Miles Pike. The name, like the voice, is so familiar it causes the hearer to do a double take. You think you’ve heard it before and yet you can’t quite put your finger on it. As a new face in Southern Gospel, Miles Pike has a Hollywood name, clean-cut appearance, and a timeless quality to his trained vocals that will keep this young man in the industry a long, long time. But get to know him and you soon realize that God has His hand on Miles Pike in a very special way.
Miles Pike was only nine years old when he sang his first song in church. Pike says, “I sang a McKamey’s song with my Mom called Jesus Lord Of All, at the little Assembly of God Church a mile from our house. I was very nervous and as I followed Mom to the stage, I announced that she was making me do this. I haven’t heard it in years, but I can still remember every word. It was an upbeat barn-burner. The chorus is, ‘He’s a deliver, a conqueror, He’s more than everything. He’s our Maker, our Master, the Reason why we sing. He’s not a babe in a manger or a dead man on a cross. He’s the everliving, life giving, Jesus, Lord of all’, and you had to sing all that in about 15 seconds!”
Pike was blessed with the ability to communicate, and became a preacher and a radio DJ at the age of fifteen. Combined with his five-octave-range vocals, his God-given gifts have been well developed through many years at the Stamps Baxter School of Music. Even with these talents, Pike’s life has not been easy. Medical problems as a child have left him with a challenge to overcome that would have kept many others in the background.
“At birth I was diagnosed with double Duane’s syndrome, V-pattern esotropia, and strabismus,” says Pike. “All three are highly unusual in a male and in both eyes, so I have been quite the case study for the doctors. As a baby, my eyes were severely crossed and pulled downwards. On top of the vision problems, I was very sickly and my parents spent more nights than they could number in prayer and fasting because I was slowly dying in front of them. God faithfully answered their prayer and the devil was not allowed to take my life.”
Pike continues, “When I was 10 months old, they went in and surgically straightened my eyes the best that they could so they would be in a forward gaze and look as normal as possible. The vision is no better because of it, so I am legally blind and unable to do some everyday things, driving being among them.”
“In a nutshell, the multiple conditions mean that I have very shallow, limited movements in my eyes, no peripheral vision, my right eye does not function, and I have tunnel vision in my left eye,” states Pike. “I can basically see just enough to fool people. Because of the blindness my other senses have become far more sensitive and most things I respond to are not seen.”
Pike has learned to see this challenge in a spiritual light. “This is all I’ve ever known and living this way helps me get a deeper understanding of what the Bible describes faith as, ‘the evidence of things not seen’. Even with very limited physical sight, I still tend to want to depend on it, but can’t effectively rely on it alone. It mirrors my spiritual walk because I can’t trust to my mind, will, and emotions to guide me. This is the crux of spirituality in the Christian life.”
“We are in this world and our vision of reality is limited, but it’s the Spirit that lives within that should determine our moves and direction,” says Pike. “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience. Those being the facts, unsighted eyes don’t deter me from seeing everything I need to in order to obtain fulfillment and purpose in this life.”
This amazing young man has a heart for ministry and has allowed God to use him in a place where many would be afraid to go: Prison. “I first became involved with the prison ministry through a man we went to church with, Brother Tom Crouch. He has won many awards, some from Governor Perry, for his contributions to rehabilitate offenders through the practical life application of solid Biblical teaching. I went in not knowing what to expect and I immediately fell in love with the opportunity to pour into these hungry men.”
Pike continues, “My family and I go in as a ministry team along with Brother Tom, several times a year to different units. Many ask us why we do what we do and if we’re scared when the barbed-wire gates close behind us. The answer is that it’s not much different than any church service we sing at. There are always people in the audience who are hurting, lost, feeling helpless, and some just come out of curiosity or to talk.
Regardless if it’s an attendance of 50 or 500, God knows each one’s reason to be there and seeds are always planted. At each event, I provide a full concert followed by a sermon brought by either Brother Tom or myself usually. I’ve also had the honor to take some dear friends in so they could share their talents as well.”
Another area of ministry that is often unsettling for Christians is Overseas Missions. Undaunted, Miles Pike feels the call to missions as well and has already signed up to travel to the far North. “The Alaska trip is something that came about through one of my music theory teachers recommending me to Pastor Roger Holmberg of Roger Holmberg Evangelistic Association. He and his team minister to areas of the state where thousands of natives do not have regular access or no access to churches. This is a mission trip with high airfare expenses involved, so we have to wait until God provides the funds for this new venture. I believe that God’s timing is critical and so when the assets are there, that will be the sign to run with it.”
