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Pastor’s Wife Who Feared ‘Her Life Would Be Taken’ Died of Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound, Authorities Say

By Liz Lykins
mica miller
A medical examiner ruled on May 6, 2024, that South Carolina pastor’s wife, Mica Miller, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Photo: Facebook)

A medical examiner today ruled that South Carolina pastor’s wife, Mica Miller, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, ABC 15 News reported. The ruling comes after the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office announced it was investigating Miller’s death.

It also comes amid statements by Miller’s family members that Miller’s husband—John-Paul Miller, pastor of Solid Rock at Market Common in Myrtle Beach—was abusing Mica, and that Mica feared for her life.

“Mica stated to me on many occasions ‘if I end up with a bullet in my head, it was not by me, it was JP,’” Mica’s sister, Sierra Francis stated in an affidavit submitted to the Horry County Probate Court.

Similarly, Mica’s brother, Nathaniel Francis, stated in a separate affidavit, “Mica told me on numerous occasions that she feared John-Paul and just wanted to escape him.”

Nathaniel Francis added that in an email forwarded to him, John-Paul Miller admitted that he had slashed the tires on Mica Miller’s car because John-Paul was angry at Mica for putting “her family before” him. “(I)nstead of me forgiving you. . . . I just attack and try to cause pain,” John-Paul Miller reportedly wrote.

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miller
Mica Miller, left, pictured with her husband, John-Paul Miller, pastor of Solid Rock at Market Common in Myrtle Beach, S.C. (Photos: social media)

The Roys Report (TRR) was unable to contact John-Paul Miller for comment.

However, we reached out repeatedly to his church for comment, but did not hear back.

On Sunday, Solid Rock sent an email to congregants stating that John-Paul Miller had been released from all ministerial functions so he could experience “a time of healing, counsel, and guidance,” NBC 15 News reported.

Today, Robeson County Medical Examiner Dr. Richard Johnson ruled on Mica Miller’s death, stating: “Based on the nature of the wound, that it is consistent with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”

TRR reached out to the Robeson County Sherriff’s Office by phone and email to see how the ruling would impact the investigation but did not hear back prior to publication.

Mica Miller died on April 27, just two days after John-Paul Miller received a copy of divorce papers from his wife, records show.

Family maintains death is ‘suspicious’

Mica’s sister, Sierra Francis, stated in her affidavit that she texted Mica daily and that Mica was hopeful for a future after the divorce. But Francis added that her sister was fearful “she would not make it to the divorce and that her life would be taken from her,” the affidavit said.

The Roys Report (TRR) reached out to Francis for more information but did not hear back prior to publication.

The affidavit also said that John-Paul Miller had people following Mica and keeping track of where she went. He also moved assets around to avoid having them included in the marital estates. Specifically, he transferred the deed to their house to the church and transferred his interest in a local piano bar to his son, according to the affidavit.

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John Paul and Mica Miller (Photo: social media)

Mica had previously gathered evidence in preparation for the divorce that supported claims of “abuse, character, his paramours, and associates he ‘paid off’ or blackmailed,” the records said. However, in February 2024 she was admitted to Waccamaw Mental Health facility and when she was later discharged, she discovered the evidence had been “removed from her phone, personal laptop, vehicle, and purse.”

According to the court papers, Francis is seeking to be a special administrator to preserve Mica’s portion of the “marital estate,” and obtain confidential medical records on Mica. Francis also hopes to gain access to and take possession of “any wills, deeds to cemetery plots, and insurance policies, or other Estate related documents in Decedent’s safe deposit box,” the records said.

“Mica was a God-fearing, joyful, loving woman who did not deserve the abuse she endured,” Francis posted on Facebook a day after Mica’s death. “Please do not listen to false stories being shared about her.”

Pastor claims wife repeatedly struggled with suicide

The day after Mica died, John-Paul preached a normal sermon at Solid Rock and mentioned Mica’s death only at the end of the service.

Before doing so, he requested congregants leave church quietly and not “talk about the announcement here in the building.” He also requested that people “continue to come to church and serve and give for the next little bit” because he’d be taking a break for an undetermined amount of time.

