Pastor says his mentally troubled wife died by suicide, but some refuse to believe

Pastor John-Paul Miller (R) of Solid Rock at Market Common in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and his late wife, Mica Miller (L).
Pastor John-Paul Miller (R) of Solid Rock at Market Common in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and his late wife, Mica Miller (L). | YouTube/Solid Rock; John-Paul Miller

Police in North Carolina are investigating the death of Mica Miller, the wife of Pastor John-Paul Miller of Solid Rock at Market Common in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, who was found with a bullet wound to her head at Lumber River State Park in Robeson County last Saturday as her widower comes under a barrage of suspicion online.

Major Damien McLean of Robeson County Sheriff's Office told ABC15 News that officers are gathering information from people who knew the late 30-year-old pastor’s wife to understand how she died.

Last Sunday, just hours after her body was found, Pastor Miller announced to his congregation in a viral video that his wife died by suicide even though investigators have not yet confirmed an official cause of death.

Get Our Latest News for FREE

Subscribe to get daily/weekly email with the top stories (plus special offers!) from The Christian Post. Be the first to know.

“After the announcement, I’m going to ask that you leave church quietly and don’t talk about the announcement here in the building, please, if you can,” he said.

“My request to you is that you continue to come to church and serve for the next little bit because … I’m taking a little bit of a break, and I don’t want to have to worry about the church. My break may be a few days, or a few weeks. I don’t know,” he said.

“I got a call late last night. My wife has passed away. Yeah, it was self-induced and it was up in North Carolina,” he added, noting that a funeral will be held for her at the church at 3 p.m. on May 5.

“I’m just kind of going on adrenaline right now, so y’all pray for my kids and everybody. Y’all knew she wasn’t well mentally, and she needed medicine that was hard to get to her and so, I’m sure there’ll be more details to come, so just keep our family in your prayers.”

Some members of Mica Miller’s family, like her sister Sierra Francis, quickly rejected the idea that she killed herself and suggested she was abused.

“There is a lot of talk already going on, so I want to set the record straight. Our sister Mica Miller passed away yesterday. Please do not listen to false stories being shared about her,” Francis noted on Facebook. 

“Mica was a God-fearing, joyful, loving woman who did not deserve the abuse she endured. If you hear anything about this from anyone other than her family please question it, reach out to her siblings or parents. Keep our family in your prayers and if you have any information that needs to be shared, please contact one of us. Please respect us in this time and honor her memory with joy that she is no longer suffering. #justiceformica.”

Speculation about Mica Miller’s death has spread like wildfire on social media. Some critics openly questioned why Pastor Miller was in the pulpit hours after his wife’s death.

Court records cited by The New York Post show that Mica Miller filed for divorce from her husband in October 2023, but the reasons were not stated. The case was eventually dismissed in February, but a few days later Pastor Miller filed for “Separate Support and Maintenance” seeking financial support. Mica Miller would file for similar support in April. A hearing was scheduled for June 5.

In an interview with The Christian Post on Friday, Pastor Miller admitted that his relationship with Mica began with adultery. He said they were both previously married and cheated on their spouses, and many people left his church, forcing them to start over. He said he and Mica got married in 2017. Shortly after, she underwent surgery for an undisclosed reason and was diagnosed with “bipolar II, schizophrenic and dependent personality disorder.”

Since 2017, says Pastor Miller, they have been trying to manage his wife’s mental illness with lithium, and significant support. As long as she took her medication, Pastor Miller said, his wife would be fine. Mica, however, had a roller coaster relationship with the medication.

He alleged she would complain how the medication would make her gain weight or cause her to slur. And earlier this year, the wife of a well-meaning pastor friend who had no understanding of mental illness offered to pray and believe that Mica Miller’s mental illness would go away. That incident, he said, stuck with Mica and she started to believe that she no longer needed the medication.

“I took care of her through every time she went to the mental institute. I took care of her every time she stopped taking her lithium. I would never expose this stuff of her if I didn't have to now, but every time she tried to kill herself, I would be there. I would literally sometimes pick her up physically put her in the truck, take her to the [hospital],” Miller said with a slight crack in his voice.

