April 8, 2010
Local Man Hits Tops On Gospel Chart
Nathan Straus
Jacksonville Daily Progress
JACKSONVILLE — Miles Pike, 24, of Pierce’s Chapel, received word last month his southern gospel rendition of the song “Jesus Savior, Pilot Me” ranked top in the Country Gospel Chart for the month. Pike said the news made him feel blessed.

“It is my first number one song and the first song I’ve sent out to radio stations,” Pike said. “The song is the prayer of my heart.”

Pike said the tune was originally created in the 1880s as a hymn for whalers and mariners of that age.

“The song was made because it was such a dangerous job,” Pike said. “It became popular in the churches because we’re always talking about how we’re on the sea of life and we need Jesus to pilot our ship. When we reach the harbor, we’ll be safe.”

For Pike, putting a new twist on older, classic hymns is something of a pastime.

“Any time you do hymns that have already been done dozens or hundreds of times you have to put a whole new twist on them,” Pike said.

“Jesus Savior, Pilot Me” was submitted to hundreds of radio stations in October 2009. Pike said it was December when the song hit 39 on the charts and he realized people listened to his music.

“I didn’t expect to do much — I was shocked that it hit 39,” Pike said. “Nobody had a clue who I was.”

But the song didn’t stall in the 30s. It rose even further to 17 in January and five in February before it topped out in the first slot in March.

“We go through a lot of hard times and trials, but when we dock in the harbor it’s not going to matter much anymore,” Pike said.

An East Texas native and the son of James and Kim Pike, Miles Pike first started singing at 9 years old.

“As a kid I’d always sing around the house, but I was too shy to sing in front of anybody,” Pike said.

He said one day his mother got him to sing in front of a church, and he’s been singing in public ever since. He also said he started full time ministry and traveling in October 2006.

Pike currently attends People’s Church in Jacksonville and has been invited to sing at the Country Gospel Music Fan Fest in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., from April 29 to May 1.

For more information on Pike and his music, visit www.milespikemusic.com.