

  Thanks be to God for His servant, Ray Miller.

— Bruce Johnson

 

 

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