Leading with Loyalty
Jack and Clara Miller model the leadership quality of loyalty on a daily basis – to San Felipe UMC and to each other.
Faithfulness and devotion are qualities that are critical in a marriage – and in a church leader. However, unwavering loyalty and true personal allegiance can be exceedingly rare. Kim Waldrop, longtime board chair of San Felipe UMC believes this leadership attribute is embodied most vividly in the lives of Jack and Clara Miller who, as lifelong Methodists, have shared their time and talents with whatever church they have attended over the years, particularly their current church home: San Felipe UMC, which bears many of their fingerprints of love. “We joined here because this congregation is caring and loving,” shares Clara.
“The Millers are the most faithful, kind people I know,” shares Kim. “They are both in their 80s but still going strong as they approach their 66th wedding anniversary. Jack serves as our treasurer, trustee, SPRC committee and general handyman,” she adds. “For many, many years Clara has published our newsletter and served on the evangelism committee. Not a day goes by that these two don’t do something for the church.”
According to Clara, “If Jack sees something that needs to be done, he is the kind of person who just does it. He goes to bed at night asking himself if he accomplished anything of value or contributed anything to the world and community.” Prior to retiring, the Millers’ exhibited a 45-year track record of loyalty to their previous UMC church in Pasadena where their three children were baptized and raised and where Jack and Clara taught Sunday School, participated in the men’s and women’s ministry and worked with youth.
“San Felipe UMC is over 178 years old, so there are always needs to take care of and thankfully Jack is a Jack-of-all-trades,” adds member Becky Weber. “I remember when the Millers moved to the Sealy area and visited all of the churches as they settled in. We are so fortunate they picked us because they are the heart of the church and truly exemplify all we are taught to be as Christians. If you are ill, they might show up with chicken soup, and if you are homebound, you will enjoy staying connected through the newsletter Clara created and maintains. She is also the vice chair of the board and often sends out birthday cards for our members.”
Clara is training others to follow behind her someday. “No matter how busy a schedule one might have, everyone can do something, it’s just a matter of priorities and this is very rewarding.” With five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, and plenty of things to do at and for the church, Jack and Clara are never bored.
JoBeth Lorraine describes the Millers as “the most determined people I’ve ever seen.” Adds JoBeth, “They have been through a lot in their long lifetime yet they are incredibly blessed and excellent role models. I truly don’t know how they do it all, but consequently we are blessed as well!”