Let’s be clear about this post. This post is the story of God’s sovereign grace in transforming a self-seeking nightclub piano player into a grateful servant of the Lord Jesus Christ known as the piano playing pastor. His name? George Miladin.
His musical ability began early . . . at five years of age. When his mother discovered that he had “perfect pitch,” she “pitched” him onto a piano bench. Trained by his aunt, who was a professional musician, he learned to play heavy classics, like Chopin’s Polonaise, though at times, there was a desire for baseball and a more masculine instrument like the trumpet!
George’s next period in his life, from ages 12–20, was spent in rebellion. No more piano, no more attendance at Sunday School, no more thinking about God, was the way he summarized it all up. From now on, it was going to be about him. So he took up the trumpet, and became so good at it, that he played with the Lawrence Welk band at the Aragon Ballroom, “tooting” his arrangement of Stardust. Graduating from high school, he traveled to Michigan with his trumpet. He contracted pneumonia there and in the process of recovery from it, he lost his “lip”. Returning to California, one of Hollywood’s best piano teachers took him on, and he practiced two hours a day, not in the classics of his youth, but in pop music. He came to the notice of a disc jockey of Hollywood, Johnny Grant, known at the mayor of Hollywood, who invited him to join his band to travel oversees to the Far East for troop entertainment. He made five such trips with that entertainment troupe. Pretty heady stuff, he acknowledged later, for an eighteen year old. When a contract could not be finalized for him to continue this dissolute life in Japan, he continued in his studies at U.C.L.A. In God’s providence, two events took place at this time.
First, a young starlet for whom he played the piano, tried and failed to commit suicide. George Miladin began to think on the things of eternity at that time. Second, God sent a young man with a Bible and an heart filled with love for the Lord Jesus into his life. After a few months of studying the Book of John with him, and attending worship at his church, the University Bible Church, George Miladin bowed the knee to the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. The pastor of that congregation was Milo Jamison who then encouraged the young convert to play the music for the worship services.
On or about the middle of May, in 1962, George Miladin was introduced to Reformed theology, and accepted it with his mind and heart. At the invitation of Dr. Robert Rayburn, he went to Covenant Theological Seminary. After graduation, with his wife Londa, whom he had married in 1958, he was ordained and served a number of Presbyterian Churches, including his last congregation in San Diego, where he would minister for 27 years. He continues today in the field of music, desiring to bring glory to God who has been so gracious to him. (Those who use the Trinity Hymnal in their worship, check out his musical arrangement for the Apostle’s Creed, at number 741 in the Hymnal.)
Words to Live By: The good news is that God’s saving grace is not over. The Holy Spirit continues to arrest people in their downward sinful paths and bring them to Christ. It may be that this post will be used by that same Spirit of God to reach someone who is living for the world, as George Miladin was living at one time in his life. Let his story of redemptive grace speak to your heart and bring you to the Savior.
A few of the published works of Rev. Miladin:
Is this really the end?: A Reformed Analysis of The Late Great Planet Earth. (1972)
The Reformed Faith For the World Today and Tomorrow. (1974)
Getting it together in the home : a how to do it manual on family devotions. (1975)
Revolution, martyrdom, flight and reconstruction : a timely study of today’s Christians and their relationship to the “powers that be” (1976)
Knowing and Growing: A 5-Part Study Manual for New (and Old) Believers. (1980’s?)
Personal Evangelism Made Less Difficult. (1995)
A Deluge of Pentecostal Powerby Rev. David T. Myers We have at various times in this historical devotional turned to the Diary of David Brainerd. Brainerd was a Presbyterian missionary to the Indians, or native Americans as we would call them today, in the mid seventeen hundreds. In his short life and ministry among them, he […]
At last, He Had Arrivedby Rev. David T. Myers You would have thought that he was a king making a royal entrance into his kingdom, so great was the rejoicing among God’s people to his arrival on the shores of the American colonies. And indeed, John Witherspoon was certainly the man whom God has chosen to lead […]
What Type of Preaching is Necessary Today for a Spiritual Awakening?by Rev. David T. Myers Our question in the title is a key one. We have read in history of various revivals of religion which took place in our country from her earliest days, including the first great awakening under George Whitefield, Gilbert Tennent, Jonathan […]
A Highly Religious Man with Strong Presbyterian Beliefsby Rev. David T. Myers We might more readily suggest any number of men and ministers of whom this title might describe. But when it is known that this description was given to a man, indeed a minister, by the name of Richard Denton in the early sixteen […]
Nothing spectacular in wordby Rev. David T. Myers We might not have even noticed William Floyd in history had he not been in place and time a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was like countless others in the early history of our nation. From a family which had emigrated from the old country, […]
Seeing My Father’s worldby Rev. David T. Myers He never even heard the hymn which he wrote, sung by a choir or congregation. He never heard it as an instrumental musical piece. That is because he wrote it as a poem in 1901 and it wasn’t published until 1916, set to music for the Presbyterian […]
God’s Providence in the Church.by Rev. Henry A. Boardman, pastor of Philadelphia’s Tenth Presbyterian Church, from 1833 until his retirement in 1876. The Church has lived on through all changes, not without feeling them. It is the only earthly witness which has seen these vicissitudes from the beginning; for it is older by two […]
“Tell me about them big arms!” Cornelius Washington Grafton was born on December 21, 1846 and died on this day, August 1st, in 1934. Trained for the ministry at Columbia Theological Seminary, Rev. Grafton was for forty-three years the pastor of the Union Church Presbyterian Church in rural Mississippi. Most of our resources on this memorable […]
Edward Terris Noé was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 18, 1919 to parents Bradford Massey Noé and his wife, Lydia Terria Noé. He was educated at Johns Hopkins University, New York University and at the National Bible Institute (1947), and upon graduation at NBI, he married Ruth Helen Buswell, of New York City, on […]
Today’s entry is drawn directly from Alfred Nevin’s Encyclopedia of the Presbyterian Church (p. 333), with just a little elaboration. Third in an Illustrious Line of Medical Doctors H. Lenox Hodge was born in Philadelphia, July 30th, 1838. His father was the eminent physician, Dr. Hugh L. Hodge. [His uncle was the equally eminent Princeton Seminary […]