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 pulpit stand.
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 Hazel, Kentucky.
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 radio.
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 in meetings.
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 Bowling Green.
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 going-backward Baptist!"
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 discussion.
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 previously.
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:
- 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. Editor.
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 he believed.
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 State.
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 matters eternal.
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 said:
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:
"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 lion."
"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:
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:
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 age."
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 faith."
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. Miller
James 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. Franklin.
Special thanks are extended to Ferrell Jenkins for providing information, photos, locations, etc. of the final resting place of James P. Miller