James Parker Miller
Biographical Sketch On
The Life Of James P. Miller
"Now in the very beginning of my
part of this service . . ." With booming voice, twinkling eyes, and
those familiar words, he would begin. Like a fine race horse anxiously
awaiting a signal to start the running, he showed an eagerness to start to
work on his audience. Usually he would be speaking before he reached the
He knew how to move an audience. Never did he lack
for a good story to illustrate his point. His hearers would laugh heartily
at his old Kentucky anecdotes, but when he preached about the price of
redemption, the love of God for sinners, or the blood-bought church, and
these were his favorite themes, his voice would break with emotion and
tears would come to the eyes of his hearers.
Born in Hazel, Kentucky, July 1, 1915, he was one
of two sons of J. R. and Mattie Parker Miller. His mother had a degree in
Elocution and Oratory, and from early childhood James Parker was put on
the platform and coached and trained by her. His old-style oratory, used
with great effect in preaching and debating, was as natural with him as
eating and breathing. His father instilled in him a love for good poetry.
His education included college work at Murray
State, only seven miles from his native town. He attended Freed-Hardeman
College at Henderson, Tennessee, for one quarter, then enrolled in Union
University at Jackson, Tennessee, for his junior and senior years.
Debating was his principal interest during those college years.
It was in 1936 at Murray, Kentucky, that James
Parker preached his first sermon. Soon he made a reputation as an
energetic young preacher in Western Kentucky and Western Tennessee. Many
brethren knew him only as James Parker or Brother Parker.
The Thayer St. Church in Akron, Ohio, one of the
largest congregations north of the Ohio River at that time, invited him to
work with them on a temporary basis in the fall of 1937. He stayed two and
one-half years and baptized 187 people.
For five years, 1940-45, he worked with the 56th
St. and Warrington Ave. Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This was one
of several churches of Christ started in North America by British
brethren. Most of its members had come to the United States from
Birmingham, England, where they were members of the Old Gate St. Church of
Christ. They brought with them certain British customs and peculiarities.
For example, they believed in the mutual ministry system. Strangely, they
let Miller preach week after week but never admitted that he was them
located preacher. Each Sunday, he would be introduced as James P. Miller,
an evangelist from Akron, Ohio, or as James P. Miller, an evangelist from
During the Philadelphia years, he would go home to
Kentucky to hold meetings. At Williams Chapel in Galloway County he met
Robbie Nell Myers. They were soon married. Their only child, Rodney, was
born in Philadelphia, in 1943 while the father was in Detroit, Michigan, preaching
in a meeting. Miller did extensive radio work while in
Philadelphia. His first book was Philadelphia Radio Sermons.
The family moved from Philadelphia to Evansville,
Indiana, in 1945, and for two years James preached for the Bellemeade Ave.
Church. In 1947, they moved to their own little place called
"Hideaway," between Hazel and Murray, but soon James was
preaching at Clements St. in Paducah. Wherever they lived, he always spent
a lot of time away from home in gospel meetings.
In the fall of 1949, this writer first crossed
paths with the subject of this sketch. I came to Florida Christian
College, then a four-year school, as a junior. In August of that year, the
Millers had moved to Florida from Kentucky, and Bobbie was employed by the
college to teach home economics. James preached here and there and held
meetings. I first heard him preach in a meeting with the old Howard Ave.
church in Tampa. A few weeks before his death I asked him if he remembered
a sermon that he preached at Howard Ave. on "The Last Days." He
had completely forgotten it. I told him that it was the only sermon I ever
heard him preach that I could outline it, and I still have the outline. He
put the references on the blackboard, showing that Isa. 2, Dan. 2, and
Joel 2 were fulfilled in Acts 2.
For about 21 months in 1952-53 the Millers lived in
Orlando, Florida. James worked with the Jefferson St. Church and did an
exceptionally effective radio broadcast on WORZ. I lived in nearby DeLand
during Bart of that time and was among his early morning listeners via
The Miller family returned to Tampa in 1953 where
they remained until 1969. Bobbie returned to her work in the classroom at
Florida College, and her devoted husband preached for the Seminole Church.