“My break may be a few days, a few weeks – I don’t know,” the pastor continued, and his voice got emotional. “I got a call late last night my wife has passed away. Yeah. It was self-induced and it was up in North Carolina and, um, we’re going to have a funeral for her next Sunday here at 3:00 p.m.”

“Ya’ll knew that she wasn’t well mentally – and that she needed her medicine that was hard to get to her,” he said. “I’m sure there’ll be more details to come.”

solid rock myrtle beach miller
Solid Rock at Market Common Church in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. (Photo: Facebook)

During the past week, Miller reiterated in an interview with ABC15 News that his wife had struggled with suicidal thoughts multiple times before.

“She had struggled with suicide before. Each time, we would help her through it and take her to the doctor, and we got through it, and everything was fine,” Miller told the local news outlet. “She even gave a few testimonies here at church that we have on video. She battled suicide, but God took care of her and got her through it.”

Miller wrote an obituary for his wife, describing her as “energetic, affirming, adventurous, faithful, loving, giving, forgiving, talented, joyous, creative, assertive, bold, determined, authoritative, passionate, hardworking, a risk taker, and so much more.”

The obituary said that Mica, who also served on staff at the church, had been married to John-Paul since 2017. It added that Mica, who had five stepchildren with John-Paul, “made the greatest of efforts to always be the best wife she could be.”

The obituary added, “She would praise her husband after every church service telling him he was the best preacher in the world (even if it wasn’t true). She also told him he was the funniest preacher in the world (even though that wasn’t true either).”

Friends and strangers urge #JusticeforMica

On Sunday, dozens of Mica Miller’s friends, family, and even strangers gathered for a rally outside of Solid Rock church.

Holding up pictures of Mica and wearing T-shirts with the slogan, “#Justice for Mica,” the protestors chanted and held up signs calling for an end to domestic abuse, according to a video on YouTube.

One of the organizers of the event said was moved by Mica’s story and wanted to seek justice for the pastor’s wife. She said she has opinions on what that justice may be but ultimately wants law enforcement to continue to investigate and find the truth.

Former Solid Rock congregant, Angela Clark, said in a Facebook post that in the days prior to Mica’s death, Mica was making plans to live and thrive. 

Clark shared that her friend was in the midst of “breaking the chains of an abusive marriage” and was moving forward with her life and trusting God.

Clark claimed that Mica had “her tires cut multiple times, found multiple trackers on her car, couch hopped in fear of being found, and was hospitalized by her husband when it was completely unnecessary.”

Mica did not have a mental breakdown in her last few days, Clark added.

“I talked to her multiple times in her final week here on earth. She was making plans to get her hair cut, getting help with her car payment because she was a little short after PAYING HER DIVORCE LAWYER,” Clark said. “My final text with her on Friday at 9:19 pm was a woman making plans to live!!!!”

Ominous video just weeks before dying

Just a few weeks before her passing, Mica urged domestic abuse victims to leave their abusive spouses in a video posted on social media. In the video, Mica reminded victims that they matter to God.

“A bunch of people have been reminding me lately that I’m God’s bride first,” she said. “And even an earthly spouse, who’s a good spouse—when they know that their bride is being hurt—just imagine what an earthly spouse does. What do you think your heavenly spouse does? When you’re the bride of Christ and he sees his bride going through abuse and hurt — what do you think he thinks about that?”

Miller encouraged her followers to share the video with anyone who is “struggling with leaving a dangerous situation because they think God will be ‘mad’ at them.”

This story has been corrected.

Freelance journalist Liz Lykins writes for WORLD Magazine, Christianity Today, Ministry Watch, and other publications.

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21 Responses

  1. Isn’t he also dating a woman whose disabled husband also passed away. The man was in a wheelchair and was at a pool by himself and he fell into the pool

  2. Anyone who has dealt with someone close who has mental issues knows…

    John-Paul Miller was notified by police of his wife’s death late April 27. He was told that Mica had purchased a gun and drove two hours to Lumber River State Park in Lumberton, North Carolina, where she was found in her vehicle by a kayaker, Miller said May 3, 2024. Miller described his wife’s battle with mental illness, adding that this wasn’t the first time she tried to take her own life. Mica Miller has been open about her mental health struggles, posting videos about it on social media and offering testimonies at her church. She had been in the hospital in February, one of many times during their marriage.

