In conjunction with our current exhibit, “The book will be preaching after you and I have gone home”: Marshall Keeble’s Print Legacy our student workers will provide expanded content on the “Fellow Workers” pictured in Biography and Sermons of Marshall Keeble, Evangelist. Today’s post on Luke Miller was researched and written by Sarah Dillinger, a Senior Social Studies major from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has been a student worker in Special Collections for three years. Sarah enjoys the research and connections she makes while working in Special Collections and hopes to pursue a career in teaching history when she graduates.
Luke Miller was born March 16, 1904 in Limestone County near Belle Mina, Alabama. In 1923 he married Mattie Lee Ballentine who was a great encouragement to him during his ministry. Another influence in Miller’s life was Marshall Keeble, who baptized him in Decatur, Alabama. Keeble became a father-like figure in Miller’s life. A few years later, after extensive preparation, Miller was ready to give his first sermon. The sermon, which Miller estimated would be 30 minutes, was given at a meeting conducted by Mr. Keeble. However, the excitement of the audience in Florence, Alabama led Miller to preaching his first sermon in three minutes. Miller spent a large amount of time in revival meetings with Mr. Keeble.
The white Church of Christ in Port Arthur, Texas asked Miller to serve in their church in June of 1935 to preach a series of meetings to the African-American community of Port Arthur. Over his years of service in the Churches of Christ Miller baptized approximately 10,000 people. After one gospel meeting in Corsicana, Texas he baptized 216 people. In 1940 he published a collection of his sermons titled Miller’s Sermons which explores topics from dancing to baptism by immersion.
Miller served churches in Valdosta, Georgia, Paris, Texas, St. Petersburg, Florida, and Port Arthur, Texas. Luke Miller died in his home on February 1, 1962 at age of 57 of a heart attack.
Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 18 April 2018), memorial page for Luke Miller (16 Mar 1904–1 Feb 1962), Find A Grave Memorial no. 72982977, ; Maintained by Tom Childers (contributor 46515204) Unknown.