Houston Baptist University is deeply grateful for individuals who extend the vision and mission of HBU through sacrificial and strategic giving. We gratefully acknowledge Pinky Pampell’s $5 million gift for the expansion of Houston Baptist University’s online education and the naming of the HBU Pinky Pampell Online Division.
As we recognize the roadblocks to private Christian universities in this economy and with the culture of our nation as it is, we thank the Lord for generosity from Christian men and women, such as Pinky. Pinky Pampell has donated funds for the building of church and para-church buildings across the state of Texas: the Pampell Family Chapel at Houston Christian High School, a music conservatory in Dallas, The Point youth building and the wedding chapel at Tallowood Baptist Church in Houston, Pinky’s Place at Star of Hope ministries, and many more. Her generosity has impacted countless lives. Pinky’s gift was the catalyst for our online education expansion. In giving more than half of the necessary funds for the expansion of HBU’s online education, Pinky understands that her gift has the potential to build multiple buildings across this University to benefit thousands of students both residential and online.
Pinky is worthy of recognition for her humility, her visionary spirit and her commitment to faith in Jesus Christ. The Pillars Editor Dr. Jerry Johnston interviewed Pinky in her home in October.
Giving has been central to your Christian experience. Why is that?
Well, the really above-the-average giving began after my husband died. After he died and everything came to me, and I of course opened the checks and looked at them and deposited them. I thought, gee, I had no idea what we had, and it bothered me. And I thought, “What am I going to do with the money? I don’t need anything. I’ve got to do the right thing,” because the verse in my head kept saying, “God doesn’t bless you with more than you need so you can spend more than you need on yourself.”
It really began to depress me. I thought, “What am I going to do with this?” I knew I wasn’t just going to throw it away. I didn’t want my two girls doing the same thing. So, I began to talk to some of the deacons at the church that I knew were great people, and I thought, “I’ve got to do something for God with this; I want to give it back to God because he had blessed us so much.” So, it’s just fun giving and knowing that it’s all for God. It’s a real blessing to me.
And you’re giving to HBU and the naming of the HBU Pinky Pampell Online Division means that thousands and thousands of young people and adults are going to be trained through HBU. In time, you’ve learned, that the online school will build many buildings at HBU on Fondren. How does that make you feel?
Oh my goodness, just the outreach that will effect so many people and to know it will go on and on. It’s amazing, really amazing.
Was that impact hard to comprehend at first?
Yes it was. It was because I’ve been doing buildings. Looking back, I think everything I did was a building, other than missions.
How important do you think Houston Baptist University’s ministry is, not just in Houston, but also across the nation?
All Christian organizations are important at this time. And of course Houston Baptist is a big part here in Houston and with this [online] all around the world. If we don’t keep our children close to God and believing in the principles that we understand as a Christian, they are lost. What do they say? In one generation, the children will be lost. So unless parents are keeping their children close to God, they’re gone. It’s a disappointment the way our country is going, and we need Christians to speak up, stand up, and say something, do something, get involved. I think this [Christian education] is going to be a great thing for young people.
The Pinky Pampell Online Division is going to be heard about all over America and probably internationally. Your gift was the catalyst of the funding needed. What does that mean to you?
You know anything we do for God is forever. So it doesn’t matt er if it’s small or big. If someone can’t give a lot, they can give some. And that’s all that God looks at, just giving. If you give with your heart to Him for Him, it all means the same really. I don’t really think it’s the amount I give; it’s the giving. You know, like the widow’s mite. It’s anybody that wants to further God’s kingdom, for the youth growing up, whatever you give. Give what you can, but give. I think that’s the key is to give and really the more you give, the more you fi nd God gives back to you, and I think that is so true. I’ve found it true.
I admire your faith. Who is the single person that so mentored you spiritually that you have this solid core Christian faith?
I think my mother and daddy. They really were just common—really looking back—poor people. Of course, I thought everybody was the same when I was growing up. But I always say the greatest thing I’ve ever gotten besides Christ is my parents took us to church. They read the Bible and they talked to us about it. You don’t realize how important that is to young people until you look back. It’s the greatest thing just knowing that they did that. On Saturday, we were told to make sure your clothes were ready for church and your shoes were shined. It was a little country church. We were faithful in church. Most of the time, Daddy led the singing. He had a very good voice. We were just there. We were there on time, sitting on the front row. Th at was a big part of our life. Church was a big thing, and I always loved going to church.
The Pinky Pampell Online Division— you have said that by allowing us to use your name, that it is primarily a challenge to others. Can you tell us what that challenge is?
Well I just think when people see a name there, they put it together, and they think “Gee, she could do that, why can’t we? Let’s us try it, too.”