Posted by Betsy Childs on 2012-08-20

 By Betsy Childs

Beloved Beeson Divinity School professor Dr. Calvin A. Miller died Sunday, Aug. 19, from complications following open heart surgery. He was 75.

Funeral services are scheduled for 10 a.m. Aug. 22 at North Park Baptist Church in Trussville, Ala., where Miller was a member. Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. Aug. 21 at Jefferson Memorial Funeral Home in Trussville.

Miller is survived by his wife, Barbara Joyce Miller, and their adult children Melanie and Timothy.

A native of Oklahoma, Miller was a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University (B.S.) and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div. and D.Min.). He served for five years as pastor of Plattsmouth (Neb.) Baptist Church in Plattsmouth,  then for 25 years at Westside Church in Omaha, Neb. In 1991, Miller joined the faculty of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

Miller served as professor of preaching and pastoral ministry at Samford University's Beeson Divinity School from 1999 to 2007 when he became distinguished professor and writer-in-residence.

Miller wrote more than 40 books, including The Singer, Letters to a Young Pastor and Preaching: The Art of Narrative Exposition. His memoir Life is Mostly Edges was published in 2008.

Miller's most recent book was Letters to Heaven: Reaching Beyond the Great Divide.

Dean Timothy George reflected on the life of Dr. Miller: "Born on the edge of the Oklahoma prairie in the era of the dust bowl, Calvin Miller was as original as Will Rogers and Woody Guthrie.  He brought to his work at Beeson Divinity School a lifetime of experience as a pastor, poet, evangelist, apologist, artist and writer of renown.  He was the pastor of a church in Omaha that grew from 10 to 2,500 members under his leadership and was elected as a vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention.  He was a devoted Baptist but not a narrow denominationalist.  Like C. S. Lewis, he harnessed the power of imagination in the service of the Gospel.  As a reviewer wrote of The Singer, Miller's best-selling trilogy of 1975, 'Calvin Miller is himself a Troubadour, singing a love song to his Lord.'  Calvin Miller had a palpable love for Jesus Christ and his church and he will be greatly missed both here at Beeson and throughout the Body of Christ.  But heaven now shines brighter because he is there."


Betsy Childs is web and publications editor for Samford University's Beeson Divinity School.


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Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.