Cyril Miller, Champion of Jewish,
Muslim Outreach, Passes Away
Also headed Southwestern Union Conference (Posted November 7, 2012)
BY PAT HUMPHREY, Southwestern Union
eventh-day Adventist pastor Cyril Miller, 84, former president of the Southwestern Union Conference, passed away on October 13, 2012, in Fort Worth, Texas. “He was a man of keen insight, vision, and perception,” says Buford Griffith, executive secretary of the Southwestern Union. “His love for people and the advancement of the gospel of Jesus Christ are just a few of the words I would use to describe God’s servant.”
“Cyril was a wonderful visionary, and under his leadership the church grew phenomenally. We have lost a great leader, and he will be greatly missed,” said Larry Moore, Southwestern Union Conference president.
OUTREACH CHAMPION: Cyril Miller, 84, former president of the Southwestern Union Conference, passed away on October 13, 2012, in Fort Worth, Texas. [PHOTO: SWU]
Miller was born in Preston, Oklahoma, on February 10, 1928, and began his ministry as a pastor in the Oklahoma Conference in 1953.
From 1957 to February 1959 he served as a pastor in the Arkansas-Louisiana Conference. In March of 1959 he joined the Southwestern Union staff as director of stewardship, religious liberty, and editor of the Record. In 1963 he moved to the Columbia Union Conference, where he served as stewardship and religious liberty director, and in 1964 he became president of the Chesapeake Conference.
In 1969 he returned to the Southwest, taking the position of secretary at the Southwestern Union Conference. He served in that role until 1975 when he became president of the Texas Conference. In January 1986 he became president of the Southwestern Union, and 10 years later he moved to the North American Division to serve as vice president for Global Mission and director of the Jewish and Muslim work until his retirement in 2001.
Jeff Zaremsky, a Jewish Seventh-day Adventist pastor in Florida, remembers Miller’s role in reviving the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s work in the Jewish community.
“Cyril was one of the people who were instrumental in reviving the modern Jewish work in our denomination,” Zaremsky said in an e-mail. “The Jewish work was not assigned to him in his position at the NAD, but he saw that nothing was being done for it so he volunteered to have it added to his already full responsibility. Cyril worked with the Southern Union Conference and the Florida Conference to start the work in Florida. Cyril raised the funds for the first printing of the Jewish Heritage Scripture Studies, which is in its third printing. Cyril started the North American Jewish Advisory, which continues to meet yearly. He is greatly missed. He was a visionary and had a heart and passion for bringing the gospel to those who had not yet heard it.”
Miller’s wife, Joyce; a son, William; a daughter, Janet; a sister, Marjorie Wallace; three grandchildren; and a great-grandchild survive. His first wife, Marian Dailey, preceded him in death.
—with additional reporting by Mark A. Kellner, news editor