Every Sunday morning, preachers and priests deliver messages to their congregations all across Ashe County.
Garrett Miller, the interim-pastor at Wagoner Baptist Church in Laural Springs, delivers messages like his fellow preachers, but with one obvious difference; Miller is 18 years old.
“Everybody in life, I believe, has a purpose and everybody has a job, and this is my job. I welcome it now,” said Miller.
Miller felt called to preach at the age of 16, and at first, preaching was not something he wanted to do.
“It’s not an easy life,” said Miller, “there are a lot of things people don’t see that goes along with pastoring or preaching.”
Miller lives in Wilkes County, about 50 miles away from Wagnor Missionary Baptist Church. The hour drive from home to church, along with visiting his congregation and the hours devoted to Bible study are a few of the tough “behind the scenes” activities Miller said comes with pastoring.
However, Miller said when he realized ministry was his calling, he followed through with becoming a preacher.
“It truly was something between myself and God only, and no one else affected that decision,” said Miller.
Although the decision to preach was between Miller and God, Miller did cite a friend and fellow preacher, a man named Josh Blevins, as a mentor. Blevins was also called to preach at the early age of 20, and Miller was a member of his congregation.
“He kind of went through the same things I did,” said Miller. “He has helped me along the way.” Miller also said he still consults Blevins when he has questions about the Bible, or about pastoring in general.
Miller graduated high school last spring, and in addition to being a pastor, Miller is also a full-time student at Surry Community College and works at his father’s construction business.
“It’s a lot to balance, but I’m very blessed. I do hope to go to seminary school after I finish my two-year degree,” said Miller.
“I’m not sure which seminary I want to go to, but I do plan to attend,” said Miller, “I’m not really going for the degree I would prefer to have the knowledge than the piece of paper.”
As for Miller’s future plans, he said he can’t know exactly where he will be 10 years from now, but he can plan on following God’s will in the future.
“I really wish I could see into the future and see what God has in store for me, but I’ll tell you this, I will be following the Lord’s will,” said Miller.