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Stewardship has remained a priority for Pearson and Jeannine Miller since their wedding 54 years ago.
During their marriage ceremony, G.H. Boley — Jeannine’s father, a Free Methodist pastor and Wabash Conference superintendent — advised the couple to follow Matthew 6:33: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
“From day one with our lives together, this is how we have lived,” Pearson said.
“Everything we’ve ever touched or had belongs to God, and we just manage it for Him.”
The retired Greenfield, Ind., couple emphasized the importance of tithing. Charter members of Aldersgate FMC in Indianapolis, the Millers believe giving starts at the local church level.
Jeannine said that even when family finances were tight during her childhood, tithing came first.
“I would get an allowance, and I would put part of the allowance in a special box — we called it the tithe box — so I knew that money was God’s. It wasn’t mine,” she said.
Jeannine completed her Greenville College education in three years, and Pearson was a senior at Purdue University when the couple married. They bought a small trailer that became their home.
“We didn’t have a lot to start with,” Pearson said. “It’s been a blessing to see how God has blessed us, and we’ve been able to take those blessings and manage them for His work.”
They pursued careers in education while rearing their two sons, Jon and Phil. Pearson worked as a teacher, a principal, a school superintendent, the state of Indiana’s director of school finance and an education consultant. Jeannine worked as a junior high school guidance counselor for 39 years. Both are now retired, but they stay busy.
Time for Others
The Millers’ generosity includes giving their time to many charities and the Free Methodist Church – USA.
Pearson is a member of the denomination’s Board of Administration and the chairman of its Benefits Committee, which works with the Free Methodist Foundation to manage the pension funds for pastors and denominational employees. He also served for 30 years as a Greenville College trustee and currently serves as the board chairman of the Wabash Park Campground, where Jeannine also is an active volunteer.
The Millers are also active in their community. Jeannine served for years on the board of the Hancock Hope House, a homeless shelter in Greenfield. She currently volunteers for Indianapolis-based Families First.
“They provide counseling for families who are in various types of trouble,” Jeannine said.
The Millers credit the Free Methodist Foundation with expanding their stewardship opportunities. The couple, who worked with the foundation to establish a charitable trust, appreciate the accessibility of the foundation and the resources it provides for financial and legal matters.
“The Free Methodist Foundation has been a real help to us and a guide to us,” Pearson said.