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October 9

Jack Miller

On October 9, 1959, at an adjourned meeting in Stockton, the Presbytery of California ordained Cecil John (Jack) Miller as an evangelist. A native of Oregon, Miller was a licentiate of the Presbytery and he was serving as stated supply of Bethany Church in Stockton. The Rev. R. J. Rushdoony moderated the meeting and the Rev. Henry Coray preached a sermon, “What Mean Ye by These Stones?,” from Joshua 4:6.

In 1965, Miller began a tenure at Mechanicsville, OPC, and a year later he began to teach at Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia, serving at first as lecturer in Practical Theology. In 1974, he planted New Life OPC in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. Both he and his church (along with several daughter churches of New Life) realigned with the Presbyterian Church in America in 1990. From 1991 until his death in 1996, Dr. Miller was the Director of World Harvest Missions.

At a fellowship hour following Miller’s ordination service, Bethany elder Clarence Westra spoke on behalf of the session and the congregation of Bethany OPC: “It is our prayer that [Miller’s] service may be long and fruitful, and that he may indeed be zealous for the honor of his Lord and Master, and may be instrumental in bringing many souls to a saving knowledge of our Savior Jesus Christ.” Miller did not have a long tenure in Stockton, nor did he last in the OPC. But surely the prayer of elder Westra was answered. The Rev. David O’Leary remembered Miller in this way in the pages of New Horizons: “There was a transparency about him which came from the knowledge that he was sinner saved by grace. One of his favorite expressions was to call himself a recovering Pharisee. He spoke of the need to suffer as a Christian and the need to pray.”

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