Dr. Bernie Miller is the founding Pastor of New Covenant Fellowship Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He answered his call to pastor in 1991 and founded the Church in 1996. Dr. Miller marked his 50th year in broadcasting in 2018; his 26th year in ministry and the church’s 21st anniversary. He was born in Salisbury, North Carolina, but his mother moved to Baltimore, Maryland when he was three years old. He began his radio career in 1967 when he was still in high school.
On July 7, 1996, over 200 people attended New Covenant Fellowship’s first worship service at 1326 N. Moore Rd. Former Mayor John Kinsey proclaimed July 7, 1996, “A Day of New Beginnings.” In August 2001, New Covenant Fellowship bought eighteen acres to accommodate its unprecedented growth. “We needed $150,000 to buy the property, but we only had $50,000 on hand.” So, a local business person, who asked to remain anonymous, donated $100,000 so we could buy the property,” said Dr. Miller.
On March 3, 2002, after securing a 1.3 million dollar loan, New Covenant Fellowship moved into its new facility at 1326 N. Moore Rd. Dr. Miller set aside half an acre of land for a community food garden to supply fresh food to the Chattanooga Area Food Bank, church members and the community.
Grammy Award-winning gospel artist, Phil Driscoll, Cece Winans, the Wardlaw Brothers, Dottie Peoples and Vickie Yohe have performed free concerts in NCF’s new high-tech facility to celebrate the Church’s 10th, 16th and 18th anniversaries respectively. On July 8, 2017, Grammy and Stellar Award winner Kurt Carr and the Kurt Carr Singers performed in celebration of its 20th Church Anniversary.
Dr. Miller arrived in Chattanooga in 1990 by way of New York City where he worked as Vice President of artists and repertoire for SONY/Epic Records, from 1987 to 1989. On the Epic roster were over 25 artists including, the Jacksons, the late Michael Jackson and Luther Vandross, respectively. In addition, he wrote several songs for which he received both gold and platinum record awards with the most famous being, Grammy nominated, “I Can’t Stand the Rain,” first recorded by Ann Peebles and later by Larry Graham, Tina Turner and Missy Eliott. Missy Eliott’s version was featured in golfer Jordan Spieth’s Coca-Cola commercial. Ann Peebles’ version is showcased in the Stax Museum of American Music. In 2013, it was also performed by Queen Latifah for PBS’s ‘In Performance’ at the White House to commemorate Black Music Month.
The 700 Club selected Dr. Miller to be interviewed for their 50th anniversary celebration that aired on the CBN network. His interview was well received. Molly Young, CBN’s senior producer, invited Dr. Miller to share his testimony live, September 20, 2011, at CBN’s black-tie dinner before over 400 longtime partners of the 700 Club.
Dr. Miller has received several awards for his work in communications. In 1985, Black Enterprise Magazine voted Dr. Miller one of the country’s top 25 broadcasters for his work in Chicago with Tom Joyner on Johnson Publishing Company’s WJPC radio station. He received the “Monarch Award in Communications” from the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Xi Nu Omega Chapter. In 1988, he was the recipient of the “Black Achievers in Industry Award” from the Harlem Branch YMCA of Greater New York. In 1994, Dr. Miller was voted the most popular Morning Drive radio personality in Chattanooga.
Dr. Miller hosted a nationally syndicated gospel program that was heard on the Moody Bible broadcasting network. Currently, he is the host of two distinctly difference radio programs in Chattanooga: “Power Praise,” the #1 Black gospel music program on WJTT-Power94 with a 31.8 Nielsen Rating, and “Sunday Celebration,” on the #1 contemporary Christian music station, J103.
In 2010, Dr. Miller was named “Man of the Year” from Tennessee and received the “Distinguished Christian Statesman Award” by the Atlanta based RossReportNews.net Ministries. In 2011, Rainbow Push bestowed upon him their God’s Trombone Award for his excellent service and outstanding achievement.
Dr. Miller has served as chairman on numerous boards and advisory panels, such as the U.S. Census Bureau’s African-American Race & Ethnicity Advisory Committee; the Chattanooga Housing Authority (Where he balanced their budget for the first time in the Authority’s history and amended their procedures to house the victims of Hurricane Katrina); and he chaired the Tennessee Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
Dr. Miller was invited to the White House for the Medal of Freedom Ceremony honoring Civil Rights pioneer, the late Dr. Benjamin Hooks, the arrival ceremony of Mwai Kibaki, President of Kenya, and the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1965.
Dr. Miller is a graduate of Covington Theological Seminary. He was the first to receive Covington Seminary’s alumni of the Year award at their 2006 graduation ceremony where he received a Doctorate of Divinity. Dr. Miller and his wife, Madelene, have a son, Zachary.