Jule Lecrose Miller
Sketch On The Life Of Jule Miller
Jule Miller was born January 14th, 1925 in Okolona, Kentucky. All his life he celebrated his birthday on the 15th, as his mother always remembered it that day. It was not until late in life that he found that his birth certificate showed him to be born on the 14th. His parents were Otto and Elizabeth Miller. He had two sisters Faye Heimer and Ruth Jenkins. He also had one brother, Paul, all who lived in the Louisville, Kentucky area.
At an early age his mother taught him how to play the piano, and he entertained himself, family and friends with it all his days. He was ear trained, yet played with wonderfully pronounced syncopation and quality. He was always a joy to listen to.
In January 1937, at the age of twelve, he was baptized into Christ by Paul C. Duncan. As a teenager he was actively involved in the work of the church. At sixteen he drove an old Ford bus bringing twenty people to church every Sunday.
In 1945 he entered Harding College in Searcy, Arkansas. While in school he began preaching at Judsonia, Arkansas. Although he never saw himself as a very effective preacher, he baptized thirty people during his college years. While at Harding he met Judith "Judy" Mardell Hogan in the school cafeteria. They were married by Cleon Lyles September 7, 1947.
They raised ten children: Mark Allen; Robin Lynn; Julia Beth; Laura Madelle; Patty Ruth; Tammy Lee; David Scott; Wendy Kay; Todd Hogan; and Susan Janette.
Congregations he served included: the Downtown Searcy congregation from 1949-1950 as the Education Minister; The Ayers Street church in Corpus Christi, Texas from 1951-1953; the Central church in Houston, Texas from 1953-1957 as the minister of Personal Evangelism; the Southwest congregation in Houston from 1958-1959; the MacGregor Park church in Houston from 1960-1961. Other churches included the Shaw Street and Southeast congregations in Houston. It was at the Southeast church where the Millers did their greatest work. In addition to being members there for 32 years, he also served several years as an elder in the congregation.
In 1956, Jule, along with Texas H. Stevens, produced a series of film strips that were to be used for evangelism purposes. They were called the "Visualized Bible Study." Through the years, the wonderful story of God's plan for man have been told in homes all over the world through the Jule Miller Film Series. Today it is produced in numerous languages in many different countries. Even the most novice of evangelists can be effective by its use. It is arguably the greatest evangelist tool ever produced by churches of Christ. Their organization, Gospel Services, Inc. still provides Bible helps for evangelism all over the world. In 1992 the film series were produced on VHS tape, with the addition of eight hundred new art picture, numerous special effects, and added audio sound. Ultimately they were placed on the DVD format.
In later years a companion series was produced by Texas H. Stevens and Jule Miller. It was entitled, "Now That I'm a Christian."
In 1969, Jule was selected as Harding's Distinguished Alumnus. He was again honored by Harding University in 1998 for his years of distinguished service.
In 1984 the Millers began holding soul-winning workshops throughout the nation. For years the Millers flew all over the globe, a different church every weekend, teaching evangelism techniques to the brotherhood. By 1998 the Millers had conducted more than 350 such workshops, Jule teaching the men, and Judy the women. They were only stopped when Jule's health concerns forced him to stop.
In his non-profit ministry, Bible Share, he assisted missionaries all over the world helping them obtain Bibles, filmstrips, projectors and material. He spent many mornings at the breakfast table at home writing letters, and helping in what every way he could in promoting the gospel.
Judy is a very talented woman, and was a wonderful help meet to Jule all their married years. She has written books, and teaches women and children. Some of the books she has written include Cups Running Over, and Reach For The Stars, a devotional book for young people. The relationship she had with Jule was wonderful. They were together for nearly 53 years as husband and wife.
Jule began deteriorating during the last couple of years of his life. He remained busy and active until the last few months. He was diagnosed with Vascular Parkinson's Disease in February, 2000. However, at the end of June he and his family were devastated with the news that he had Leukemia. Immediately their children came from as far as the Fiji Islands to be at their father's side.
On the Sunday before his death, he was too weak to attend the worship services, though he was eager to make the effort. His granddaughter, Candice, was baptized into Christ at the morning services. He had spoken with his granddaughter the previous Sunday about her desires to obey the gosple. Since he was not able to attend, the baptism was filmed. When the family came back home, they played the video of the baptism for Jule. He said, "Isn't that wonderful!" Soon after this he gave the family what could be said as his last sermon. He said, "In World War two there was a man named Adolf Hitler who ruled Nazi Germany. Because of Adolf Hitler, millions of people were killed . . . And there are millions of people today who are dying in their sins. If we will take the gospel of Christ to them, millions can be saved. We've got to tell them about Jesus! . . .I want all of you to spread the Gospel and bring others to Christ. I cannot tell you how much inspiration it meant to me when each of you came into the world. All of us can work together to have one goal: To make Christians-to bring others to Christ."
A little before 6:00 pm, on Tuesday, July 4th, amidst a room full of wife, children and grandchildren, he breathed his last breath. It was fitting that Independence Day became Jule Miller's independence day as well.
