“I like those words, ‘Our life is like the weaver’s web’ for it is so true to life.  We only see the wrong side of the fabric now,  for the Weaver has not finished his work.  But in the Day to come, where we shall see it from his side, then we shall behold the beauty of his work and not the knots and ends which our sins and failures have caused.” -Vera E. Pink, in a letter to a friend. 1

It’s been said, “Behind every great man there stands a great woman,” and this was certainly true of the humble and dedicated writer Arthur W. Pink. This unique man who was theologically out of sync with many of his contemporaries, lived most of his life in obscurity. He embraced the writings of the long forgotten Puritans and the Doctrines of Grace in an era when most of the Evangelical church was Arminian. Though he has been criticized for his isolationism and lack of formal education, his writings were appreciated and came highly recommended by men such as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones.

Arthur Pink was born in 1886 in  Nottingham, England, and later came to America to attend Moody Bible Institute.  His stint at college lasted just six weeks before he felt he was wasting his time and decided to enter the ministry. His first charge was in Colorado and from there he preached in California and  England and pastored churches in South Carolina, rural Kentucky, and later in Australia.

It was during his brief pastorate in Kentucky  that God answered his prayer for “a godly and spiritual wife”2 by giving him Vera, a 22-year-old “slightly-built, vivacious Christian, who spoke with a rich  for her Kentucky drawl.”3

Vera Ethel Russell was born on January 8, 1893, to George and Lizzie (Lewis)  Russell in Allen Co. Kentucky. Arthur and Vera were married on November 1, 1916, in  Scottsville, KY.

The inspirational biography“The Life of Arthur W. Pink”  by Iain Murray tells us,  “Next to his own conversion Vera was to be the greatest blessing in Arthur Pink’s life.”4  And that she was. Vera became accustomed to frequent moves as  Mr. Pink never settled into a long-term pastorate. Though he preached throughout the US,  Canada, Australia, and the UK, his ministry was primarily through his writings of the Studies in the Scriptures. This was a monthly periodical Mr. Pink wrote, and Vera helped produce which was sent out to a relatively small number of subscribers around the world from 1922-1953.

The Pinks moved to Hove, England in 1936 and after giving up hope of any future public speaking ministries they continued the Studies, never missing even one month’s publication. When WWII broke out, they stayed as long as they could in Hove, but continual air raids and bombings forced them to move to the quiet seaside village of Stornoway, Scotland where they continued their work and peacefully lived out the rest of their days.

The Pinks never fit in with the Gaelic speaking churches at Stornoway, so they kept to themselves most of the time and observed the Sabbath at home.  They were what we would call today minimalists, living humbly and free from the trappings of materialism. They never owned a car and usually rented small apartments that were often no more than two rooms. Arthur put in long hours at his writing desk while Vera, in addition to helping her husband, grew gardens, did her own canning and baking and was so frugal that she never wasted so much as a “turnip top.”

Vera rarely spoke of her contribution to  her husband’s ministry but wrote in a letter to a friend:

“No one realizes the hours and hours of hard brain work entailed in composing and going over and over the ground to make sure no error is printed to lead some sheep astray from the green pastures. Then the proof reading—one man’s job—apart from the composing.  Last but not least, the correspondence to care for.  So you see Mr. Pink does really three men’s work.   For that reason I do all I can in the way of book-keeping, typing and addressing the envelopes to help him”5

Mrs. Pink’s part in the ministry was no small task because by 1946  her husband had written more than 7,000  pages of studies and 20,000 letters of correspondence to his subscribers!  These many letters of correspondence are evidence of the pastoral heart that he had,  despite his rather unorthodox approach to ministry.  Pink freely admitted that without Vera he would have been overwhelmed and probably would not have accomplished all that he did with his writing ministry.

Together,  Arthur and Vera faithfully produced the Studies right up until the end of his life.  Mr. Pink suffered with a form of painful anemia causing his death and entered into the joy of his Master on  July 15, 1952, at the age of 66. Vera told the sad news to his subscribers,  who affectionately knew him as  The Editor,  in the September issue article entitled  “The Late Editor’s Last Days.”

“…One night in May he had a seizure which lasted several minutes. After it passed, he said, ‘I shall soon be home in glory, I cannot go soon enough. “Bless the Lord, O my soul and all that is within me, bless His holy name.”  I am so happy, I feel like singing through that psalm’.   He observed I was weeping and asked, ‘My dear, why do you weep? You should be rejoicing that I shall be soon be home.’   I told him I was weeping for myself at being left behind. I knew it was good for him but I dreaded the separation. He gently said, ‘The Lord has been so wondrously good to us all these years and brought us safely through until now. He will not desert you in your hour of greatest need. Only trust him with all your heart. He will not fail you.’”.6

Vera  tells of  her beloved husband’s last words which were:

“‘The Scriptures explain themselves,’ showing us what his mind was on.  So having finished his course, and completed his work, he has gone to be with him whom he loved and served for so many years. “Oh magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together’”7

Though her deep bereavement caused her to become ill for a time, Vera never ceased praising the Lord for His goodness to her. She suffered a stroke while working on the remaining issues Mr. Pink had completed before his death, but with the help of friends, she was able to publish them. Vera lived ten years beyond her husband and was a joy and blessing to all who knew her in Stornoway.  On July 17, 1962, at the age of 69, Vera E. Pink went home to be with her Lord.

Arthur Pink had often been discouraged by the relatively little interest in his published works, yet they pressed on, praying that God would enlarge their borders and that He would do so even after they were gone from this earth.  In their final years, the Pinks began to see a greater interest in their work from pastors, which greatly encouraged their hearts.

It is wonderful to see how God has answered their prayers as the fruit of their labor continues to multiply in this generation.  The Weaver has indeed woven a beautiful tapestry from the lives of these two faithful servants of Christ. Vera Pink’s life stands as  an example for women today of what the Lord  had in mind when He said,

Genesis 2:18, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

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1) The Life of Arthur W. Pink by Iain H.  Murray Revised and Enlarged Edition;  Banner of Truth Trust;  2004; pg. 237

2) ibid p. 34.

3) ibid, p.35

4) ibid, 37

5) ibid, 241.

6) ibid, 273.

7) ibid, 276.

Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797-1954