During these years the Seminole brethren relocated and erected a spacious
new building. Jim Miller gave his heart and soul to building up the
Seminole Congregation, although he was away for extended periods preaching
The first time I saw Miller after moving to Temple
Terrace in 1968, he blurted out, "Now I want to tell you one thing.
We are glad to have you in the Tampa area, but I want you to understand
that I am going to cut your throat every chance I get!" He knew that
I knew he was joking. James P. Miller was not one to build up a
congregation at the expense of taking members from a neighboring
congregation. He deplored such a practice and called it "sheepstealing."
For nearly five years, 1969-73, Bobbie and James P.
were back in their native Kentucky. He preached for the 12th St. Church in
The next four years were spent on the east coast of
Florida. Following this period of labor with the Merritt Island Church, it
was back to Tampa. Declining health curtailed his activities, but the Del
Rio Church was blessed with his preaching in the last few months of 1977.
He kept on trying to hold meetings when he was not really able to go. He
wore himself out doing what he loved -- preaching the gospel.
Having made the debate team at Hazel when ten years
old and in the seventh grade, James P. debated while in high school and
won many honors on debate teams in college. This gave him experience that
he put to good use in later years.
While preaching in Philadelphia, he had a two-night
skirmish with Bishop S. C. Johnson, founder of the "Church of the
Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, Inc." He engaged Paul
Mackey in a Sunday afternoon discussion at Pottstown, Pennsylvania, on the
subject of cups and classes. In 1946 while living at Evansville, he met
"Red" Bingham, a Missionary Baptist, in a four night clash. Not
long after coming to Florida in 1949, he was defending the truth in this
area. In Feb., 1950, at Zephyrhills, he had a three-night debate with
Clarence C. Hamm, a Landmark Baptist. Clinton D. Hamilton moderated for
him, and later reported in the Gospel Advocate, "Brother Miller is
one of the most convincing and forceful debaters in his generation."
In the summer of 1950 he had a four-night
discussion with L. R. Riley, Missionary Baptist, at Mayfield, Kentucky. It
was reported that five to eight thousand people jammed the fairgrounds
grandstand to hear the debate. Pat Hardeman was Miller's moderator.
Nashville, Georgia, was the arena for a four-night
debate with W. T. Cook in October, 1954. Cook was a Progressive Primitive
Baptist. Telling about this debate later, Miller would say, "That is
a contradiction in terms if ever there was such. Progressive means going
forward. Primitives requires going backward. Mr. Cook was a going-forward
Orlando, Florida, was the scene of a three-night
debate in May, 1955. Morris Butler Book of the "Christian
Church" affirmed the use of instrumental music in worship. Franklin
T. Puckett moderated for Miller. About a thousand people heard each
session and the entire debate was published.
In the fall of 1955, he had a four-night debate
with Thomas O. Dennis of the "Church of God" at Charleston,
South Carolina. This was followed in the spring of 1956 with another
four-night battle with Billy Sunday Myers at Lancaster, South Carolina.
Myers and Dennis took the "holiness" positions.
A five-night discussion was conducted with L.
Chester Guinn, Baptist, at Clute, Texas, in December, 1959. W.
Curtis Porter was scheduled for this debate, but an injury made it
necessary for someone to take his place. Earlier, Miller had debated
another Baptist, Albert Garner, for four nights in Miami, Florida.
In August, 1965, Miller debated G. K. Wallace in
Tampa for four nights on church support of human institutions and the
Herald of Truth type of cooperation. The same issues were debated with Guy
N. Woods in Montgomery, Alabama, in the summer of 1966. It was my
privilege to hear this debate from beginning to end. Another Montgomery
debate with Woods was conducted in February, 1972. In the first encounter
with Woods, James P.'s brother, Bob Miller, moderated for most of the
James P. was highly effective as a debater. When
the esteemed W. Curtis Porter passed away, Miller wrote, "Brethren
who want the blood-bought church to do her work through human institutions
could not answer his arguments in his life and they can not answer them in
his death." The same may be said now of Miller's arguments.
While living in Evansville, James P. became editor
of the Christian Leader. That journal was in its 60th year and the aging
F. L. Rowe could carry the burden no longer. Realizing that the men
associated with the Leader were too liberal for him, James P. terminated
his work as editor in a relatively short time.
