Bishop Alford Miller '92 Receives National Award for Volunteer Work

September 13, 2023
Alford Miller

On Aug. 28, 2023, Black Ministries Program graduate Bishop Alford Miller ‘92 received the prestigious U.S. Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award. The very next day, he came to the Hartford International campus to tell us the news personally. “This is where it all started,” he said. 

The award is the highest level of recognition within the President's Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) program. It was founded by the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation in 2003 to recognize the important role of volunteers in America’s strength and national identity. 

To qualify for the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award, nominees must complete over 4,000 hours of community service within their lifetime.

Alford attributes his passion for serving to the teachings of Dr. Alvan Johnson and Bishop Dr. Alfred White at HIU’s Black Ministries Program. He fondly recalls their impact, saying, "They challenged me to serve from the heart. I was lost before the seminary; I had no sense of direction or purpose."

Bishop Miller has been the recipient of several other awards of recognition including Heart Bible International University’s Humanitarian Social Service Award for outstanding Humanitarian Service, a Proclamation from the City of Hartford presented by The Honorable Mayor Luke Bronin and Certificate from the State of Connecticut Office of the Treasurer Erick Russell for Extraordinary Contributions to the community. His commitment to serving extends the borders of Connecticut to Florida where he was also awarded a Proclamation by Mayor Stephen M. Witt of Lake City Florida for Dedicated Service.

Upon graduation, he started preaching at the Connecticut Department of Corrections to those in minimum- and maximum-security prisons throughout the state. “That gave me a sense of purpose and what I was called to do,” he said.

As a missionary, Alford has significantly contributed to the countries of Haiti, Jamaica, and Liberia. In Liberia, he distributed food and medical supplies to those in need while in Haiti he collaborated with other organizations to provide much needed disaster relief after numerous hurricanes affected the island.

 In 2004, Alford founded the church True Life Ministry, which, since 2012, has been working on a project to send medical supplies and equipment to the Lionel Town Hospital in Clarendon, Jamaica. This rural hospital serves a population of approximately 50,800 people in the Southern section of the parish of Clarendon. 

True Life Ministry also supports local food pantries, makes donations, and engages in outreach efforts with the Community Renewal Team in Hartford.

Throughout his volunteer work, Alford has encountered numerous life-changing experiences, but the most profound lesson he's learned is this: "Everybody has something to give, regardless of their situation or condition, even a smile - everybody has something."

Even a fervent servant of God faces adversity, but he says, "When you suffer great loss, great disappointment, if you have a foundation, you can restore, and if you have integrity, you can restore. I’m still standing because of the foundation of the Hartford Seminary.” 

For Alford, receiving recognition of such caliber for his service was unexpected, yet it represents his way of demonstrating his love for God. "Love is more than telling; love is showing. So I don't tell Him I love Him, I show Him."

If you are interested in making a donation to the mission work of True Life Ministry, please visit https://www.truelifeministry.org/missions/lionel-town-hospital/ or reach out to Bishop Miller directly at 860-840-9906.

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