The funeral was held at the Southeast Church of Christ in Houston, Texas. Texas H. Stevens officiated. Jule's daughter, Jean sang, "You Are The Wind Beneath My Wings," and "Household of Faith," a song that had been sung at the weddings of all their children. His body was laid to rest at the Forest Park-Lawndale Cemetery in Houston, Texas.
At the time of his death he and Judy had 10 children and 29 grandchildren, a wonderful legacy. But his legacy continues through the teaching of the gospel through Bible Correspondence Courses and his film series. The Gospel Advocate named Jule Miller as one of the 20th century's most influential men in contributing to the growth of the Lord's church. It can truly be said that he being dead, yet speaks.
-Webmaster's Note: Gleanings from Preachers Of Today, Various Web articles, etc. However the greatest source was from a book written by Judy Miller entitled, "Last Mile Of The Way," released in 2003 chronicling the last year and one-half of Jule Miller's life. It was my honor to receive a copy of this book after a phone visit with Judy, and her daughter Julia Wright some time in early 2004. When I discussed then my intentions for this this website, she was most encouraging and helpful. I visited Jule Miller's grave in October, 2004. My express thanks are extended to Sister Judy Miller in the production of this site. Her influence and permission to use excerpts from the book have been most helpful in its production. It is one of the most precious volumes I have ever read. Jule was a wonderful man of God, supported by an equally wonderful life-long mate. No website dedicated to the pursuits of preserving the history of the Restoration Movement could justly leave out the person and work of Jule Miller.
The Background of the Filmstrip Bible Studies
In my weekend workshops at various places, the question often is asked, "How did you get started with the filmstrip idea?" The following gives a partial answer.
Beginning with my teenage years, I have been interested in bringing others to Christ. I remember well driving an old Ford bus on a country route to bring several families to worship in Louisville, Ky., when I was only 16 years old.
While I was at Harding University, some of us decided that conducting weekly home Bible studies was the best way we could use a night of the week. When we returned home from a Bible study, our roommates almost invariably asked, "How many attended your class tonight?" Very seldom did any of them ask if someone was converted. Conversions were few and far between.
In those days a home Bible study would continue week after week for months. Sometimes a study would be in session for the whole school year with only an occasional baptism.
Some six years later I was in my second year working with the Central congregation in Houston as educational director. The elders made a survey and found to their dismay that 200 of the people in the church directory had not attended an assembly of the church for two years.
All the elders and staff accepted assignments to visit these people and see if they could be helped. When I visited the non-attenders who were listed for me, I found that all of them were seriously deficient in their knowledge of Jesus and His church. I decided then to find some means of teaching prospects more thoroughly so after they were baptized, they would remain faithful to the Lord. This is how the idea for the filmstrips was born.
When the first set of filmstrips was ready, I decided to test them a few times before making them available to others. My first prospect was a man from the Assembly of God faith who attended Central with his wife, a faithful member of the church. I asked "Blacky" if he would like to know more about the Church of Christ. When he said "yes," I was excited but a little nervous.
In my mind "home Bible study" visions of a study lasting six months to a year. But now we had condensed and compacted a great deal of material into a comprehensive five-lesson study. Hopefully, this had been done in a logical and systematic manner, and I was about to "prove the pudding." I felt that visuals in full color (pictures, charts, scriptures and maps) would help the prospect to understand and assimilate the wealth of information in just five lessons.
On the fourth Thursday night, I showed the filmstrip, "God's Plan for Redeeming Man." At the close I found the courage to tell "Blacky" that I would like to baptize him for the remission of sins. He said, "What are we waiting for? Let's go!"
I sat back in utter shock. Never before had I seen a person taught and baptized in only four easy lessons. This marked a new era for me in saving souls. In the two-week period following "Blacky's" baptism, seven more precious souls were baptized into Christ. The following week 10 were baptized.
All of these new Christian people had been well taught with the filmstrips prior to their baptism. They had been through a survey of the whole Bible. They had learned of God's grace and His plan for redeeming man. In a survey two years later we found that 90 percent of those who had been won for Christ in a filmstrip Bible study were still faithful. More than 30 these new Christians were out teaching others.
All of these events gave me great encouragement that God would use the filmstrips to save many souls and enlarge the borders of His Kingdom. That first "trial run" was 27 years ago. Now thousands of the filmstrips are being used all over the world. We update and improve them periodically, so the worldwide demand and usage continues.
-Jule Miller, Gospel Advocate, July 16, 1987, page 421
Directions To The Grave Of Jule Miller
Jule Miller is buried in the Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery at 6900 Lawndale Ave., Houston, Texas. Phone #713-928-5141. In central downtown Houston take I-45 south. Take Exit 42. Travel on the Frontage Road (Gulf Fwy) down until you can turn left on S. Wayside Dr. (ALT 90). Counting on the right travel 8 or 9 streets and turn right on Lawndale St. The cemetery will be on your right and left. The Miller plot will be on the left at the very end (northern end) of the cemetery. Below is a map showing Jule Miller buried in what is identified by the red "3" on the map.