In 1957, H. E. Phillips and James P. began
publishing the Florida Newsletter which soon became the Southeastern
Newsletter. They launched a full-size periodical in January, 1960, and
called it Searching the Scriptures. For a full decade their names appeared
as co-editors. They made a good team. Phillips had the skill, patience,
and determination to edit and write. Miller had the brass and steam to
interest brethren in subscribing. Today, that publication, capably edited
by Connie W. Adams, enjoys the largest circulation of any conservative
subscription-type periodical. It was started to fight institutionalism but
developed into more general use.
James P. Miller had the courage of a lion and the
gentleness of a lamb. His words were sometimes blunt but he was bighearted
and full of humor. He was not the most logical man ever born, but he had a
ready answer, He gave no appearance of being a scholar, but he loved the
Bible and preached it well.
There was an earnestness about him despite a lot of
foolishness. He was cheerful and optimistic. He could inspire and
encourage when others saw only gloom.
I remember riding back to the college campus with
him one night after hearing him preach at old Howard Ave. That was in
about 1950 or 1951. I asked him a question about the fight over
institutionalism which was then gaining momentum. He replied that years
before he had come under the influence of Foy E. Wallace, Jr., who had
taught him well, and he therefore had no problem in deciding on the
issues. When division came, he stood firmly for the all-sufficiency of the
church to do its God-given work.
On October 14, 1977, I talked with him and heard
him speak for the last time. It was a social meeting of the Tampa Bay
Chapter of Florida College Alumni. James P. quoted poetry to entertain the
group. When quoting a poem with some lines about being true to oneself, he
paused in sober reflection. "You know," he said, "when the
issues arose that divided the church, we had to be true to
ourselves." Looking directly at the aging Harry Pickup, St., he
remarked, "I don't know what other course we could have taken and
still have been true to ourselves, Harry." Then he added, "I am
willing to go to judgment on it."
The sun set on his earthly day, Saturday, January
7, 1978. The following Tuesday afternoon a large crowd of Christians'
gathered at the Seminole meeting house for his funeral. His longtime
friend and brother in the Lord, James R. Cope, delivered a moving tribute.
Everett Mann read a section of Scripture that James P. had chosen
In 1971, Rodney M. Miller published an interesting
little book about his father. The title is Pap -The Broken Mold. If you
knew James P., you will enjoy reading the book.
Brother Miller loved poetry. The following lines
from William Cullen Bryant seem appropriate here:
"So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan which moves
To that mysterious realm, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams."
- Ivin Himmel, Temple Terrace, FLorida,
Truth Magazine Vol. 24 No. 10,
March 9, 1978, pages 167-169,
James Parker Miller
The following article is the complete sermon which
Brother James R. Cope delivered at the funeral of James Parker Miller. It
is published without comment. To add words to it would detract from it.
Except for members of his family and one or two
other persons, I have probably known James Parker Miller longer than any
other person in this assembly. Both of us were in gospel meetings in
Detroit, Michigan, during the first week of October, 1943, when we first
met. He often told that the two of us were sitting on a park bench in that
city discussing problems of the brotherhood at the very moment Rodney was
being born in Philadelphia. Though we saw each other infrequently and I
was with him for a gospel meeting in Evansville five years later, there
was to develop between us a bond about which neither of us talked a great
deal but which both of us understood. It was a bond which grew deeper,
warmer and increasingly meaningful as those early years moved into a
decade, that decade into a score of years; and now almost 35 years later
with his time on earth ended and mine rapidly running out, I find myself
beside his bier struggling for the kind of words he often, with sympathy
and with meaning, spoke to many of you under similar circumstances as he
sought so earnestly to bring the ointment of comfort to your broken and
bleeding hearts. It was this bond which brought us to Florida together. It
was this bond which caused us to stand together, kneel in prayer together
and fight side by side together on every major issue with which our
brethren have wrestled for the last 30 years. It was this same bond that
causes me to believe that the same spirit of this noble warrior which
dwelt in this oft-carved, pain-wrecked body of clay, around which we
gather today, peers from the portals of glory in that God-built, God-made
city which hath the foundations about which he preached so much, that city
toward which judges, kings, patriarchs, prophets, priests, and preachers
of 6000 years have looked and for which they have lived and labored and
died. Methinks that same voice which here so often shouted the story of
the suffering but reigning Savior is now singing with that great
blood-washed throng redemption's song of Moses and the Lamb! It is this
bond, not of mere earthly interests, which has been the basis of our love
and friendship and fellowship for more than half the life of either of us.
