Alfred Brashear Miller

Cumberland Presbyterian Minister

1829 - 1902

The REV. A. B. MILLER, D.D., Deceased,
Moderator of the General Assembly in 1877.

[Picture from Minutes of the General Assembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 1902, page 8]


Your committee begs leave to report that it finds that Alfred B. Miller was received into the communion of` this congregation under the ministerial care of Rev. S. E. Hudson in December, 1845; that he afterward entered the ministry of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church; and during his life was given the honorary degrees of D.D. and L.L.D.; and that for many years he was president of Waynesburg College; and that at the time of his death he was president emeritus of that institution.

His association with the educational interests of our church for half a century has made his name familiar to active Cumberland Presbyterians everywhere and his life work a part of our denominational history, and with the church at large we note his death with profound grief.

After a life of toil and hope and anxiety and disappointment and success, he has left a record of great and manifold and fruitful labors to perpetuate his memory and to encourage and console the multitude of friends, brethren and associates, who mourn his loss.

Waynesburg College was his life, and it is his monument. He was called to many honorable positions in the church, involving educational, ministerial and literary labors, in all of which he proved himself the gentleman eminent for varied learning, refined taste and high attainment in all the graces of pure Christianity and enlarged philanthropy.

Enrolled as a member of Hopewell congregation nearly sixty years ago, today we make the final entry opposite his name on our records with the full belief that the name of Alfred B. Miller is enrolled on the Lamb's book of life. Coming to us a plain country boy, whose name was perhaps unknown beyond the limits of his own township, he leaves a name that warms in thousands of true hearts to-day, and that shall live as long as the history of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church is read. The difference between his boyhood and old age is due to his energy, adaptability, versatility, talent and breadth and variety of attainment, ballasted by an unwavering faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and a faithful consecration to his service.

Cherishing a profound veneration for the talents, virtues and services of the late Dr. A. B. Miller--

Resolved, That we set apart one page in our session record as sacred to his memory; that we tender his living children our sincere sympathy on the occasion of their irreparable loss; and that we furnish a copy of this paper to "The Cumberland Presbyterian" for publication.


[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, February 20, 1902, page 254]


The subject of this sketch was born near Brownsville, Pa., October 16, 1829. After receiving a common school education, he attended Greene Academy, at Carmichaels, and with the opening of the Waynesburg College in November, 1851, he entered as a student the institution with which all his after life was identified. After two years as student he was made professor of mathematics, and six years thereafter was elected president, which position he held for forty years, and on resignation therefrom was chosen president emeritus, which place he filled until his death, which occurred January 30, 1902.

From earliest childhood Dr. Miller was a student and thinker. His mature life was given to the college, with the one purpose of building it up. While he was a preacher of acknowledged ability, he made the ministry only subsidiary to his work as a teacher.

As a writer he was singularly clear and forceful. While he was editing "The Cumberland Presbyterian" he made it a power in the Church, and especially in the crucial days which followed the close of the Civil War. His only work of magnitude as an author was the "Doctrines and Genius of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church" He was a firm believer in the doctrines of his Church, inheriting his views largely from the pioneer preachers of western Pennsylvania--Morgan, Bryan, and others.

He possessed the genius for work, and never spent an idle moment. Often in conversation with friends his mind was shaping a sermon or an editorial. Frail in health in his youth, he preserved his physical vigor by a temperate life, and lived to a goodly age.

Dr. Miller was genial in disposition, very cordial in the treatment of students, and so won his way to their hearts. His influence over them was absolute, for no one thought of questioning his statements.

The common opinion of all who knew him was expressed to my by a visitor within the past month, that "Dr. Miller was one of the ablest and best men the Cumberland Presbyterian Church has produced."
                                                                          JAS. N. MILLER.
[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, December 3, 1903, pages 716-717]


Miller, A. B. Doctrines and Genius of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Nashville, Tenn.: Cumberland Presbyterian Publishing House, 1892.

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Updated July 15, 2010