He's accepting new challenges

Jun. 12, 2013 @ 07:11 PM

Seth Miller, pastor at Sulpher Springs Baptist Church in Warrenton, will take on a new role as headmaster of Norlina Christian in the fall.

After being persuaded by former headmaster David Spence, Miller has been teaching at the school for the past three years.

“He invited me to come do what’s called the spiritual emphasis week, which is like their revival services,” Miller said. “After that he just started asking me about considering teaching Bible.

“For about a year I declined, then eventually I did.”

During his three years as a teacher at Norlina Christian, Miller also taught computers and speech to high school age students. He credits Spence for his successful endeavor into the field of education.

“He’s certainly a role model to me in education,” Miller said. “He’s the one who pretty much convinced me to pursue teaching.”

Prior to leading congregations in service, or taking on the role of headmaster, Miller was busy studying at Clear Creek Baptist Bible College in Pineville, Ky., where he met his wife of 10 years, Janie.

Following his time in college, Miller attended Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest.

Miller and his wife have three children: Ben, 8, Autumn, 5, and Randy, 2.

Ben and Autumn both attend Norlina Christian, where Miller believes parents concerned with a low student to faculty ratio will find appeal.

“She has maybe eight students in here,” Miller said as he gave a tour of the elementary school facility. “A public school like Northside has about 30 or 35 students in one classroom, which I’m sure the teachers do a fine job, but that’s a lot.

“There’s a nice draw for parents who want that one-on-one learning.”

With limited resources, Miller says staff at the school work hard to utilize their facility, and keep it neatly organized.

Julie Darnell who teaches 4- and 5-year-olds in the school’s preschool program, voluntarily gave the elementary facility a fresh coat of yellow and green paint recently.

“I teach K-4 and K-5 and I love it,” Darnell said.

Currently 33 students are enrolled at Norlina Christian, a figure that stands to increase throughout the summer.

In an effort to strengthen marketing efforts at the school, Miller is working with First Christian School in South Hill, Va., to recruit new students.

The school, which only runs through eighth grade, is expected to visit Norlina Christian during the 2013-2014 school year, where they could potentially complete their high school education.

Miller, who will complete duties as headmaster this the summer, is presently working to develop a Norlina Christian School Alumni Association.

“That’s one of my biggest goals right now is to try to get that started,” Miller said, “so we can have a sort of a backbone, develop social networking, help them out and have them help us out.”

Administrative documents dating back to the school’s inception date of 1985 were piled high in Miller’s office. They will be used to seek out contact information from past graduates.

“I think a lot of people who love this school would love to see it do well,” Miller said. “It’s one of the best things you can do.”

Contact the writer at abentley@hendersondispatch.com.