It is the bond of the gospel, my brethren, the gospel of our Lord and
Savior, Jesus Christ! It was this bond which bound the beloved John to
Gaius and was the basis of his deep love for that brother. It was this
bond of common faith and hope and love which bound Jim Miller and me
together through the years.
But be it said to his perpetual praise: it was this
same faith, hope and love which bound James Miller to every gospel
preacher, to every faithful elder, to every man, to every woman, and to
every child who held steadfastly to the same gospel he proclaimed. I never
had occasion to doubt where he stood for I never doubted what or in whom
In our experiences together for the last 35 years,
I had occasion to introduce Jim Miller to more audiences than any other
man of my lifetime unless that man be Homer Hailey. I suspect also that I
heard him preach as many different times as any other man within my
lifetime. I never saw him when his faith faltered or his defense and
proclamation of it was so faint he could not be heard. He was never at a
loss for words either in private conversation or on the platform. And in
the fine art of public repartee he had no superior and possibly no equal.
His first and most influential speech teacher was his own mother. The
finished product was the best evidence of her success. Jim's tenderness
and gentleness he obtained from her. His business head, sales ability, and
sometime bluntness came from his father whom I knew. His energy came form
both sides of the house. Knowing both parents as I did, I have often said
that he got his brains and manners from his mother, his brass and brawn
from his father, and his drive from both.
In his high school and college days, James Miller
was a champion in every forensic field he entered. He excelled in
declamation and oratory but debating was his first love in those days. He
met and mastered representatives of some of the biggest name schools in
America. Various men who have made their marks all the way from state
legislatures and the federal congress, with governors' mansions thrown in
for good measure, bowed in those yesteryears before this boy who was
destined to give his life in the service of the government whose eternal
King gives Caesar his power. How great the contrast! How different the
issues! How divergent the rewards.
It was during these college debating years at Union
University that James P. began his preaching. Some years later he was
exposed firsthand to brotherhood journalism and still later became editor
of the old Christian Leader published for many decades in Cincinnati.
Nineteen years ago this month he and Elwood Phillips became co-owners and
co-editors of Searching the Scriptures. In all these years his column,
"I Marvel," has appeared periodically in this journal. The rapid
growth and wide circulation of this paper is due much to Brother Miller's
talking about it and obtaining subscribers all across the country.
James Miller was an exceedingly popular preacher.
His first regular preaching stand was in Philadelphia, later in
Evansville, and then in Paducah in his native Kentucky. When he and Bobbie
and Georgia Deane and I first came to Florida, he spent practically all
of his preaching #efforts in protracted meetings. His services were in
constant demand and hundreds responded to the gospel call through his
efforts. Later the Millers left the Florida College campus for a stay of
two or three years in Orlando. But Tampa always had a hold on them. They
came back to Seminole where they remained longer than anywhere else. Some
years ago he moved to Twelfth Street in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and
finally back to Florida. After some years at Meritt Island, he again moved
to Tampa only this last summer and, when not in meetings, worshiped and
worked at Del Rio.
In the early years of the present administration at
Florida College, he traveled extensively in the interest of the school.
Other than gas money he never drew a dime in salary. Bobbie taught with us
almost 20 years, and Jim became such a fixture on campus that many thought
he was officially connected with the College. It was while making his home
in Paducah in 1949 that James P. volunteered Bobbie's services to teach
home economics and business in Tampa. He was traveling with me to Illinois
on a tour in quest of faculty members for the new administration when his
decision was made to move. The more he heard about Florida, the more he
seemed to like the climate. "Florida College needs a teach with
Bobbie's qualifications," he said, "so if she's willing to go,
you can pay her and you'll get me for good measure!" The deal was
made on the spot subject to Bobbie's liking, and that explains why the
larger part of the last half of the Millers' life has been in the Sunshine
I need not tell this audience about the devotion
between Jim and his beloved Bobbie whom he affectionately called
"Mother," or of the pardonable pride he had in Rod. She was the
darling of his heart and life, and he the apple of his father's eye. His
love extended to his lively daughter-in-law Carla, whom he considered as
his own daughter. He knew the joy of grandfatherhood and was happy to
report the doings of little Brian and Meredith.
