While Kevin Miller, newest pastor this month at western Lincoln County’s Messiah United Methodist Church, sensed a “calling on his life” at a young age to pastor a group of people, he said he ignored the call until he could no longer ignore similar insights from friends and family.
“Other people were telling me they sensed a calling on my life,” he said.
Now 28, Miller said he knew early on he wanted to be in church ministry but stalled going into the pastorate, picking up applications and filling them out, but never turning them back in to various churches, he said.
Miller recently graduated from Duke Divinity School in Durham where he worked with a smaller ministry and learned much about rural life, ultimately piquing his interests in one day heading a small, country church.
“That’s when I knew with certainty I was called to be a pastor— when learning about the beauty of ministry in rural places,” he said.
Messiah UMC in Vale instantly became that church for the newly appointed pastor, who is also a husband and father of three.
He particularly remembered one of his family’s first trips down U.S. 321, surveying the hills in the distance.
“It’s beautiful over here in Vale,” he said.
Prior to taking the pulpit and starting at Duke, Miller earned an undergraduate degree in Christian education and went on to serve as a high school teacher at Arbor Brook Christian Academy in Matthews and youth leader at Harrisburg United Methodist Church in Cabarrus County.
Since moving to Lincoln County this summer, Miller’s initial goal for his ministry has been to learn the area and his congregation and establish trusting, lasting relationships by “loving on people in the church and community” and sharing God’s love, he said.
One of the most difficult responsibilities associated with his career has been learning how to meet people’s needs in the best way possible.
In the few short weeks he’s headed his church, Miller’s experienced only positive feedback.
“We’ve been showered with love,” he said, “and have gotten an unbelievable amount of produce. My kids love it.”
When Miller’s not preaching and spending time with his congregation or family, he dabbles in guitar, disc golf and other various sports.
For more information about Messiah UMC, visit messiah-umc.org.