First Posted: 8/21/2014
You can take him out of Clarks Green, but you can’t take Clarks Green out of him.
Pastor Dan Miller made his return to Clarks Green Assembly of God in Lackawana County after more than 20 years as pastor at the Back Mountain Harvest Assembly in Trucksville.
Miller, 55, always believed that God had a plan for him throughout his whole life, but it wasn’t until he sat in the parking lot of Clarks Green Assembly of God that he heard God’s plan for him with his own ears.
He was just waiting for a football game to start.
“This last September, I was helping coach Dallas football and they were playing Abington,” said Miller. “I came and parked in the church lot and I got here early and I was sitting there thinking about the church and all of sudden, I heard a voice say, ‘You’re gonna pastor here real soon.’ My response was, ‘What the heck was that?’ I looked around and nobody was around. Two minutes later, I heard the same voice and the same thing. I knew it was God. A month later, I told my wife. I just chalked it up to nostalgia.”
A few months later, it was revealed that Clarks Green’s previous pastor would step down, opening the door for Miller to return to the place he once called home.
What makes coming back to Clarks Green special is that Miller and his family already know the area, so there is no need to start anew.
“We love Clarks Green, so it’s like we’re coming home,” said Miller. “We know 90 percent of the people already, a lot of those kids in our youth group are still there. We had a good relationship, so we don’t have to take years to get people on our team. We’ve already made that connection so we can hit the ground running.”
Bolstering a church congregation is nothing new to Miller When he first arrived in Trucksville in the early 90s, the Back Mountain Harvest Assembly lacked attendance and he knew that the only way to get people involved with the church was for him to get involved with the people.
“There were a lot of different things we did,” said Miller. “God did a great job despite what he’s working with. We changed the whole order of the service and went very contemporary. It’d be a high energy service, that was number one. Number two, we raised the people for the ministry. Third, we became involved in the community, I coached sports and got involved in the community. We ran pig roasts, fireworks and things free to the community. We did all kinds of giving back to the community. We built a rec center, made a swim club and did a lot of things to show everyone we were there to add value and not take value.”
He hopes to bring the same upbeat mentality of faith he had in Trucksville to Clarks Green.
“I’m hoping we can do the same thing here that we did in Trucksville, only quicker,” said Miller. “We can get connected to the community a lot quicker and easier. I know how a lot of organizations work here so I’ll connect quicker. I’m expecting a wonderful result and we have a great time sharing the news of (the lord).”
Miller is ready to be a part of the bright future that Clarks Green has in store.
“There is no reason for us to leave the Back Mountain area,” said Miller. “I’m taking a pay cut and our grandbaby was just born and there is no reason for us to leave, except God wants us to. My wife said, ‘If we move, I’m glad it’s to Clarks Green.’ This is the fourth time in our life he’s moved us, and probably our last.”
“Clarks Green’s best days are ahead. It’s a hidden gem, and it’s had good work and God’s done great. I believe the future is brighter and I want to be a part of it,” Miller added.
Miller admits he will miss the Back Mountain area after all the good things he helped accomplish and the wonderful relationships he and his family built.
“The people I’ll miss the most,” said Miller. “I love the people and people in general. From the youngest to the oldest, the richest to the poorest and the sickest to the healthiest, I’m going to miss them. The baseball teams, the coaches, football teams, baketball team; I’m going to miss them all.”