Miller, Dr. Charles Copeland

3/8/1935

DR. CHARLES COPELAND MILLER
December 22, 1860 - March 8, 1935
 
As high noon drew on in the morning of March 8, 1935, the spirit of Dr. Charles Copeland Miller was borne away to the bosom of the Heavenly Father in whose kingdom he had labored so long and faithfully. Stricken in the early days of November of last year, Brother Miller suffered great agony for weeks without any relief. With the passing of the pain he was left a mere shadow of his former self and death came with a final stroke to loose his weary soul from its earthly ties and into the fullness of Christ’s presence and power. He was buried, March 10, in the old cemetery at Jackson, La., among the scenes hallowed by the memories of his youth and early manhood.
Brother Miller was born near Jackson, La., December 22, 1860, and he grew to manhood through the stirring experiences of reconstruction days. His father, Dr. A. G. Miller, was originally from New York and was a man of singular worth and character, contributing in large measure to the development of Christian education in Louisiana through his relation to Centenary College. His mother was a Miss Blunt of Natchez, Miss.
Educated at Centenary College, Brother Miller went out to teach in the public schools of the State, serving in this capacity for some time in East Carroll Parish. He also served in the preparatory department of Centenary College at Jackson.
His public service covered a long term of years, beginning, perhaps, when at the age of eighteen he undertook, with the help’ of one or two like-minded friends, a campaign against the liquor traffic among the Negroes of the Feliciana parishes. It is Interesting to note that his final appeals to the public were In this same field when, In October just preceding his illness, be appeared in his pastor’s pulpit a few minutes at the morning service and closed his pulpit ministry that evening In the neigh-boring Baptist Church where he was greatly loved and respected, and strove in both instances to create a public conscience destructive to the liquor traffic. His last public address was In the Franklinton courthouse, discussing the same theme.
Admitted on trial into The Louisiana Conference at its session in Louisiana Avenue Church, New Orleans, December 5-10, 1894, he was appointed as professor in Centenary College and he served several years in that capacity and as pastor on the Wilson charge. He was admitted into full connection at Ruston in December 1896, and ordained deacon by Bishop E. H. Hendrix. His ordination as elder came two years later at the hands of Bishop H. C. Morrison in the city of Mansfield.
His next appointment was First Church, Alexandria, where he served nearly four years (1900-1903), leaving before his time was out to take the presidency of Centenary College, where he remained until the college at Jackson was closed. Opposed to the removal of the college to Shreveport, Brother Miller remained true to his convictions, but, when the removal was accomplished over his protest, he gave his loyal support to the school in its new location, and was later honored by the institution with the degree of Doctor of Divinity.
The list of his remaining appointments follows: Baker, 1907; Lafayette, 1908; presiding elder Baton Rouge District, 1909-12; First Church, Monroe, 1913-15; Lake Providence, 1916-17; Morgan City, 1918-21; Keener Memorial, Baton Rouge, 1922.24; Franklinton, 1925-28; Vivian, 1929-30’ Kentwood and Tangipahoa, 1931. During these years Brother Miller was active on the various boards and committees of the Conference, and was prominent as a director and instructor in the Seashore Divinity School. He was superannuated at the Monroe Conference, November 18-22, 1931, and removed to Franklinton, La., where he spent the remaining three years of his life. During these years he was a challenge and an inspira-tion to his pastor and a joy to his multitude of friends.

Brother Miller was an outstanding man and minister of the gospel. He loved men and knew how to make them his friends. He was equally at home among men of high or low degree, for his culture never marred or glossed over his humanity. A friend of men, he fought their battles when they could not fight for themselves. Many there are, both living and dead, who ‘have occasion to bless his memory because he entered the lists on their behalf to secure what he believed to be their rights.
His was a strength of intelligence, a keenness of wit, a sense of humor, an ideal of integrity, a wealth of sympathy, an Independence of spirit, a quality of loyalty and courage, a sincere faith iii God, and a resolute purpose and capacity to serve rarely seen combined In such liberal measure in any one life.
Of faults he confessed a share. But though we be critical and extravagant in weighing his faults and’ niggard in assessing his virtues, his manhood still towers high for our admiration and emulation and helps our selfishness to dissolve into more worthy qualities.
Brother Miller is survived by his wife, Mrs. Lillian H. Miller, of Franklinton, by one daughter, Mrs. Harold Demanade of Lafayette, and by one son, Mr. H. M. Miller of Gilliam. He leaves also a half-sister, Mrs. Hattie Kean of Baton Rouge. With these a great host of friends in several states join in cherishing the memory of one whose loss falls upon us all alike. ‘We do not expect to see his like again.

Source: Journal of the Louisiana Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Pages 78-80, 1935, by Charles E. McLean