A few months ago I had a weekend off from singing with my family and was able to go to my home church with my husband. I always love being able to go to our church and worship with our friends and family. This particular Sunday was a little extra special because I had the privilege of sitting under the ministry of a young lady from Ohio. She has a phenomenal gift and although new to me, she is certainly not new to the Southern Gospel realm. With performances at Dollywood, Gatlinburg Gathering, and the National Quartet Convention, along with numerous nominations, including a top five nomination for “New Soloist of the Year” in the Singing News Fan Awards in 2013 and 2014, I would love to introduce to you all my friend, Miss Abby Paskvan.
RL: Tell me about you! How did your journey singing start?
AP: My name is Abby Paskvan and I started singing at the age of two. I did my first solo in church when I was five and started traveling on the road at 12. I grew up in a Christian household with parents who always told me I could do anything with God. I live in the town of Bowling Green, Ohio, a college town in which I love dearly. Southern Gospel is not very popular up north but I believe I have had a part in helping this town love it the way I do.
RL: What has been your favorite memory from the road?
AP: My favorite memory from the road happened just recently in the past year. It is not the happiest memory but it taught me so much. We were at a church in North Carolina singing a benefit concert for a Boy’s Home. They take in young boys who can no longer stay in their homes and teach them about the gospel. Right before I got up to sing a young man stood at the altar to give his story. He was my age. He told the audience that when they found him he was 12 years old and weighed 32 pounds. He was locked in a closet and afraid of the world.
Now, just stop and think about that. He was 32 pounds at the age of 12. I couldn’t imagine what those people did when they found him. Ever since they found him he has chosen to follow Christ and has just graduated high school. But as I sat and listened to this young man talk about how God had restored his soul I was almost put to shame. I thought about all of the things that I thought were a complete mess in my life and was just put to shame. This boy came out of nothing. He was stripped of any ounce of dignity and hope, and in the end he still chose God. That concert taught me how to be grateful. It taught me how to love my life when just maybe the devil is trying to destroy it. That is something that will serve me well for the rest of my life. When you think you have it bad, look at the lives of others.
RL: What are your goals in the future?
AP: People ask me what I plan to do in the future all the time and I always say the same thing: “Whatever God wants me to do.” That is such a difficult question to answer because I have no idea what God wants for my life. I know that whatever it is, it has to involve music and lost people. I am my happiest when I am helping those who are lost or need guidance.
RL: What advice do you think you could offer other young artists in our industry?
AP: If I could offer advice for young artists I would tell them to run. Run with everything you have to the voice of God. The second you hear Him talk to you, or take you on a path, you must follow it. Don’t question it; just trust. There will be many people that tell you that you won’t make it but God knows you will, and that is all that matters.
RL: When you’re not on the road, where can we find you?
AP: My favorite hobby is actually musicals. This past fall I played Mary Poppins in the school production of Mary Poppins. We sold out our auditorium every night with over 700 people a night. We are one in four schools that had the opportunity to pilot the show fresh off Broadway. It was a wonderful experience and I plan on doing many more musicals.
RL: What is the Lord currently teaching you as you walking with Him?
AP: The Lord is currently teaching me how be patient. For the past four years I have been running full speed. Things in my ministry happened fast and rapidly. I made four CDs, one DVD, and have had hundreds of concerts. Now I will be entering college in the fall and I am hesitant as to how it will all work. I know that I want to keep singing, but school will also be very time consuming. The Lord is asking me to be patient and wait to see how His plan all pans out. It is something that I struggle with but it’s God, he never disappoints.
You are so right Abby. The Lord never disappoints us because He sees the bigger picture. It is evident that the Lord has exciting plans for you in your future, so you just hold on tight and enjoy the ride.
I know I will be praying for Abby as she makes this exciting transition into her college years, and I hope you all will whisper one for her as well..
For more information on the ministry of Abby Paskvan visit www.abbypaskvan.com.