His concern for the aged saint is well known in
this audience for there are those here today whose hearts have throbbed at
the tender and encouraging words he spoke to them, the hearty laugh he
brought them, and the hope-giving prayer he prayed beside their own or a
lifelong companion's sickbed. And little children knew the gentleness of
his voice and the security of his sturdy hand clasped around their own.
They knew that "Brudder Miller" knew where to find striped
candy, bubble gum, and ice cream. Grandmothers now, who were young mothers
in the early days of Florida College, will never forget his thoughtfulness
for their need to get away from the daily routine of child watching as he
volunteered his services to baby sit while they did their grocery
shopping, their laundry, or simply drove away for two or three hours on
Saturday afternoons to be with their student or faculty-member husbands. I
know these things first hand because on numerous occasions he carried my
own children, sometimes with Rodney and sometimes without him, to the soda
fountain or walked them in the nearby park and often encouraged my wife in
her motherhood role when I was hundreds of miles from home. He was a great
lover of Kipling's poetry, memorized it extensively, and learned well how
to walk with kings yet lost not the common touch.
To this audience, even as it would be with hundreds
of others across this land, if I were to detail numerous episodes in Jim
Miller's life, such would be but a reply of information you and they have
known from firsthand experience. Time forbids that I even attempt to trace
the detailed course of this man's life since the day he began preaching.
There are so many interesting things both in and out of the pulpit it
would take hours, if not days, to do them justice. Many of you have read
Rodney's book about his father. If you have not read it, I hope you will.
It is rightly titled Pap-the Broken Mold. It does the job I refer to and
does it well. In some way this man has touched every life present for
good. This within itself is a great compliment. Everyone here knows,
however, that nobody got close to our brother without feeling the effects
of his presence for good. Even his critics who, before encounter, thought
him an easy prey left his presence aware that they had met a man!
I find myself in a strait between two strong
desires at this time. On the one hand I want to reminisce about those
pleasantries as well as some of the pains of the past yet know that the
word of God needs to be exalted. Some days ago when plans were being
finalized for this occasion, these two points were considered and
discussed among Jim, Bobbie and Rodney. I am following their wishes when I
keep the personal references to a forgivable minimum and address myself to
I had thought to give attention to these peculiarly
spiritual matters in my own words and way. I knew that Jim wanted me to
speak on something taken from the Ephesian letter, for this was his
favorite book. As I thought about this matter, it occurred to me that I
could never compose anything to equal what James P. Miller himself has
said about certain aspects of this great epistle. Though I shall try not
to impose unduly upon your time, I here call your attention to some of
tire richest thoughts James Parker Miller ever penned when he wrote his
popular workbook-commentary: "The Glorious Bride"-- Paul's Essay
on the Church. He pulled no punches in the pulpit. He pulled no punches
with his pen.
Concerning emphasis on the church, Brother Miller
"It is common today to hear that we give too
much emphasis to the church. Such men say we ought to preach Christ and
say little about the church. If the church were purposed from all
eternity, if the church is the bride of Christ, and if the Lord bought it
with his death on the cross, we are not afraid we will give it too much
attention. When we preach the cross of Christ, we preach the church paid
for at the cross and bought by the blood of Jesus. If there is any way to
emphasize this too much, then there must be a way to emphasize the cross
and the blood of Christ too strongly. What sound Christian in the world
can believe such could be true?"
Brother Miller wrote about Paul's address to the
Ephesian elders as recorded in Acts 20. He speaks of Paul's reference to
his own steadfastness and makes some timely observation. He said:
"The Lord has always needed men who could not
be moved in their service to him. Paul above others was unique in this
regard. He makes this great statement in verse 24. 'But none of these
things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might
finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the
Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.' Paul was not
affected by the things that cause other men to become unfaithful.
"First, he was not moved by his former
teachers and associates. If after the Lord appeared to him on the road to
Damascus he had trusted in their advice he would have never become the
great apostle to the Gentiles. He would have said, 'Wait and See how it
all comes out.' Wait and see who wins the battles and then throw your lot
with the victors.