The pastor said he took his wife to probate court a few weeks ago to get her hospitalized, but the court stated that she wasn’t a danger to others so she could not be forced.

“Nobody believed me when I told them that she was having a psychotic break. She would have never left. She would have never done what she did. They wouldn't believe me. I have 48 text messages that I sent out saying she needs her lithium; somebody help me please. And no one believed me,” the grieving pastor said.

“Everybody thought I was a demon for trying to take her to probate court and get her put in a hospital. I told her family, I have text messages, over and over, I told her family she needs her medicine. They told me I'm crazy. She doesn't need any medicines. I text messaged her, but they sent her saying, it makes you fat or it makes you slur.  Or you shouldn't take your meds, or you just need something holistic, you don't need what the doctors say.”

Though there were some things that Pastor Miller said were discussed with his church, he said the depths of the struggle with his wife’s mental illness felt quite lonely at times.

“Nobody believed me. Nobody understood mental illness. She was diagnosed by the doctors for the past seven years as … bipolar II, schizophrenic and dependent personality disorder. And I was with her every time she thought she was seeing aliens. I was with her every time she thought artificial intelligence was after her. I was with her through everything, and the last psychotic episode she had, she didn't know who I was,” he explained.

“She thought that I was the enemy somehow. … Nobody believed me, everybody thought that she was just normal being herself, and nobody understood. With her mental illness, people understand that she can say a sentence that's normal. In the very next sentence, she'd say, with the same cadence, the same tone, and it will be completely abnormal, which is why people didn't understand.

“She'd say, I want to go make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. And after that, I'm going to learn how to fly.”

The Rev. Charles Randall, Pastor Miller’s spiritual advisor and mentor, told CP that “basically, social media is very wicked in saying things and lying about the situation, things that they are not aware of.”

He said he has known Miller for a long time and was one of his teachers in high school. He also said he had been counseling Mica and Pastor Miller since September 2023 and was not aware of any abuse. He acknowledged that there was “a little bump in the road” during efforts to restore their marriage but did not disclose what that bump was.

“I live by the Holy Spirit of God. If God would lead me to remove him, I will do that. It has not happened at this time. As far as abuse, they are lying about that. There was no abuse,” Randall told CP.

“As far as working with him, I've been working closely with them since last September on their marriage. They did have a little bump in the road, no abuse, and he was working on that. The marriage was in the process of being restored.”

Randall said he was with Pastor Miller the night he got the call about his wife’s death, and despite what people thought about his preaching last Sunday, he was “tore up.”

“He was very tore up when we got the news. I was with him on Saturday night when he received the news. Very, very, very, very, very, tore up over it because he loved his wife very much. If the naysayers would tell the truth, they would know how much he did and tried to please his wife,” Randall said.

“The same people that are lying and saying he mistreated his wife, even the family members, he offered to pay for every family member to travel from wherever they are, wherever they live, to bring them here, pay for their accommodations, and take care of them to honor his wife during this time. And they are in the streets, some of them, I believe, lying about what he is doing,” he added.

Randall said rumors online that the pastor has already started dating are not true.

When asked why Mica Miller wanted to leave her marriage, Randall said Mica did not even tell him she was filing for a divorce.

“She did not relay that to me,” he said.

Randall further noted that he couldn’t remember the last time he counseled the couple together and was never told why Mica wanted to end her marriage.

Pastor Miller had promised to answer additional questions from CP but noted that after talking with his attorney he was advised not to speak further because he was getting death threats.

Randall also noted protesters are expected at Mica’s funeral on Sunday.

Contact: Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost

Was this article helpful?

Help keep The Christian Post free for everyone.

By making a recurring donation or a one-time donation of any amount, you're helping to keep CP's articles free and accessible for everyone.

We’re sorry to hear that.

Hope you’ll give us another try and check out some other articles. Return to homepage.

Most Popular

More Articles