“The impetus to plant a church (in Salem) came from Calvary,” said Miller, wearing a blue “American Idol” T-shirt.
This is the third new church started by Calvary Christian, which has grown dramatically in recent years, according to Miller.
The Millers came to Salem last fall with 50 members from the Lynnfield church. The congregation has doubled in size since then, he said.
Remix opened in September, or shortly after Angie’s tryout for “American Idol.” Angie — he calls his daughter Angela or Ange but never Angie — stayed active with her parents’ new church right into the winter.
With both parents serving as co-pastors, Angie and her older brother, Jonathan, 21, were key parts of the worship service. While she played the piano and sang, Jonathan, who is in a band, sang and played four instruments.
“Our son is way more musical,” Miller said.
While Miller wouldn’t, or couldn’t, discuss his daughter’s musical background, he did talk about his wife’s. He clearly remembers the first time he heard Tana sing in chapel at Valley Forge Christian College in Pennsylvania. Her voice, he said, was powerful, pure and moving.
There have been times, he said, when Tana finished singing and the audience sat in stunned silence.
“She sings with an anointing, I believe, from God,” he said.
Much has been made of his daughter’s piano playing. Although Miller didn’t take any credit, or even comment on it, he described himself as a self-taught piano player who didn’t start playing until he was 33.
Music and religion are interwoven parts of Miller’s life. He even has a Psalm 149 tattoo on his right arm depicting a sword and musical notes.
As everyone knows, the Millers live in Beverly, and Angie went to Beverly High.
But Salem is also the family’s home.
Miller said he is thankful to Bentley Principal Renata McFarland and her staff for making the church feel so welcome. Church members have tried to return the good will, volunteering at school functions, most recently a spaghetti supper.
“We’re here just to be a blessing to the city,” he said. “We love Salem.”
Tom Dalton can be reached at email@example.com.