John W. Peterson (1921-2006) was born in Lindsborg, Kansas, and began his musical
career while he was still in his teens. During World War II, he served as an Army Air
Force pilot flying the famed "China Hump." Later, he attended Moody Bible
Institute and served on the radio staff there for a number of years.
In 1953, he graduated
from the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago and shortly thereafter settled in
Pennsylvania to continue his songwriting career. He then moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan,
where for over ten years he was President and Editor-in-Chief of Singspiration, a
sacred music publishing company. He also served on the board of Gospel Films, Inc. of Muskegon, Michigan for several years.
Later he moved to Scottsdale, Arizona where he continued his writing and co-founded Good Life Productions. A few years later, the John W. Peterson Music Company was established. During this time, he also served on the board of Family Life Radio Network in Tucson, Arizona. He had wide experience as a choral director, and throughout his career was in
great demand as a guest conductor of his own works.
His music is loved and sung around the
world. Mr. Peterson has composed well over 1000 individual songs, including titles such as:
"It Took a Miracle," "Over the Sunset Mountains," "So Send I You," "Springs of Living Water," "Heaven Came Down," "Jesus Is Coming Again" and "Surely Goodness and Mercy." In addition, he has
written 35 cantatas and musicals. Among these are "Night of Miracles," "Born a King," "No Greater Love," "Carol of Christmas," "Jesus Is Coming," "King of Kings," "Down from His Glory" and "The Last Week."
Approximately 10,000,000 copies of these cantatas and musicals have been published and sold.
In 1967, the National Evangelical Film Foundation presented Mr. Peterson with the
Sacred Music Award in recognition of his accomplishments in the field of sacred music.
the same year, he received the honorary degree, Doctor of Sacred Music, from John Brown
University. In 1971, he received the honorary degree, Doctor of Divinity, from Western
Conservative Baptist Seminary in Portland, Oregon; and in 1979, he received the honorary
degree, Doctor of Fine Arts, from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona.
his autobiography, "The Miracle Goes On," was published by Zondervan Publishing House, and a
film by the same title was released by Gospel Films. In 1986, Mr. Peterson was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, and in 1996 at MusiCalifornia, he received the prestigious Ray DeVries Church Music Award. He's listed in "Who's Who in America" and "Who's Who in the World."