Respected Presbyterian minister resigns

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com November 19 2002 12:00 AM ET

A respected Presbyterian pastor who was removed from his duties in Mount Kisko, N.Y., because of allegations of sexual misconduct has resigned as minister. The Reverend Jack Miller explained the decision in a letter to parishioners at Mount Kisco Presbyterian Church. The minister, long a leading advocate for gay rights, also told his congregation that he is gay. "I openly acknowledge that many years ago, before I came to accept myself as a gay man, I did things that were wrong and inappropriate to my position as a minister," he said in the letter. Miller added, however, that he still denies the specifics of the misconduct allegations. In a separate letter, Miller informed the Hudson River Presbytery, representing churches in the Hudson Valley north of New York City, that he was stepping down.

Earlier this year a man alleged that Miller had abused him in the early 1980s, according to New Castle, N.Y., police sergeant James Carroll. The case could not be prosecuted because the statute of limitations had expired, he said. Miller was named "Citizen of the Year" by the Mount Kisco chamber of commerce and was honored by the Westchester Hispanic Coalition after helping start a community center that aids immigrant day laborers.

In recent years, when the Presbyterian Church (USA) was divided over the role of gay men and lesbians, Miller's church sent a letter announcing it would ignore a church law banning the ordination of gays and lesbians.