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Rev. Dr. L. David Miller Jr.
COLUMBIA , S.C.- Memorial services for the Rev. Dr. L. David Miller Jr., 84, will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, June 7, 2003 at St. Paul's Lutheran Church. The family will receive friends 6-8 Tuesday, May 27, 2003 at Dunbar Funeral Home, Dutch Fork Chapel. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, or Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio.
Dr. Miller, educator, clergyman, and musician, died Wednesday, May 21, 2003. Born in Lenoir, N.C., he was the son of the late Lester David Miller and Lola Anna Miller Miller. He was predeceased by his wife, Annie Lytle Miller. A graduate of Lenoir Rhyne College, Hickory, N.C., he earned a master of divinity degree from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, ordained in 1942, and earned a master of sacred music from Union Theological Seminary, New York City. He was awarded an honorary doctorate of music by Lenoir Rhyne College in recognition of his many contributions to the church music field. He also did post graduate work at Kirchenmusikschula, Hanover, Germany. He served as organist and choir director at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Columbia from 1940-1942. After his ordination, he was minister of music and associate pastor of Macedonia Lutheran Church, Burlington, N.C.; associate pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, New York City; during which time he was the choir director of Lutheran Choirs of Greater New York City. He then became the minister of music and associate pastor of Trinity English Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne, Ind.; then pastor of St. Mark's Lutheran Church, VanWert, Ohio. In 1955, he accepted the position as Dean of the School of Music at Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio. He directed the Wittenberg Choir from 1955-1972, during which time he instituted an international touring program giving concerts in 29 countries on five continents, including USO tour to Iceland, Greenland, Newfoundland, and Labrador. The choir was featured on NBC's "Great Choirs of America" series, The Protestant Hour and the Armed Forces Radio Network Broadcasts. They were cited as "Ambassadors of Song and Good Will to the World for the United States" by the US House of Representatives.
In 1978, he accepted the position as professor of church music and choir director, at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. He also served as organist and choir director for Ebenezer Lutheran Church. Shortly after coming to Columbia, he organized the Bach Choir of Columbia. He retired from the seminary in 1986, but remained active in the music community as guest organist for churches in North and South Carolina, and as organist/choir director for St. Michael's Lutheran Church.
Dr. Miller served as president of the Hymn Society of America and was a member of the board of directors of the Liturgical Conference, a national ecumenical organization. He was also a regular contributor to professional music journals. He is the author of the books "Psalms for Today" and "Hymns-The Story of Christian Song". He composed five hymns for the "Children Song Hymnal" and "50 Descants for Hymns of the Church."
He was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Citation by the Choral Conductors Guild of America; received the Medal of Honor from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany, for his outstanding leadership in church music, Distinguished Alumnus Award, Lenoir Rhyne College, Meritorious Service Award, Wittenberg University, The Canticum Novum Award, Wittenberg University and the Wittenberg Medal of Honor.
Surviving are his daughters, Andrea Miller of Columbia, Anita Rich of Beaufort, S.C.; and his sister, Frances Stirewalt of Hillsborough, N.C.