"Paul was not moved by financial
considerations. Trained as other Jewish boys in a trade, he made tents
time and again to pay his way while he suffered for the cause he knew was
right. Paul would have stood with the Lord at the cost of his life and
openly did so at Lystra.
"The apostle was not moved by the unpopularity
of the cross of Christ. He would have stood for the gospel if he had to
stand alone and did so in his first defense before the Roman authorities.
He wrote to Timothy in II Timothy 4:16-17: 'At my first answer no man
stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid
to their charge. Notwithstanding, the Lord stood with me, and strengthened
me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the
Gentiles might hear; and I was delivered out of the mouth of the
"What about you? Can you be moved from
faithful service to the Lord by those with whom you formerly associated?
Can you be moved by the love of money? Does it hurt you to the point that
you compromise the truth when the teaching of Jesus becomes unpopular?
None of these things moved Paul."
Regarding the "All-Sufficiency of the
church" Brother Miller wrote:
"As a result of having the whole council of
God preached by Paul, the church of Ephesus was in the unity of the faith.
(see Eph. 4:1-6) This gave them all that they needed to do anything that
the Lord wanted done. They were completely independent spiritually from
everything else on earth. They looked to no school, paper, or center or
influence. They were not a part of any super organization that exercised
control over them. God needs no unit larger than the local congregation to
do his work. The local church is sufficient; it is all-sufficient!"
I suppose there is no other part of the Ephesian
letter in which Brother Miller delighted more than the first six verses of
Ephesians chapter 4. These verses read as follows:
"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech
you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called. With all lowliness and meekness, with
longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in
the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are
called in one hope of-your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and
through all, and in you all."
Here are some statements Brother Miller made
concerning this text:
"There is a wonderful unity and harmony in all
that the Holy Spirit revealed. For uninspired men to make an outline of
this body of teaching would be difficult indeed. The God of heaven has
made one for us in the next three verses. These divine items are so
important we will deal with each separately and in depth."
In The Expression, "One
Body," We Find Unity In Organization.
"In the first chapter, verse 22 tells us
Christ is the head over all things to the church and verse 23 tells us
that the church is his body. This gives us one head and one body. Anything
else would be a reproach on the figure used for the church and on every
teaching of the sacred scriptures. Men teach that Christ is the head of
every denomination on earth and this would give us many bodies with just
one head. We call attention again to this figure as it is used in 1
Corinthians 12:14 where Paul tells us, 'the body is not one member, but
many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the
body, is it therefore not of the body?' Christians are the members of this
wonderful body and in the passage above some are likened to the hand, the
eye, the foot, etc. Again we learn that all members of the body have
different functions but all are essential to the proper working of the
church of Christ. For many years we have used this simple statement to
show that there is but one organization in the New Testament bought by the
blood of Christ and that all man-made denominations are wrong. The same
can be said of any man who tries to attach to the divine head anything not
found in the word of God. The body, the church, can only move at the
direction of the head and that is Christ."
In "One Spirit" We
See Unity In Revelation.
"God purposes, Christ executes, and the Holy
Spirit reveals. His revelation to man is perfect. This is why we can
demand exact obedience to God's word. We know that the Spirit gave to the
apostles exactly what the Lord gave to him and they in turn wrote it for
us. Jesus told the disciples in John 16:13, 'howbeit when he, the Spirit
of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth.' Th4 is why we are
silent when the scriptures are silent. We have all of the mind of God in
the word of God that our heavenly Father planned for us to have in this
In "One Hope" We
Observe Unity Of Purpose.
"In Colossians 1:5 Paul calls it 'the hope
that is laid up for„you in heaven.' It causes the Christian to endure
persecutions and hardships without a murmur. The hope for a better
tomorrow makes all of us work for that day to be realized. We need to
remember that those who do not obey the gospel cannot have this hope. In 1
Thessalonians 4:13 we are told of 'those who have no hope.' This cannot be
true with God's children who 'for the joy set before them' work for their
reward in heaven."
In "One Lord" We
Find Unity Of Authority.
"There is but one source of authority in the
New Testament which is Christ, the one Lord. When he gave the great
commission he said, 'All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.'
