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Calvin Miller, author, pastor, prof, dies at 75

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) — Seminary professor, theologian and best-selling Christian author Calvin A. Miller died Sunday [Aug. 19] of complications following open heart surgery. He was 75.

A former Southern Baptist pastor and professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, Miller had served from 1999-2007 at Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School, most recently as professor of preaching and pastoral ministry.

The author of more than 40 books, including fiction, non-fiction and poetry, he was described as a writer of love letters to the Lord.

A reviewer of Miller’s best-selling 1975 trilogy “The Singer” described Miller as a “troubadour, singing a love song to his Lord,” Beeson dean Timothy George wrote on Beeson’s website.

“Calvin Miller had a palpable love for Jesus Christ and his church,” George wrote, “and he will be greatly missed both here at Beeson and throughout the Body of Christ.”

Miller, in his most recent book “Letters to Heaven,” wrote letters of love to Christians who died before him, including C.S. Lewis, whose writing style was said to be similar to Miller’s. “Life is Mostly Edges,” Miller’s memoir, was published in 1998.

He was founding pastor of Westside Baptist Church in Omaha, Neb., in 1966, and led that congregation for 25 years, shepherding it from just 10 members to more than 2,500, according to published reports. He pastored Plattsmouth Baptist Church in Nebraska from 1961-66.

At Southwestern, he was professor of communication and ministry studies and writer-in-residence from 1991-98 before joining Beeson’s faculty.

Miller held a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee and M.Div. and D.Min. degrees from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo.

Survivors include his wife Barbara Joyce Miller and their children, Melanie and Timothy. Funeral arrangements were pending at press time.
Diana Chandler is Baptist Press’ staff writer. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress ) and in your email ( baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).