Peggy Miller '68 - 1998 A Award Recipient
The life of Peggy O'Neal Miller serves as a frame containing a succession of portraits. As a member of the Sentinel class of 1968, Peggy developed her love of speech and drama on Asbury's campus and was a participant in the College's traveling troupe, the King's Players
Today, her acquired gifts of research, writing, design and dramatic interpretation are put to use in her "Living Portraits" ministry, a nation-wide outreach that brings to life women of faith from across the centuries.
Carefully researched and crafted by Peggy herself, these one-woman dramas vibrantly portray such rich characters as Susannah Wesley, Corrie Ten Boom, Mary, mother of Christ, and others. Peggie developed this ministry concept just before the birth of her first child as she studied the life of Susannah Wesley. Inspired by the "mother of Methodism's" child-rearing techniques, Peggy read everything she could find on the Wesley's family life. That research combined with Peggy's talent in the dramatic arts let to her first "one-woman portrayal" which debuted in her home church.
From there, Peggy's ministry grew until she moved from her career in teaching to devote more time to her developing dramatic outreach. Not only does she create scripts for these "living portraits," but also develops accurate costuming and settings for each historical period represented.
As a mother of two daughters and the wiefe of a United Methodist pastor, Peggy feels great affinity with her first portayal subject, Susannah Wesley. Her other characters were developed with much time and prayer as Peggy sout out women whose life's stories demonstrate the powerful truths of God. She describes the effects of her work in this way:
"...These dramas capture an audience's attention in a way a sermon cannot. Wrapped in the story are valuable lessons, circumstances we can identify with and respond to emotionally... The Holy Spirit is very much at work through these dramas, ministering to different ones at their point of need."
From Fanny Crosby, she has learned optimism, from Mary, trust and obedience, from Corrie, faith under fire. Today, her repertoire included more than six characters that she portrays in special performances in chruchs across North America. Congregations from 12 denominations and other institutions such as our own Asbury College chapel have been enlightened by a "visit" from these women of faith.
Sharing her own journey of faith, Peggy also gives personal witness to God at work in her life. In drama workshops, she helps others discover their gifts in the dramatic arts.
Peggy has also given her talents to benefit her alma mater as a member of the Alumni Board. She comes form an "Asbury Family" whose mother, aunts and uncles, husban, siblings, nieces and nephews, and both daughters have studied on this campus.
Husband Ken (also a member of the class of 1968) and daughters Tricia '97 and Melissa '01 participate in prayer and encouragement of Peggy's ministry.