John Graham Miller was born in New Zealand in October 1913. He grew up in a manse, and was blessed by the godly influence of his father who had spent his life contending against liberalism. He left school in 1929 at the age of sixteen to work in an office and later began training at night-school to be a lawyer. He later became a barrister and was able to use his training on the mission field.
In 1941, while still having a year of his theological training to go, he married Flora McDonald and – less than two weeks later – was ordained a missionary to Tongoa in the New Hebrides because of the need there due to his predecessor having to return home. Here he encouraged the church towards independence. God’s Spirit moved and revival spread through the island and to other islands.
Returning home for his children’s education in 1952 he became minister of Papakura near Auckland. Here again he saw the blessing of God with many conversions and daughter churches being formed.
At the end of 1965 he moved to Australia to become principal of the Melbourne Training Institute. After only four years, opposition arose against him for his Calvinism and he resigned. This was followed by a three year appointment as Principal of the new Presbyterian Bible College in the New Hebrides.
His final ministry was in St Giles Presbyterian Church in Sydney, from 1974-1980. He and his beloved wife Flora then retired to Wangaratta in Victoria. Preaching continued and he was used to encourage the continuing Presbyterian church in that state. Many books were written including a seven volume work on the history of the church in the New Hebrides. The esteem in which Graham Miller was held by the people of the New Hebrides was evidenced when a day of mourning was held in Vanuatu at his death in 2008.
Graham Miller’s story is told in the autobiographical A Day’s March Nearer Home, edited by Iain H. Murray and published by the Trust in 2010. The Trust also publishes his compilations, An A-Z of Christian Truth and Experience, Calvin’s Wisdom, and The Treasury of his Promises.
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