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March 17, 2010 / Brooklyn news / Clinton Hill / Checkin’ in with...

Bucking Beck! Rev. Clinton Miller believes in social justice

The Brooklyn Paper

Rev. Clinton Miller celebrates his ninth year at the head of an historic Clinton Hill church this week, but his reputation precedes him.

The 42-year-old Brooklyn-born ministry man has been an outspoken figurehead at the Brown Memorial Baptist Church for both the borough’s African-American and church communities — lecturing in some arenas as a politician, but mostly as a conduit for the good word.

“I wanted to be a lawyer once,” Miller told The Brooklyn Paper. “But I realized that my desire for social justice and equality would be much better served here, through worship.”

So much for Glenn Beck’s famous condemnation of social justice as merely synonyms for Communism.

Since his vocation in ministry kicked off in 1994, Miller has developed youth programs in several New York churches, taught in the public school system and continues to preach, always downplaying his self-importance.

But the Yale Divinity School graduate’s political voice is an influential one — he was sought after for his word on the Obama vote, courted the then-campaigning Hillary Clinton at a rally to honor Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and has even taken a leadership role against the Atlantic Yards project. He said on Sunday that he wants his community to have access to affordable housing rather than a new Nets stadium, but noted the importance of the jobs that the project would create.

It’s the social-power-through-worship mentality that has made Miller so popular among his peers and churchgoers alike. That said, it was no surprise on Sunday when his packed Baptist church — on Washington and Gates avenues — exploded with applause when he took the pulpit.

The 1858 church hall is currently an aesthetic mess of scaffolding as it goes through a $7-million refurbishing, but that didn’t stop Miller and his guest speaker — Rev. Stephen Carter of the Mt. Ararat Baptist Church in Crown Heights — from leading a sermon with conviction, emotion and a few dance moves that could have brought the house down.

A funky band of organ, bass and drum kicks backed up a howling, uproarious choir that left its guests dancing and screaming “Hallelujah!”

It’s all in the name of a higher power.

“When you come into this church, you come in to honor and love God,” said Carter at the proceedings. “[Miller] is dedicated to that worship. Isn’t it good to have a pastor who stands up for the community?”

Carter’s words were met with a standing ovation, a 15-minute dance party, and an entire community brought together by a man who dedicated his life to spreading the word.

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ben from pslope says:
a figurehead, is a person who holds an important title or office yet executes little actual power. Is that what you mean to say Rev. Miller is?
March 17, 2010, 7:20 am
Tainisha from Bed Stuy says:
Brown Memorial baptist Church is not a Black Church at all. It is a white, southern baptist church frequented by prominent racists. I think this a bait and switch type of scam
March 18, 2010, 10:19 am
Eliza from Crown Heights says:
A figure head would be a fitting term for this pulpit pimp...I wouldn't agree that it is a white, southern baptist church, but rather an anti-white, narcisistic incubator for hatred and sexual prowess of unsuspecting victims!
March 20, 2010, 1:52 pm
Ms. Redd from VA says:
Hello,

I totally enjoyed reading this article on Rev. Miller and all of his great accomplishments thus far. Moreover, other leaders should model the works of this articulate individual who prays, teaches, and lends his voice on the behalf of his community in an effort to attain fairness for all... Would love to read more of Rev. Miller's interviews!!
March 24, 2010, 9:57 pm
Amu from Bed Stuy says:
I had the pleasure of hearing Rev. Miller speak at my graduation a few years back and he uplifted and inspired my whole family, particularly my high school son, to participate in positive community action. Thanks for reminding me and motivating me once again to seek out his positive energy. We all certainly need more of that, as some of these posts prove.
March 30, 2010, 9:33 pm
Noname from NYC says:
Rev. Miller stands up for the community but he treats women like garbage. I wouldnt call him a pimp but his sexual prowess is pathetic. with a church full of pathetic hopeful women.
Aug. 12, 2010, 11:47 am
Diaries of a baller from Nyc says:
I have had the pleasure of meeting Rev Clinton Miller. He is an awesome mentor and individual who I look up to. His accomplishments, education, and dedication to his community speaks louder than words. To read people's comments of him being a "pimp" and "sexual prowess" is absolutely hilarious. Lol...It actually sounds like heart broken and scorned woman who are speaking from personal encounters. And if that is the case get over it and grow up.
Aug. 22, 2010, 3:12 pm
Edgefield from Bedstuy says:
I have known Rev. Miller for 25 years he is smart, kind and very caring indivdual. I pray for him all the time. It is my prayer that all of these scorned women would just move on! Give the man a break!
Sept. 20, 2010, 4:57 pm

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