Another trip in the works is a visit to the Dark Continent. “Our South Africa trip is the result of meeting a very talented friend at Stamps-Baxter School of Music. While the logistics are still up in the air, we are hoping to do a concert tour throughout the country over the span of a few weeks. It is my desire to go places that most people think unimportant, unprofitable, and unnecessary because that’s where the forgotten reside. There are other plans, wishes, and fancies being discussed with myself and the MPM board and I can’t wait to see what God has in store!”
With a talent for communication and a heart for the lost, Pike’s ministry seems to be without boundaries. However, one area he does not feel led to is becoming a Pastor. “I’ve never felt the call of a pastor and besides, I’ve seen what they deal with and I don’t think I have the fortitude to ask God for that much patience. As far as an evangelist, my personal opinion is that a well-prepared concert can become a very evangelical opportunity. I’ve always believed that a song is just a three and a half minute sermon. Any venue where the Spirit of God is given free reign to move creates an environment for not just the Christian to be uplifted, but the sinner to be convicted.”
Miles Pike’s passion for sharing the Gospel through music began with the sound of Southern Gospel in the family home. “I was raised on greats like The Cathedrals, The Happy Goodmans, Greater Vision, The McKameys, and The Speer Family. When I was fifteen I became a DJ at KBJS Radio for the Solid Gospel Saturday program and I began to learn about the world of Gospel music in depth. I like to sing Southern Gospel music because of the clarity and potency of the messages and for the power of the presentation. However, it’s the “Gospel” part of Southern Gospel that makes me sing with all my heart, because it’s what burns in my innermost being.”
Visitors to Pike’s website at www.MilesPikeMusic.com have the opportunity to listen to the variety and range of Pike’s vocal abilities and to discover more of what is in his heart. Pike also offers voice lessons, to pass along to others the love of honing their craft. Now based in Jacksonville, Texas, Pike’s education and training is paying off with the release of his new CD, Timeless Songs: For Times Like These, a collection of hymns and gospel classics. Pike says, “After I got through choosing the song selection, I realized there was a common thread throughout. That thread is best expressed in one of the songs I’ve been doing every concert, I’m Going Through. My desire is to see the Church rise to the occasion in these last days. This is a song, and a project of edification for God’s people.”
Pike is excited about what has happened with the release of the new project. “I sent Tommy Smith my latest CD to consider for airplay. We later talked and I found out that he was the owner of Canyon Creek Records and interested in putting Jesus Savior, Pilot Me, on a compilation that would go out to 800+ stations across the United States.
I had never sent out anything to radio on a large scale and didn’t expect much response since no one had a clue who Miles Pike was. When it hit #39 in December I was shocked to say the least, but had no idea what was on the way. The background vocals on the song are none other than my Mom, Kim; my Aunt Sheila, and a pastor friend of ours, Bud Rogers.” Jesus Savior, Pilot Me went to #1 in March in the Christian Voice Magazine.
Pike states, “It was a thrill to work with one of the best producers in Nashville, Mr. Tommy Cooper, along with some very recognizable session players, Gary Prim, Tommy Harden, Duncan Mullins, Kelly Back, Tracey Phillips, and orchestrations by Milton Smith. The background vocals on the remaining tracks were Reggie & Ladye Love Smith. There are two songs on the project where I do all four parts on some well-known quartet numbers.”
Miles Pike is thrilled about how his ministry is expanding. “God has already moved Miles Pike Ministry beyond where I thought I would be in only four years of service and travel. This April I am sending out my next radio single, I’ll See You In The Rapture, and it will be interesting to see how God uses this song to encourage His People. By the end of 2010 I would love to see the beginning of a third CD project that has been on my heart and mind a long time called, Walk Through The Pages.”
“We humans can make a lot of plans and think they are foolproof, but God may have something so much bigger than what we could ever begin to imagine or foresee,” says Pike. “Overall, I just want to make sure that I remain faithful in honing the initial gift that I was given so that I may continue to become not just someone who sings a song, but a communicator of the Gospel. If I press toward that goal, then I believe God will continue to bless as MPM is able to receive it. As a servant of the Body of Christ, I must decrease so that He may increase.”
For more information on Miles Pike, visit his website at www.milespikemusic.com
Born and raised in southern Ontario, Canada, Lorraine Walker has been interested and involved in Southern Gospel Music since the mid-80’s. As part of a ladies’ trio, she became more familiar with this style of music and the people that made it popular, and began writing occasional articles for a Canadian publication on Southern Gospel.
Known online to her internet friends as “CanChik”, Lorraine began writing a monthly inspirational article entitled “CanChik’s Corner” for www.johnlanier.com in 2002. This column began on www.sgmradio.com in January of 2005, a popular southern gospel music radio and information website which also publishes other features and interviews with her byline.
”Reality Check” is a monthly column relating the realities of living every day as child of God. Lorraine welcomes your comments and suggestions, and you can write her at email@example.com