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Phillip Miller and family

The Moody Church Pastor has Local Roots

by Nicole Hackett, Student Public Relations Writer

Philip Miller, a 2004 alumnus of Cedarville University, has been named the new senior pastor at The Moody Church in downtown Chicago, Illinois. He will officially begin his role in July.

“The Moody Church has a story that God has been writing for well over 150 years, and we pray this story will continue to be written for many years to come,” said Miller. “I’m humbled to be a part of the next chapter.”

The church was named for legendary 19th century American evangelist Dwight L. Moody, who also started Moody Bible Institute in downtown Chicago. Among the beloved pastors to serve in the Moody pulpit is Dr. Warren Wiersbe, whose personal library is housed in the Warren and Betty Wiersbe Library and Reading Room in Cedarville University’s Center for Biblical and Theological Studies.

Miller will be the 17th pastor of The Moody Church. He succeeds former Senior Pastor Erwin Lutzer who served at The Moody Church for 36 years.

“God has wired me for preaching the Word, shaping organizational culture and casting vision for the future,” Miller said. “I’m looking forward to seeing what God does as he brings all of this together. This is God’s story. He is the author and perfecter of our lives and histories. We’re just looking forward to the adventure!”

Miller didn’t originally want to be a pastor. His maternal grandfather was a pastor, and through him, Miller saw the cost of serving in the ministry. Therefore, when Miller was a senior in high school and began to feel God calling him to the ministry, his first reaction was to resist. God continued to nudge him toward ministry, and he chose Cedarville University for his college education and spiritual nurturing. There he also met his wife, Krista, who is a 2004 Cedarville graduate.

“Cedarville has a special place in my heart because it’s where I was first grounded in the Bible in terms of my education,” explained Miller. “Cedarville was where I learned Greek and Bible study methods and exegesis. Dr. Couser, Dr. Estes and Dr. Miller were essential to my growth and learning.”

“Pastor Rohm gave me my first significant preaching opportunities as a part of AD7, where God affirmed his call for me to preach,” continued Miller, referring to the organization now known as Chaplain’s Council. “Mark Irving taught me discipleship and gave me unique leadership opportunities as a part of the Discipleship Council.

"These experiences were essential in the hands of God in shaping me into the person I am today. I pray that my ministry at The Moody Church will be faithful to ‘the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.’”

From Cedarville, Miller furthered his education at Dallas Theological Seminary. Ordained at Stonebriar Community Church in 2010, Miller has served Westwood Baptist Church in Olympia, Washington since 2013.

“Over time, God really gave me a heart for ministry, a joy in preaching, a shepherd’s heart and a willingness to suffer for his name,” said Miller. “Through it all, God has proved Himself faithful and true. There’s no better place to be than exactly where God calls us to be.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,380 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including its Master of Divinity program, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit

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