Suited to Serve: The Green Suit that Propelled Dave Miller to the 2012 2nd Vice Presidency of the SBC by guest blogger Si Cochran


In the annals of history, artifacts tend to play critical roles in the events they shape. What would the 95 Theses be without the Wittenberg door, or the dissemination of Luther’s ideas without the printing press? Artifacts are not just matter in history’s past; they matter significantly in the formation of history. Though the significance of an artifact is not always immediately perceived in the making of history, later historians are often able to evaluate the significance of an artifact in the writing of history. Unfortunately, many historians are separated from artifacts by the distanciation of time. When contemporaries neglect to preserve an artifact’s role in the shaping of history via oral or written communication, later historians are unaware of the artifact’s role and significance in the shaping of the event. The role of the artifact is lost and the historical record becomes more difficult to analyze. This reality means that it is incumbent upon contemporaries to record for posterity the artifacts involved in the shaping of history. To serve later generations, I would like to highlight an artifact that proved pivotal in the historic election of Dave Miller to the 2nd vice presidency of the Southern Baptist Convention in 2012.

Miller and the 2012 SBC Convention

While there are a multitude of reasons why Miller won the 2nd vice presidency, there is no artifact more significant than Miller’s neon green suit [1]. If SBC Voices was Miller’s printing press (allowing him to disseminate his ideas with deftness and ease), Miller’s suit was his Wittenberg door (allowing him to confront the public in garish and confrontational neon green tones). Like staring at a lime colored sun, there was no denying Miller’s dynamic presence at the 2012 Southern Baptist Convention. Indeed, Miller was a force to be reckoned with.

Humble Beginnings

Miller’s neon green suit originated in obscure and humble beginnings on the electronic auction site known as eBay. Because of Miller’s stature and frugality, he prefers to purchase all of his clothing on eBay instead of a big and tall store. For years, Miller has subscribed to an automatic eBay search that collates all the auctions that fit his measurements and then delivers these auctions to his email inbox. One day, a neon green suit appeared in the automatic search results. Miller had never seen anything like it, and its minimal price made it clear that he would never have another chance to buy a suit of that particular color in his unique size for such a minimal amount of money. It was a mere $25 [2]. As the old adage goes, the time to buy is when it’s for sale. When he placed the winning bid, Miller could sense destiny.

Green Behind the Ears

Once the suit arrived, Miller would begin wearing it at church functions at Southern Hills Baptist Church, where he is the senior pastor. This included a variety show and a wedding rehearsal. The more he wore the suit, the more people clamored for it. This was proof positive that the suit needed to play a part in his run for the 2nd vice presidency. Miller already had his platform, but now he was ready for the red carpet.

Green-Collar Job

While Miller had made a name for himself in the blogosphere as editor/writer/contributor/moderator of SBC Voices, he was only virtually known. In another sense, he was virtually unknown. This was only true until Miller slipped on his green suit of destiny. Miller made it known to the blogosphere that he could be found at the convention in his green suit [3]. As no one else would be wearing a green suit at the convention, Miller was easy to spot. This meant that people who knew of Miller by name could meet him in person. The people found the man in the green suit, and the people found their man. After meeting and talking with Miller in person, his constituency responded by blowing up Twitter with a call to elect Miller as the 2nd vice president. The more people learned of Miller, the more desirable he became as a candidate. As a candidate, the people knew that Miller was not a lemon; he was more of a lime. It is clear that Miller’s unexpected victory at the convention was made possible by an unexpected wardrobe selection. It was perhaps the first time in Southern Baptist history that a man’s attire became the deciding factor in an election at the convention.


For traditional Southern Baptists, it may seem preposterous that something so garish as a neon green suit could garner a man so many votes, but this is an indisputable fact. Dave Miller was suited to be the 2nd vice president in 2012 because he was suited in green. You cannot downplay the significance of Miller’s neon green suit, because really, can a neon green suit ever be downplayed?
[3] Ibid.


  1. Christiane says

    In Christian tradition, ‘green’ is the color of ‘hope’.
    It celebrates Christ’s triumph of life over death. And in the season of Spring, it symbolized the new life that we have in Christ.

    So David’s suit is practically a liturgical vestment at this time of year.
    David in that suit is an awesome sight to see.

  2. Dave Miller says

    Dear friends, I have a youth pastor who will be looking for work as soon as I get home.

    Contact me for a reference.

  3. Dale Pugh says

    With a suit like that, I’d think his most well-known sermon might be titled “Payday Yesterday”.

      • Dave Miller says

        Adam, we are planning to worship at Drakes on Sunday the 15th. I wish I’d brought the suit with me. I’d wear it to distract you while you preach.

        • Adam Blosser says

          Sorry I missed this message before. Tony told me that you were planning to come. Glad you left the suit at home.

  4. Ron F. Hale says

    The image of the man in green still strikes fear in the hearts of traditionalists like myself.

    It reminds me of the old song by Jimmy Dean entitled: Big John

    It starts off like this:

    In the morning of the SBC you could see him arrive,
    He stood six foot six – weighing over 245.
    Kinda broad in the shoulders and narrow in the hips …
    Every traditionalists knew, ya didn’t give the man in green no lip.
    Big Dave,
    Big Bad Dave!