Ricardo Miller’s purpose recognized
Twenty-six years ago, Ricardo Miller Sr. left high school with an attendance certificate and an inability to read – today, the family ministry pastor at Pathway of Life Church and president/founder of Ricardo Miller Children’s Ministry (RMCM) and children’s ministry pastor is being recognized by his alma mater.
Miller, who graduated class of 1992 from R.M. Bailey High School is one of 11 people – four of whom have religious affiliations that will be inducted into R.M. Bailey High School’s Hall of Fame on Friday, November 16, during the Highbury High/R.M. Bailey High School and Alumni Association’s 50th Anniversary Hall of Fame and Teacher’s Honoration Gala Ball under the theme – “Celebrating the Past, Inspiring our Future” at the Melia Nassau Beach Resort.
The youth and children’s pastor is being honored for his work with the youth. Reverend Harry Bain, dean of Nassau and rector at Christ Church Cathedral, from the class of 1973 will be recognized in religion, along with Nehemiah Hield, Mt. Tabor Church’s minister of music, class of 1979 for his work in arts and entertainment; as well as Reverend Christopher Alonzo Roberts, former R.M. Bailey guidance counsellor will also be honored with the Pacer Pride award.
Recalling his early days, Miller who was raised by his mother and never knew who his father was, said he felt hopeless, lost, and wounded. He said he was exposed to violence and gang activity which he said could ultimately have led to his self-destruction.
Upon leaving school and not being able to read he said he accepted his deficiencies and knew they had to be addressed. Returning to school at 18 he said was challenging. He had to let go of his pride.
“For me to be the man God wanted me to be I knew I had to let go of being in denial,” said Miller.
He hired a tutor and attended night courses to obtain his diploma and improve his academic skills. Miller said he worked hard to make up the years he lost in high school. He realized that if God gave him life, he gave it to him for a reason.
“If you don’t know your purpose, you’re going to abuse the life you’ve been given,” he said. Young people need to understand that there’s purpose within each one of them. The failure to not understand that purpose is to abuse one’s life. Regardless of your circumstances you can fulfill your God-ordained purpose. Despite the situation you’re in, something good can come out of this. You have to surround yourself with people who will inspire you to want to change for the better,” he said.
Miller always knew he was a leader but that he used his gift negatively. Internally, he recognized he wasn’t helping others transform positively. After surrendering his life to Christ, his leadership skills began to evolve. He volunteered in church as well as community activities. He came to the realization that if he wanted to help the community, he had to start at the base by reaching the youth and children.
“The key is to start with children before they’re at a stage where you have to break bad habits or start habits that need to be broken. I wanted to start with children to help them avoid the pitfalls I was involved in and so many others.”
Miller has since ministered for over two decades and impacted thousands of people globally. He said his wisdom, obedience and faith have led him to the destiny that God ordained for his life. Despite a few obstacles, he said he never accepted defeat. He fought for his purpose.
“I could have used my upbringing as a crutch or an excuse to justify why I couldn’t make it. I decided that it doesn’t matter how I start [but] it’s how I finish. It’s not where I am; it’s where I’m going. I made a conscious decision to not live life full of excuses. I used my situation as motivating factors to show the enemy he is a liar and that God has had a plan for my life since the beginning — and I’m going to finish well.”
Miller said his mission is to help others discover their purpose. He empowers a generation to understand who they are and whose they are. His goal he said is to train others to maximize their purpose and live life effectively. He believes we’re living in a time where many young people are unaware of personal identity.
“Where purpose is unknown abuse is inevitable, so I’m on a mission to help others discover purpose.”
Miller said he is compelled to see a life change in people, especially youth and children. As a leader in ministry for 23 years, he said he can reflect on the impact he has made on others.
“To witness children I impacted return to share the message I ministered to help them, it drives and motivates me to break generational curses. As my grandmother and mother would say, ‘I don’t have to live in the standards I was brought up in.’ To see what God has done in my life, I know what he can do in others’ lives as well.”
The pastor believes everyone was created for a purpose.
“Your parents are in your life to help you, but beyond that it’s up to you. God can still do amazing things in your life, but you have to want it,” he said.
Over the years, Miller led a campaign to reach young people around the world. The “Think Next Generation Tour” was hosted across the United States, Caribbean, Central America and Africa. Think Next Generation epitomizes the ideal that children are next. His organization, Ricardo Miller Ministries, focuses on empowering God’s people to maximize their potential and dominate in their greatest area of gifting. They target three factors – coaching people to discover the principles to effective living; developing leaders; and inspiring people to defy the odds when it comes to winning in life.
Miller is gearing up to conduct the “Defy the Odds Empowerment Tour” which includes workshop training sessions to equip individuals to live their best life now. The tour kicks off January 2-6 in Nashville, Tennessee.
He is also the host of the award-winning, globally aired Children’s Ministry Talk Radio Show “Ask The Children’s Ministry Guy” which airs on Fishbowl Radio Network every Monday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Central Standard Time.
Miller is also the founder of National Children’s Day Ministry in The Bahamas, recognizing the catalytic work children’s ministry workers do on a daily and weekly basis in churches throughout the country.
Having a family was also important to the children’s ministry pastor who is married to Isha; they have one son, Ricardo Jr.
“My mother was a single parent with five kids – despite her being a single parent, I wanted to get married and have kids with my wife. You have to have a dream that’s bigger than you and what you want. To achieve it, you have to do whatever it takes to make it happen.”
Rather than giving in to the statistics that society has placed on single-parent households, Ricardo Miller was determined to beat the odds.
Miller and Bain will be honored along with Dulcie Colette Pratt, retired nurse, class of 1976; Michael James Cunningham, chairman, Bahamas Entrepreneurial Venture Fund Ltd./Bahamas Welding and Fire, class of 1976; Nehemiah Ishmael Hield, minister of music at Mt. Tabor Church, class of 1979; Dr. Willis Leon Johnson, president of Galilee College, class of 1976; Dion Foulkes, Minister of Labour, class of 1975; John Pinder, Department of Labour, acting director of labour, class of 1979; Ismella Davis, assistant commissioner of police; class of 1981; Rev. Christopher Alonzo Roberts, former guidance counsellor R.M. Bailey, class of 1984; and Chef Edwin Johnson, class of 1979.
Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.
Education: Saint Augustine’s College, BA in Mass Communication