The Reverend Doctor Douglas Miller died peacefully May 2nd at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara after a valiant battle with pancreatic cancer, with his loving family by his side.
All who knew him respected him for the way he loved people, yet challenged many to take a look at their values and faith. He authored many editorials in the LA times, journal entries, and two books – the first entitled “Jesus Goes to Washington, His Vision for a Sustainable Future,” and the second entitled “Your Jesus is too Small, the Collapse of Christian Character,” soon to be released.
Doug was the first of two sons born to Jim and Pearl Miller of Hillsboro, Oregon. He was Boy of the Year and MVP at Hillsboro High School. He then attended Wheaton College in Illinois 1959-1963, where he met his future wife (the pastor’s daughter!) at the church he attended.
After he graduated and married Sandra Lynn Wolter, the couple headed for California so that Doug could attend Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, followed by Claremont Graduate School – where he received his Ph.D in Christian Ethics.
Doug and Sandie had a son, Jeffrey Clark, born in 1968, and a daughter, Christine Deanne, born in 1969, and soon moved their family East in 1970 after he was hired as a Professor of Christian Ethics at Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania, where he taught in his unique and challenging style for over 20 years. Doug also somehow found the time, energy, and talent to build a beautiful neo-Victorian house nearby the seminary in Wynnwood. It was then he discovered he enjoyed building so much that he eventually built four more homes.
In 1985, he took his family to California on a sabbatical; None of them wanted to return, so he built another home here and commuted to Eastern Baptist (now Palmer) for another 8 years.
After retirement, he served as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Santa Barbara (now Veronica Springs Community Church) for 6 years, served as interim pastor for churches in Camarillo and San Luis Obispo, began writing, serving on many boards and committees including Habitat, Martin Luther King, Interfaith Initiative, Clergy Association, and also doing a lot of pulpit supply and public speaking. His wise, challenging sermons and speeches are what many associates remember about Doug.
In the last 8 years, he and his wife formed an arm of the Interfaith Initiative – called HEAL, which is an outreach to the house-less that has spawned such ministries as the mobile shower trailer (with five locations a week) called “Showers of Blessing.” True to its name, this program has brought dignity and hope, community, and love to all who come. This was what Doug would consider one of the most important and meaningful involvements of his lifetime.
He is survived by his wife, daughter, son, and two granddaughters – Roxanne Semans and Bella Bodden, and one grandson – Ryan Kohler.
What his natural family as well as his much wider family remembers most is that Doug was funny, talented, and could fix anything (except electronics!), generous, loving, kind, and an untiring advocate for the marginal, misunderstood, and unfairly ignored segment of society.
(Those who would like to know more may watch “Doug Miller” or “Showers of Blessing” on YouTube.)
A picnic and celebration of his unique life and loving service will be held at Veronica Springs Community Church grounds at 1:00 on Saturday, May 27th.
Casual, bright clothing is encouraged.
Sandie would like any/all memorial gifts to go to Showers of Blessing at www.showersofblessingiv.org. where there is a tax-deductible venue for gifts.
The Doug Miller family also wants to say a special “thank you” to all of our many friends for their prayers, visits, texts, facebook messages, flowers, cards, and phone calls. The outpouring of love has been astounding!