Thursday, January 19, 2012

Rev R.R. Miller

The Rev R.R. Miller was born in Yorkshire and manifested some of the sturdy characteristics for which that county is celebrated. Not for him the flashy insincerities that make for easy popularity, but rather a life in complete harmony with his profession which was true, at all costs, to his ideals and convictions. This was manifest in early days when as a lad, he gave up his position in a draper’s shop rather than do anything he thought was not right, even though as an orphan he lacked the security that parents might have given.
His acceptance as a local preacher and his success in bringing young people to Christ led him to enter the Methodist ministry. On the completion of his training at Didsbury College he joined the Methodist ranks in South Africa. In the course of his ministry he had to face the question of baptism, and a close study of the teaching of Scripture led him to a clear conviction that the baptism of believers by immersion was God’s plan for His Church. It was exceedingly difficult for a young minister to act contrary to the revered seniors of his Church and the body of beliefs he had been solemnly ordained to maintain. Again his ruling passion for sincerity led him to give up his position and work that was dear to him, for his Master’s sake.
After applying to the Baptist denomination he was accepted, and was called to the pastorate of the Lambert Road Church, Durban in 1904. After four years at this young church he moved to Cambridge (East London) where he is remembered for his nine years ministry of Bible teaching. From there he was called to Cradock and after four years returned to East London where his work was centred on the Quigney in connection with the Buffalo Street Church.
As a place of retirement he chose East London. There the Baptist Book Depot remains a permanent witness to the abiding character of his work. His love for the Bible and other good books made him a strong advocate of a denominational book store. Undaunted by lack of financial backing, he started in a humble way in his own study, and proved the value of the project until premises were obtained in Park Avenue. Later progress was marked by a succession of removals to more suitable premises in the main streets of East London.
Written by: Syd Hudson-Reed

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