J.P. Miles, Director of Missions here, is not one to let leaky baptismal boots get in the way of preaching a good sermon.
CAREY ASSOCIATION – J.P. Miles, Director of Missions here, is not one to let leaky baptismal boots get in the way of preaching a good sermon.
New to the church where he was baptizing a new believer, Miles had anticipated the church’s baptismal boots – similar to fisherman’s waders and worn by many pastors beneath baptismal robe and over street clothes – would be fine. They weren’t. As he prayed and then baptized the new believer, water rushed in around his feet and began to rise, soaking his socks and pants.
Lacking a change of clothing, he nevertheless persevered through the remaining service, preaching in shoes that squished and in pants that were soaked.
“Fortunately, I was behind the pulpit,” he said, so not many noticed, except for the music minister who gave him an odd look. “I just went on and preached.”
Born June 15, 1944, Miles has been DOM for the Carey Association going on 11 years and has been in the ministry for 41 years. He is married to Sheri; they have two grown sons, Jonathan who is married to Tamara, and Brian who is married to Jennifer. Jonathan and Tamara have one daughter, Chelsey, 10, and Brian and Jennifer have two sons, Brock, 7, and Connor, 4.
Some of Miles’ most memorable moments in the ministry involve his family. He was proudest when his sons, on separate occasions, made professions of faith.
“They were a couple of years apart in those decisions,” said Miles, who led both his sons to the Lord. “Both having grown up in a pastor’s home, they were very conscious of their decision.”
Both sons came to know the Lord during the family devotion time, he explained, a habit that Miles and his wife established early on in their marriage and still practice together.
In that devotion time – always the last thing before the family goes to bed – the family reads scripture together and then prays around the family circle, he said, with each member having an opportunity to pray aloud.
Another memorable moment was when Sheri, not yet his wife, accompanied him down the aisle, after Miles’ father had just preached, to surrender to God’s call for Miles to be a minister. In the Air Force at the time, Miles was anticipating leaving the military that coming July and then marrying.
Miles received a Bachelor of Science from Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., Master of Divinity at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. With much of his course work for a Doctorate of Ministry at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, that degree he received from the Southern Baptist Center for Biblical Studies in Jacksonville, Fla.