Monday, September 28, 2009

George “Kila” Miller brings challenge to men at Sweet Union Baptist Church

George "Kila" Miller with Gift from Omega Psi Phi Fraternity

George "Kila" Miller with Gift from Omega Psi Phi Fraternity

Sunday was Men’s Day at Sweet Union Baptist Church on Madison Avenue Northwest. It was the first time that the retired Rev. E. T. Burton was a guest speaker. Burton retired in March of this year after serving as Sweet Union’s pastor for 50 years.

Rev. L. Rodney Bennett presented Miller with framed artwork from the Omega Psi Phi fraternity of which Miller is a member.

It was a full house for Sweet Union Baptist Church not only to hear Miller but to welcome their 50-year pastor back to the pulpit again even if it was just a visit. Sweet Union is still searching for Burton’s replacement.

“Kila” Miller challenged the men at the service to work with today’s youth while remembering roll models he had in his own life. He recalled Richard Chubb a teacher he had in middle school and  Coach Bob LeNoir. He said “LeNoir was one of the toughest guys he had ever met other than his father.” He later found that it was because LeNoir cared deeply about him. He credits LeNoir for helping him get the physical education teaching position at William Fleming High School after graduating from college.

Miller also praised coach Sherley Stuart for helping him get a 4-year scholarship to Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina where he wrestled and played football. This allowed him to get a free education.

“No one makes it to the top alone,” exclaimed Miller. He was dismayed by the lack of positive roll models for youth today. The challenge is to give today’s youth a helping hand. “The worst thing you can do is go to the funeral of a teenager,” said Miller.  He blamed in part the influence of today’s videos and the negative roll models videos portray.

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Rev. Burton & George “Kila” Miller

Miller praised the parents that gave their children the attention needed to succeed. He also understood that struggling single parent may not be able to watch their children’s every move – that’s where a mentor can help. Children can overcome adversity with the right influence.

Miller said the men of the present need to assist today’s youth as the men did during his maturing years. He asked the men in the church to stand and asked them to be the Roanoke City’s first chapter of the All Pro Dad’s program. There are 1800 All Pro Dad chapters nationally but only 18 in Virginia, said Miller.

“We may not be able to help all the children nationwide but we will be able to help the children of Sweet Union Baptist Church,” said Miller.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Community, Education, Local Events

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