When M.Div. second-year student Troy Miller leads worship in Chapel at PTS, it is clear that his giftedness and experience far exceed the age of his youthful appearance. Undoubtedly, this is because Troy, who gave his life to Christ at the age of 11, has been leading worship since he was 14 years old. “I have been involved in leading worship in one capacity or another most weekends since then,” says Troy, who has served for more than five years as the full-time director of contemporary worship and music at Christ United Methodist Church in Bethel Park, Pa.
As a young boy, Troy was passionate about theater, music, and performance. He also dreamed of being a meteorologist. But shortly after becoming a Christian, he opted instead to combine his appetite for performing, his infatuation with preaching, and his desire to help others grow as disciples of Jesus. When he shared his budding sense of call to pastoral ministry with his parents, they responded with their characteristic enthusiasm and encouragement. His family’s unbroken promise of support was a vital resource to Troy as he graduated from his high school in Beaver Falls, Pa., and pursued a bachelor of arts of Christian ministries (pre-seminary concentration) with a philosophy minor at Geneva College, where his gifts for worship leadership continued to open doors for him. Not only did Troy serve as president of a campus, student-driven ministry; but he also lead worship each Thursday night, preached, and managed the ministry teams.
When he graduated from Geneva in 2011, Troy knew that for him seminary was a foregone conclusion; but “the Holy Spirit ultimately led to the position I now have at CUMC,” says Troy. A year later, Troy’s future wife, Melody, who grew up in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, joined the CUMC staff, where they met, fell in love, married, and a year later, celebrated the birth of their first son, Judah.
While Troy acknowledges that Melody’s “support, encouragement, and saintly patience,” have been essential for his success in seminary, he doesn’t underestimate the importance of relationships with his classmates: “The great conversations and times of fellowship, especially outside in the parking lot after class, have girded my soul and kept me going through the good and bad times. Staying connected with other students, who all come from different ecclesial and cultural backgrounds, has kept me grounded and has also challenged some of my presuppositions and understandings of the faith.”
When Troy isn’t writing term papers, studying for exams, working with the worship team at PTS, or overseeing rehearsals with his passionate and gifted team of worshipers and musicians at CUMC, he is likely at his South Hills home playing field hockey with his young son, looking forward with joy to the birth of his and Melody’s second son in August, or discerning how he can be a part of the Kingdom movement taking place in Pittsburgh.