Reverend Robert Miller

Reverend Robert Miller
Reverend Robert Miller

Robert Joseph Miller was born in Grand Rapids, MI in 1950. After seminary studies in WI and NY (1964-1977), he obtained a B.A. in Philosophy (1973), Masters of Religious Education (1975) and Masters of Divinity (1977). He professed vows as a member of a Catholic religious order (the Redemptorists) in 1970, and was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in June 1976. His assignments were as Associate Pastor in Davenport, IA (1977-1981); a member of the Redemptorist Mission Team in Chicago (1981-1988), traveling the country preaching missions, retreats and parish renewals; and active work with Marriage Encounter, the Charismatic Renewal, retreat/mission preaching, and healing/charismatic Masses around the Midwest. In 1986, he graduated from the Pecos School for Charismatic Spiritual Directors.

In 1990, Fr. Bob officially joined the Archdiocese of Chicago, and began ministering in Chicago's African-American south-side community, first at St. Joachim Church (1990-1995), and then Co Pastor (later Administrator) of Holy Angels Church (1995-2006) in Chicago’s historic Bronzeville neighborhood. In July 2006, he became Pastor of St. Dorothy Church, also on the southside of Chicago, where he is ministering at present. Between 1995-2002, he authored five books on various aspects of spirituality, Scripture, meditation and griefwork. In 1996 he founded Genesis Housing Development Corporation, a faith-based group building affordable housing on Chicago’s southside (www.genesishdc.org) - a group he remains active Chair of to this date. Read more about Father Miller's remarkable life here: http://www.robertjmiller.net/Author.html

Father Miller and the Genesis Housing Development Corporation
In 1995, Fr. Bob Miller arrived at Holy Angels and began a faith-based community organizing outreach there under the auspices of an alliance of churches called ACTS. After extensive one-on-one interviews in Bronzeville, the issue of affordable housing arose as the critical upcoming crisis. In 1996, the ACTS Core Team decided to spin off a separate entity called at first “Holy Angels Housing Corporation”. When Blackwell A.M.E. Zion and St. Elizabeth Churches expressed similar interest and enthusiasm, they quickly joined the effort and thus was born Genesis Housing Development Corporation. (In July 2000, St. James United Methodist Church, and in 2005 St. Columbanus Church also joined Genesis).

Formally incorporated in March 1997, Genesis had as its first office a 3-by-8 foot cubicle in Holy Angels rectory (Michael Evans served as Executive Director). The next Bronzeville office was the basement of St. Ambrose Church (with Jerome Green now the second E.D.), followed by Blackwell Church’s basement, the Wabash Y. At present, Genesis is housed and offers its services at the Chatham-based St. Dorothy Convent (7735 S. Vernon). In February 2000, Donnie Brown came aboard “only temporarily” as Executive Director – and now 13 years later, his solid leadership and hard work continues to move Genesis forward to newer levels of accomplishment and respect in Chicago.

The early days were challenging for fund-raising and project development. LISC was the first public group to financially support Genesis (1998), with Kaplan Foundation being the first grant received (1998), and CDBG funding for counseling the first government funding. At present (in 2013), Genesis is well-knownand deeply respected throughout the banking and housing community, and with government funding. The support of many Chicago area aldermen and politicians, the work of the Genesis board members, and the hard-working skills of our Genesis staff has resulted in enormous fruit:

  • 45 new homes being built, and dozens rehabbed
  • Thousands of people counseled for finances, homeownership, foreclosure mediation
  • Innumerable families retaining homes after danger of foreclosure
  • Over 150 low-income homeowners assisted since 2011 through Illinois’ Hardest Hit Program!
  • Over 400 people yearly empowered thru job creation, housing or economic opportunity

Thanks to great vision by its founder and Executive Directors, and persistent dedicated work by its Board and Staff, Genesis remains strong and vibrant, recognized and acknowledged as the leader in South-side housing services. The hearts of its Board and leaders today are warmed b y the many success stories of our constituents. From the very first family who purchased a home in 1998, to the most recent one saved from foreclosure, Genesis is hard at work making dreams come thru on Chicago’s South-side!
April 20, 2013

Books
Reverend Miller has written 6 books:

Title Date of Publication ISBN-10 ISBN-13 Link
Both Prayed to the Same God – Religion and Faith in the American Civil War September 21, 2007 0739120565 978-0739120569 Both Prayed to the Same God
Surprised by Love October 16, 2002 1580511279 978-1580511278 Surprised by Love
Fire in the Deep October 31, 2001 1580511074 978-1580511070 Fire in the Deep
Falling into Faith September 1, 2000 1580510787 978-1580510783 Falling into Faith
GriefQuest – Reflections and Stories for Men Coping with Loss May 1999 0884895971 978-0884895978 GriefQuest – Reflections and Stories for Men Coping with Loss
Finding Your Place in the Universe December 1995 087029279X 978-0870292798 Finding Your Place in the Universe