John W. Peterson

John W. Peterson (1921-2006)

History

John W. Peterson was born in Lindsborg, Kansas. He developed the practice of reading scripture daily as a teenager which laid the foundation for his ability to write scripturally accurate songs later in life. As an older teenager, Peterson began singing with two of his brothers in a trio until he was drafted to serve in World War II in 1942. Peterson became an Air Force pilot. During his service he married his wife Marie.

After the war, Peterson enrolled at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois where he began honing his skills as a songwriter. In 1948 while still enrolled at Moody, he wrote "It Took A Miracle" which still appears in many modern hymnals.

After attending Moody Bible Institute, Peterson furthered his education at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, Illinois where he graduated in 1953. In the ensuing years, the Peterson family relocated to Monstrose, Pennsylvania where he became involved with Singspiration Music. After the company was purchased by Zondervan, Peterson was asked to serve as the Singspiration's president and music editor in 1963. He accepted and moved his family to to Grand Rapid, Michigan where he served for more than ten years.

He later formed the John W. Peterson Music Company and wrote his autobiography titled The Miracle Goes On which was published by Zondervan in 1977. Also during the 1970s, Peterson's three daughters toured billed as the Peterson Trio.

By the time Peterson passed away in 2006, he had composed more than 1000 songs as well as arranging numerous works for church choirs. These included 35 cantatas with collective sales numbering near 10 million.

Awards

National Evangelical Film Foundation's Sacred Music Award (1967)
John Brown University - Doctor of Sacred Music (honorary) (1967)
Western Conservative Baptist Seminary - Doctor of Divinity (honorary) (1971)
Grand Canyon University - Doctor of Fine Arts (honorary) (1979)
GMA Hall Of Fame (1986)
Ray DeVries Church Music Award (1996)

Songwriter's Résumé

(Partial List)

Heaven Came Down And Glory Filled My Soul
How Rich I Am
It Took A Miracle
Jesus Is Coming Again
Over The Sunset Mountains
Springs Of Living Water

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