    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 prayed and believed that her mental illness would go away. That stuck with Mica and she believed that she no longer needed medication.

    “I took care of her through every time she went to the mental institute, every time she stopped taking her lithium. I would never expose this stuff, if I didn’t have to now, but every time she tried to kill herself, I would be there.

    “Nobody believed me when I told them that she was having a psychotic break. She would have never left and have done what she did. 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.

    1. However, he also groomed her when she was only 14, he slashed her tires, she was afraid of him and feared he would kill her, he was cheating on her, he was manipulating their finances to keep them from her, and he used the house of the holy God to spin his own narrative instead of preaching the Word. Yes, she might have killed herself, but don’t you think living under that kind of constant stress could be the very thing that caused her mental issues? I do t know for certain what happened here, but God does, and “Pastor” Miller sounds like he needs to ponder that fact.

    2. Are you the author of the Christian Post article?? If not, your comment is straight up plagiarism. Hold on, their article says the writer is Leonardo Blair.

    3. And anyone familiar with narcissistic abuse knows abusers are incredibly skilled at crafting a narrative in which the victim is mentally unsound and the abuser is the hero. Do some research and get educated.

      1. I’ll bet I’m more educated than you in the field of Psychology. And, having delt with more issues, pertaining to it. 2 clinical degrees, 1 experimental, + 4 foster daughters from group home situations. I never said the pastor was a good guy. Most everyone men AND women aren’t as Jesus was the only perfect one. I didn’t have enough words allowed to cite the articles above. But, I used reports. I read 9 different ones and NEVER read anything about him “grooming her from 14.” Or “dating someone” (let alone a woman with a wheelchair-bound husband who mysteriously died in a pool)… I HAVE heard articles claim there were a LOT of false stories being made up about him. I also heard Mica’s family say “don’t believe the false stories about her” but I didn’t see ANY derogatory stories about her anywhere. Plus, I only saw where she was the one who drained the bank accounts and he had to file for support because of it. She “claimed” she “thought” she was hiding money. (Sounds like Paranoid Personality Disorder at work). Who knows. I just corroborated articles to get a broader picture.

  3. “…………Mica was making plans to live and thrive.”

    This actually bears little weight. Unfortunately, most self-inflicted fatal wounds (etc.) occur with minimal to zero warning. In fact, many times, those with suicidal ideation with intent to complete hide behind ‘making plans to live and thrive’.

    It’s the ones that make it obvious that are often unsure and are really seeking for attention (help). The ones who are expressive of their suicidal ideation (with or without plans) ARE the ONES we ought to detect AND offer assistance.

    I read this article in its entirety. I would like to hear this “pastor” John Paul point of view though. 2 sides to every story. This article is one sided. She could have also been setting him up to take the blame as punishment. Oh, I am sure she sustained abusive marriage. In that case, both has met their judgements.

    I find it highly improbable that a believer who has the active indwelling Ruach HaKodesh of YHVH in them can succumb to taking his/her own life. The Decalogue of Mt Sinai states: “thou shalt not kill”. Taking one’s life is murder.

    1. Thankfully, God is a lot more compassionate than this toward believers who are weak and struggling.

  4. Seems like there is much more to this story. It seems suspicious to me that he’d preach a sermon the next morning after his wife is found dead. He’s been rumored to have been cheating on her for years and that she was groomed by him at the age of 14 when she first started attending the church. These are rumors, of course. Yet, clearly she was not intent on ending her life when she was making plans for a haircut and paying her late car payment. Her warnings and fears about her life ending at the hands of her husband should be heeded. I hope the authorities thoroughly investigate and that the family gets an independent autopsy to confirm the results. Something isn’t right here.

  5. Wake up Solid Rock at Market Common!!! Mica’s testimony on social media and the very submitted of divorce papers is just as equivalent as your Pastor’s (1 Pet 3:7, co-heirs in a marriage). Do not elevate your pastor. Surely there is a second witness to his problems within the church there. The least you can do is give ecclesial justice.

