The Rev. Dr. James D. Miller, 80, of Exeter, peacefully passed away Wednesday February 13, 2019, surrounded by his loving family, at Berkshire Center. He was survived by his wife Janet R. (Hille) Miller, with whom he shared 58 years of marriage. Born in Berwick, PA, he was the son of the late Dr. Romain W. and Grace H. Miller, and predeceased by brother Jack Miller and Joan Porter. He is survived by sister Jean, wife of Dr. Bruce Geiger of Tamaqua, PA; three children: Jane married to Charles Wagner of Fleetwood, PA, James P. of Wrightsville, PA, and Jennifer married to John Gaffney of Reading, PA; six grandchildren: Mitchell Racine married to Brittany, Jessie Richard married to Bradley, Sarah Racine, Logan and Chase Miller and Molly Gaffney; and four great grandchildren, Hunter, Deven, Grace and Zechariah Richard.
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He graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a B.A. in Liberal Arts in 1960 and married the former Janet R. Hille of Philadelphia. He graduated from Yale University Divinity School with a Master of Divinity degree in May of 1963. While attending YDS, he served for two years as a student assistant at First Baptist Church in Bradford, CT and one full year as assistant to the minister of the First Congregational (UCC) Old Stone Church of East Haven, CT. The couple worked at East Penn Camps' Mensch Mill site near Alburtis, PA for several summers where they first met.
Following graduation from Yale Divinity School, Miller became the first full time pastor for Epler's United Church of Christ, Leesport, PA in 1963. Later, Miller went to Trinity UCC, Mt Penn where he served as pastor for 42 years. Active in the Reading Berks Ministerium as well as the Reading Berks Conference of Churches and Kirkridge, an ecumenical retreat and study center in the Poconos. Miller served on various boards and committees as well as serving terms as president or chairman of all three organizations. He also served as moderator of Heidelberg and former Reading Associations of the UCC and was chair of the Theology Committee of the Pennsylvania Southeast Conference of the UCC for a number of years.
Dr. Miller received the Master of Sacred Theology degree in 1975 and his Doctor of Ministry degree from Lancaster Theological Seminary in 1979. Miller chaired the Focus Renewal Ministries, the national UCC charismatic renewal organization and was involved with several other church renewal organizations over the years. Miller used journal writing for developing and working with the unfolding careers and personal lives of clergy and laity alike. Miller led hundreds of the journal workshops over the years across the country. Following his retirement in 2008, he served at several churches as interim pastor. He also served as a summer minister for the Frenchboro Congregational (UCC) Church, located on the Island of Frenchboro, Maine from 1967 until his retirement.
Visitation with family and friends will be held on Saturday, February 16, 2019, from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm with a service beginning at 1:00 pm at Trinity U.C.C., 2449 Cumberland Ave, Reading, PA 19606. Interment is private. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Trinity U.C.C. at the address above. Lutz Funeral Home, Inc. is in charge of arrangements. For online condolences, please visit www.LutzFuneralHome.com