In memoriam: Missionary emeritus James Miller Jr., 78

James Miller Jr., 1942-2021

James Miller Jr., an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel among the American Affinity Peoples in Ecuador, died Aug. 7, 2021, at Atrium Health Cabarrus in Concord, North Carolina. He was 78. 

Miller was born on Oct. 29, 1942, in York, South Carolina, to the late James Miller Sr. and Mary Ellen Cabaniss Miller. He served in the National Guard for 10 years, finishing as a commissioned officer. In 1964, he married Hilda Herndon and together they were active at Eastview Baptist Church.  

Miller wrote when seeking missionary appointment that he had accepted Christ at age 12: “My decision was a result of the prayers and concern of a dedicated Sunday School teacher as she impressed upon me the importance of living for and serving Christ.” 

Feeling led to a church-related vocation, Miller attended Limestone College (now University), Gaffney, South Carolina, where he received the Bachelor of Arts. At Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas, he received the Master of Religious Education. After seminary, he served as minister of education at Park Baptist Church in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

In 1977, the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) appointed Jimmy and Hilda missionaries to Ecuador, where they served more than 28 years. According to his family, he served there as a seminary professor, president of the seminary, camp director, president of the organization for Southern Baptist missionaries in Ecuador, and church planter. 

In retirement, he operated an embroidery business.  

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Hilda Herndon Miller; daughter, Terri Miller Breslin (John); sons, James D. Miller (Sharon) and Randy Miller (Sharon); sister, Susan Griffith; brother, Ray Miller; and seven grandchildren.

A service was held Aug. 9, 2021, at Providence Baptist Church, Harrisburg, North Carolina, with burial at Eastview Baptist Church Cemetery, Rock Hill, South Carolina. 

Donations in his memory may be made to the Lottie Moon Offering, IMB, 3806 Monument Avenue, Richmond, VA 23230, or online at 

Read an obituary here.