  6. Everyone grieves differently however the way he handled this situation is very off. His behavior in other areas are questionable as well. This does not mean he is guilty of anything either. I do feel there is more to the story and it should be thoroughly investigated!

  7. “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”.
    (Christian Post, 4th May 2024)

    It’s also been widely reported that he has “five children from a previous relationship”.
    So they were cheating while his covenant wife looked after FIVE YOUNG KIDS??!

    No words. Seriously.
    God will NOT be mocked!
    And what Jesus says (eg in Mark 10:2-9) is for our benefit, the benefit of congregations and the benefit of society as a whole.
    None of this should have happened….

    1. If true, I guess that effectively cancels out the “he groomed her from age 14 rumour! Wow. Just makes you wonder what to believe. I read 9 different articles, and it seemed each told a detail the others did not, but at least they all corroborated each other.

  8. The Sheriff’s Office report posted today leaves no doubt Miller died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Maybe a three-day waiting period for buying guns would have helped. There’s no doubt the pastor is less than worthy of his title. Whether the accusations of adultery and such are true, who knows?
    https://www.wmbfnews.com/2024/05/07/robeson-county-sheriffs-office-rules-pastors-wifes-death-suicide/ https://myfox8.com/news/south-carolina/timeline-whats-happened-so-far-in-the-death-of-myrtle-beach-woman-mica-miller/ https://thewartburgwatch.com/2024/05/06/pastor-john-paul-miller-said-mica-his-wife-died-of-suicide-friends-and-family-think-otherwise/

    1. None of that rules out foul play. I’d want to ask if GSR can wash away in water. Even if she did, she isn’t responsible for what drive her to such despair and by no means will God let that stand.

      1. After reading the new article, I stand corrected on the water issue. Two articles yesterday said “in the car.”

    2. Daniel,

      Thanks for the links. The top article by WMBFNews leaves little doubt that this was a suicide.

      Just because people are unsavory doesn’t mean they are guilty of everything.

    3. Yes, thanks for the links!
      Joe, her body was found in her car. No water. And, yes, the enemy (“‘god’ of THIS world”) drove her to it, and we know he will be held accountable, God will NOT let that stand. In fact, he has already been found guilty.

  9. ANY person who condones a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th marriage of a man to another woman while the wife of his youth is yet living on the earth is complicit in any deed that will follow such adultery. Yahshua warns of this. As does Malachi in chapter 2 verse 14. And when Children are present in these adulterous situations, there are simply no words. Deuteronomy chapter 28 speaks in 68 verses the results of obedience to YHWH and of disobedience to Him: 14 verses of Blessings and 54 verses of Cursings. This is serious. YHWH is Covenant. His Son Yahshua is Covenant. The adulterous woman at the well knew this, as Yahshua told her truthfully and gently all that she had ever done (she having had 5 husbands and presently a live-in) and offered her Salvation from her sins. She went and told the men of the village: “Come see a man who told me all that I had ever done – Is not this the Messiah?!” John 4:29. May all on the earth seek Him today. He is returning for a Pure Bride, soon, for His Name is Qana – Jealous: Exodus 34:14

  10. There are individuals who are very skilled at gaslighting and abusing others. One of their tools is to convince others to believe things that are untrue and can take advantage of the vulnerable. Sadly the internet is filled with such people that claim to have authority but don’t and lead others to believe lies and weave false narratives in order to deceive or promote their own beliefs that are untrue.

    I’m hoping for a more thorough investigation of the husband’s behavior towards his wife. If her death most likely was a suicide it could very well could have been provoked by his abusive behavior. Just a look into past stories on this site shows that there are plenty of leaders in the church that abuse and take advantage of others.

  11. Where do we even begin? The video Mica shared was raw with emotions. Her husband treated her like crap. The admission to “slashing of tires” and placing a GPS device on her vehicle may have been enough to drive her to get away from this toxic relationship. She didn’t act mentally disturbed. But normal in the sense of meeting in in a toxic and hostile environment in her own home which should have been their sanctuary. Either way, in my opinion, he’s forever responsible for his wife’s death, even if not found guilty or liable by the courts of SC.

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