Alumna Interview with Pam Pilkey ('88)
Pamela Pilkey (Verba) received the One Year Bible Certificate from Northwest in 1988. She attended Northwest from 1986-1988. She attends Prairie Chapel in Abbotsford and is mother to 5 married children, and grandmother to 15 grandchildren. They are all serving the Lord in various capacities.
What did you appreciate about your time at Northwest and how did it prepare you for ministry?
When I initially enrolled into a One-Year Bible program with Northwest in the Fall of 1986, I had one goal in mind: to immerse myself fully in God’s Word. As a brand-new believer in the redeeming work of Christ, I was determined to leave the world’s distractions (for a time) and focus solely on discerning what God’s Word would reveal to be his will for my life going forward.
I will always be grateful for my time studying at Northwest. It set in motion the foundational building blocks that I would need to navigate and to respond biblically to life’s always unpredictable circumstances. While studying for a New Testament exam, the Lord brought me to my knees (quite literally) at a moment where I think, for the very first time, I fully comprehended the great sacrifice Jesus paid on the cross so that I could live in eternity. It was during Theology class where I learned about all of God’s attributes and his complete sovereignty over every aspect of my life. Old Testament studies gave me hope and reinforced that God’s promises were true, culminating in the New Testament fulfillment of the incarnation of Jesus Christ.
Describe your ministries since graduating from Northwest.
In 1988, during my last year at Northwest, I met my husband, Glenn. We married and moved to White Rock where we started a computer training/consulting business which we later expanded to Surrey and Langley. During those first several years, the Lord also blessed us with 5 precious children. Our ministry had become two-fold: showing God’s grace and the love of Christ in the marketplace by using the gifts and talents God had bestowed on us, and lovingly ministering to these precious children God had gifted us with.
Music was a very important part of our daily routine. Whether it was singing hymns at bedtime or dancing with our children around the living room singing to Gaither gospel videos, it had the unintended outcome of eventually turning into a family music ministry. Glenn especially loved gospel music, and so in the late 1990’s, he volunteered for us to sing at various local churches, as well as a weekly Sunday night dinner at Peace Arch Fellowship Church, which hosted an outreach ministry to the less fortunate in our White Rock community. After a few years of singing as The Pilkey Family, our group downsized to the three youngest girls - Harmony, Destiny, and Britteny - and they became The Pilkey Sisters. After several more years and countless hours of practice, The Pilkey Sisters came to be known for their tight-knit, 3-part harmony, and eventually they became called upon more and more to minister the gospel through song at larger events.
What is a way you have seen God bring good from a bad situation in your life?
God is not against us – He is for us. Our circumstances may cloud our ability to see that, but we can cling to that truth. At no time in my life was that so evident as when my husband, Glenn, suddenly passed away on July 25, 2011. Yet as the days wore on and the shock lessened for the children and I, we began to see God more clearly. God’s Word says that the widow and the fatherless will be blessed, and we know that to be true. We are forever grateful to a community of loving Christian believers who supported us and took us into their hearts, as we clung to each other and mourned our loss.
After a few more months had passed, The Pilkey Sisters felt they had reached a crossroads, and asked the question, ‘would they continue their gospel music ministry or disband?’ After much prayer and seeking the Lord’s guidance, the girls felt that now more than ever they had a passion to reach broader audiences with their gospel message in song. Soon after, the Lord began to open doors for The Pilkey Sisters to perform not just locally, but across Canada, alongside some of the more well-known Gaither groups from the U.S.
In 2017, my daughter, Harmony, wrote an article called “Hope Through Tragedy” for Canada’s Gospel Music Celebration. In it she wrote:
We learned more about God’s character and dove deeper into His Word than ever before. Two songs that lifted us up during this time were “The Promise” by the Martins and “Through” by the Gaither Vocal Band. (‘When I saw what lay before me, Lord, I cried, what will you do? I thought He would just remove it; But He gently led me through. Without fire there’s no refining, without pain there’s no relief, without flood there’s no rescue, without testing no belief.’) These messages reminded us that while God did not promise we wouldn’t experience hurt or trying times, He would be right by our side, through it all. We could be refined and conformed to the image of His Son, and through our struggle, God’s glory would be revealed.”
How have you found rest in God?
It has been nearly 12 years since my husband Glenn’s passing. The Lord has blessed our family abundantly. He has provided godly spouses for all five of our children, and so far, we have been richly blessed with 16 grandchildren (one in heaven).
We may not always understand God’s plan, but we can always trust Him. God gave us hope, not that we could forget the pain, but that we could draw closer to Him, hope that we can be a blessing to others, and hope that we will one day see His face and those of our loved ones, because He sacrificed His only Son to save us.
I rest in knowing that one day all that has been lost will be restored.