Pamela PernellDiscipleship CounselorGrace Ministries InternationalNorth American Staff
I was born and raised with my three brothers in North Carolina in a Christian family. The church was the center of our religious training and social life. I became a Christian at the age of 7. Since we went to church Sunday morning, Sunday evening and Wednesday evening, until I moved away to go to college, I thought I knew God, Jesus and the Bible pretty well. I learned that God had done his part in sending Jesus to save us from our sin and going to hell after we died, and now I should be able to live a life pretty much free of sin and full of abundant life.
After graduation from college, I went to work for IBM. And it really does stand for “I’ve Been Moved”. I started in Raleigh North Carolina, moved to Washington DC, then to Seattle Washington, and then to Atlanta GA. When they wanted me to move to NY, I finally said I am done with moving.
But I did have an interesting career. The general areas of IBM that I had various jobs in were in Direct Sales as a Marketing Rep, (and yes, I did wear a pinstripe suite and scarf bowtie), Marketing Management, Headquarters Marketing, Human Resources as a People Development Manager for the South East, and Education and Training.
While I did have good jobs and some awesome opportunities to work with great people, when I got to Atlanta, I was beginning to get “burned out”. I began to ask myself and God was this all there was to his promise of abundant life? The life I was living was not easy and light, but hard and exhausting, with no rest in sight. I was going to Dr. Stanley’s church at the time, and was encouraged to check out Grace Ministries, which I did.
And I began to hear about God’s Grace, how He loved me just for who I was, not for what I should/could do for Him to earn his love or blessings or prove my worth. Now, that was different from my previous understanding, and the seed was planted.
After retirement from IBM, I went to Charis Bible College here in Atlanta. Charis is the Greek word for Grace. From GMI and Charis I learned that God is more interested in an intimate relationship with me than my keeping the rules. So much so, that He has come to join Himself with me, so that we are One Spirit…as in a marriage. I am the Bride of Christ…and you are too. He exchanged my life of trying to measure up to the law, and gave me His life of Sonship. It is this loving relationship and gift that he desires each of His children to know and live in.
After graduating from Charis Bible College, I began to volunteer at GMI, and now am a Discipleship Counselor and Conference Speaker communicating this gospel of God’s love and grace, which is really, REALLY good news!!