Rev. L. Byron Miller is an ordained minister of the Church of the Brethren. Born in Sidney, Indiana on February 16, 1914, he was one of seven children. He spent his growing up years living with his grandparents helping them on the farm. Tilling the soil always remained in his blood. For many years, he and his wife planted a large garden growing produce for their family.
Byron’s values were shaped by his family’s strong faith, regular church attendance and participation in church activities. His parents lost four of their seven children to premature deaths. Byron often said he learned from his parents about dealing with grief and how faith can sustain one in the most difficult of times.
At age 26 he was called to the ministry and licensed to the ministry in 1940. Byron then attended Bethany Bible Training School in Chicago where he met his future wife, Zola A. Simpson from Altoona, PA. He was ordained to the ministry in 1943.
On the day of his ordination, he cited the following Bible verses that spoke to him:
“I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” – II Timothy 4:1-5
Byron graduated from Manchester College (University) in 1946 with a B.S. in Social Science. That same year he and Zola were married. Continuing his education, he graduated from Bethany Biblical Seminary, then located in Chicago, in 1949. Byron and Zola were blessed with 5 children, 8 grandchildren, and 7 great grandchildren. They were married for 62 years until Zola passed away in 2009.
As pastor, Byron served eight churches in Indiana and Ohio. He still preaches occasionally and speaks in chapel service at the retirement community where he currently resides at age 105. He also enjoys still being able to teach his Sunday School class.
Always one to keep busy and active, Byron’s hobbies include reading, writing, music, gardening and watching Chicago Cubs. He has kept a detailed daily diary for over 70 years and has composed 25 songs for men’s chorus. He enjoyed accompanying the group on his guitar as they sang in worship services.
When Byron was licensed to the ministry his pastor told him, “From now on you are the mouthpiece of God.” That is exactly how he has lived his life – teaching and preaching God’s word.