Rev. Rush Glenn Miller, retired clergy


Rev. Rush Glenn Miller, retired clergy

OXFORD — The Rev. Rush Glenn Miller Sr., 87, pastor emeritus of Oxford-University United Methodist Church, died on Oct. 3, 2007.

Services were held at Oxford-University UMC on Oct. 7 with the Revs. Warren Black, Claire Dobbs and W.V. Kemp officiating. Burial was in Oxford Memorial Cemetery. Waller Funeral Home handled arrangements.

Rev. Miller was born Jan. 18, 1920, in Philadelphia, the son of John Henry Miller and Panetta Agnes Clark. His father was what was called at the time a “local” Methodist preacher, and as a child Rev. Miller followed his father from church to church. He said he knew at an early age that the church would be his life’s work. He also liked to say that his first congregation was the chickens he preached to in his family’s backyard. He attended the Philadelphia public schools, received a B.A. from the University of Mississippi in 1944, and a Masters of Theology from Candler Seminary at Emory University in 1947.

He was appointed to his first official pastorate, the Binnsville (Kemper County) Methodist Church, in 1938. While simultaneously studying at the University of Mississippi, he pastored nine churches during World War II because of the shortage of ministers.

Following his ordination, Rev. Miller served at Benoit, Hollandale, West Point and Starkville. He then became superintendent of the Cleveland District in 1965 in the old North Mississippi Conference, serving six years. During this time he was twice elected a delegate to the Jurisdictional Conference and once as a delegate to the General Conference.

He then became pastor of the Greenwood United Methodist Church, followed by appointments in Grenada and Oxford-University UMC in 1983. He retired in 1985, but continued to pastor churches at Mount Olivet, Cold Springs and Terza in Panola County; and Christ UMC, Cambridge UMC and South Oxford Congregational Methodist Church in Lafayette County. Forced to stop preaching because of vocal chord problems, he became minister of visitation for the Oxford-University UMC in 1996.

He was married to Dr. Gene Ramsey Miller for 35 years. She taught at Delta State University and at Mississippi Valley State University, and wrote a book History of North Mississippi Methodism from 1820-1900. She died in 1979. He married JoAnn B. Hawkins in 1980. 

Rev. Miller enjoyed fishing, wood-working, gardening and reading, but mostly his life revolved around the church.

Other survivors include: sons, Dr. Rush G. Miller Jr. of Pittsburgh, John Ramsey Miller of Concord, N.C., and Stephen Clark Miller of Greenwood, stepson Kenneth Hawkins of Tallahassee, Fla.; daughter, Grace Long Minyard of Greenwood; stepdaughters Cathy Hawkins Scales of Pascagoula, Eileen Hawkins of New York City and Laura Hawkins of Dallas; and 13 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and six step-grandchildren and four step-great-grandchildren.

Memorials be sent to the Building Fund of Oxford-University United Methodist Church, 424 S. 10th Street, Oxford, MS 38655.