On the Mount of Transfiguration the apostles were told by God from heaven
to hear Christ. We have the wonderful reading in Hebrews 1 which tells us
that 'God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in times past
unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us
by his Son.' The troubles of the world could be solved if men would just
listen to Jesus. For the church to own Christ as head and then act without
his authority is unthinkable. This is why we must do all 'in the name of
the Lord.' The present issues before the church would disappear if we
would just hear Christ and Christ only."
In "One Faith"
There Is Seen Unity Of Belief.
"This can only be possible because we have one
faith. We draw all of our instructions from the same source, the New
Testament. The popular idea in the world today is that every man can have
his own faith and indeed this is what the creeds of man have created.
Sometimes we hear men speak of `my faith' and 'our faith.' All of this is
unknown to the word of God. There is but one Lord and he gave but one
In The Term "One
Baptism" Is Seen Unity Of Practice.
"The one baptism of this passage is the door
to all the other blessings listed. We are baptized into the one Lord to
become children of the one God, at the direction of the one Faith that we
may be a part of the one body and be guided by the one Spirit to enjoy the
one hope. It is little wonder that we have it as one of the seven
essential things in the New Testament. We can tell men and principles by
the company they keep. The place the one baptism has in these verses
denotes its importance in the one faith."
In "One God" We
Find Unity Of Worship.
"Little needs be said here about the oneness
of God. He is the Father of all things and the object of our worship.
When John at the close of the book of Revelation
tried to worship the angel he was instructed to 'worship God.' This is the
message Christ gave to the woman at the well in John 4 and God has the
right to expect worship from his children. Let us never be negligent in
our devotion to the God 'who gives us air to breathe and food to drink.
Without him we cannot live and apart from him we dare not die."
In the written works and recorded sermons of James
Miller we have a wealth of information through which, like Abel of old,
"though dead, he speaks." Not only for his son and grandchildren
will his influence live by these published means; but when the history of
churches of Christ of this generation is written, the name of James Parker
Miller will stand forth as one who loved the Lord, the Lord's Word, the
Lord's Cause, and the Lord's people.
James Miller was first a Christian, second a
preacher, next a. debater and then a writer. His first spiritual love was
God and His kingdom; his first fleshly loves were his wife and son. He
never confused these two loves and, so far as I know, he neglected neither
of them. He leaves written on the scroll of time a rich heritage for his
posterity and, based on what I am able to determine regarding the
Christian's hope born of a faith in the living God, he leaves the name of
James Parker Miller written in the Lamb's Book of Live. His greatest
bequest, however, is the hundreds of precious souls-many of you here
today-who now enjoy or shall enjoy the life that never ends because of the
simple story of redemptive love which he so fervently preached and to
which he dedicated his life.
My brethren, James Miller was a great servant of
God and he was your personal friend. He was your brother and he cared for
your souls. We have loved and lost him for a little while. The last time I
saw him we reaffirmed our personal affection for each other. My hope is
that our spirits may dwell together forever when life's little dream has
passed. That you and I may sanctify his teaching and influence toward
preparing ourselves for that heavenly city should be our aim and constant
effort. He was my friend. He was my brother. I loved him much. May God
bless his memory!
James R. Cope, Temple Terrace, Florida,
Funeral Address As It Appeared In Truth Magazine March 9,
1978, Vol. 22 No. 10, pages 170-173
Directions To The Grave Of J.P.
P. Miller is
buried in Garden of Memories Cemetery, 4207 E. Lake Ave., Tampa, FL 33610,
in the Everlasting Life section, 102A, space 3. Sister Miller is buried in
space 4. After his death, Bobbie married Ed Owen. The last few years of
her life she suffered from Alzheimer’s. Directions To The Cemetery
are as follows: In Tampa heading SW take Exit 3 off I-4. Don't take the
first right on the ramp. Stay straight until you get to the light and
turn right on Hwy 41/599. Follow the road around until it continues on
N.40th St. Go about 500 yards and turn right on E. Lake Avenue. Travel
out until you see the cemetery on the left, just past 42nd St. Click
here for a cemetery map and location. While in the cemetery, be sure to
visit the grave of long time preacher, J.W.
N27º 58' 713" x WO 82º 24' 608"
Accuracy To Within 15'
Street Map To Cemetery
thanks are extended to Ferrell Jenkins for providing information, photos,
locations, etc. of the final resting place of James P. Miller