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Biography Provides Peek into Architecture Patron’s Life as a Christian

Columbus Ohio’s architectural prophet J. Irwin Miller helped established the National Council of Churches (NCC), serving as its first lay president.


New York, NY – WEBWIRE

This biography is a fitting tribute to a man who mixed faith and business the right way.

Columbus, Ohio is a relatively small city with a big reputation, thanks to the generosity of one man, J. Irwin Miller. An industrialist and patron of architecture, he was, foremost, a Christian lay leader. What architecture buffs and Columbus natives should know about his faith in action is found in the first-ever biography written about him, “The Cathedral Builder: A Biography of J. Irwin Miller” by Charles E. Mitchell Rentschler.
 
Addressing a group of architects in Indianapolis before his 85th birthday, Miller exhorted them to “emulate the cathedral builders of the twelfth century”. The phrase sums up Miller’s adherence to excellence and more importantly, his faith, as cathedrals connotes to religion. It was Miller who got the famous Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen to design America’s first modern church, the First Christian Church in Columbus in 1942. Later in 1964, he would get Saarinen’s son, Eero, to design the North Christian Church.
 
But Miller’s Christian faith is not only evident in the church buildings which construction he helped subsidized through his foundation. As a steadfast Christian, he practiced his faith wherever, whenever it matters. He treated people right, took part in the civil rights movement, supported numerous charities and institutions, and helped established the NCC. Columbus, the biggest benefactor of his generosity, serves as his tombstone.
 
In “The Cathedral Builder: A Biography of J. Irwin Miller,” readers get to know about a man who mixed faith and business the right way. This is a fitting tribute to a man lived an exemplary Christian life. This is a must-read in today’s religious and business climate.  
 
“The Cathedral Builder: A Biography of J. Irwin Miller”
Written by Charles E. Mitchell Rentschler
Published by AuthorHouse
Published date: December 17, 2014
Paperback price: $14.80
 
About the Author
 
Charles E. Mitchell (“Charlie”) Rentschler graduated in 1961 from Princeton University, where he was managing editor of the Daily Princetonian and wrote an honors thesis for the history department on “The Decline of the Protestant Ethic: A Comparison of Working Class Attitudes toward ‘the American Dream’ in the 1880s and 1950s.” He spent six years in the US Marine Corps Reserves, attaining the rank of sergeant, and graduated from the Harvard Business School. He and his wife, Suzie, have lived in the Columbus area for four decades. Rentschler was a director of Hurco Cos. in Indianapolis and Accuride Corp. in Evansville, Indiana.


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 The Cathedral Builder
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