John W. Peterson was born in Kansas, on November 1, 1921. He was the youngest child in his family. His father died when John was four.
He wrote his first song when he was twelve. During World War II, he was an Air Force pilot flying the famous “China Hump”. He was educated at Moody Bible Institute.
In 1954, he was invited by Alfred B. Smith to join the staff of the Singspiration, Inc. in Pennsylvania. He then moved to Grand Rapids Michigan in 1963, when Zondervan Publishing House acquired this firm. He was an executive editor for Singspiration, conducted choral worship and conferences, and was also a guest conductor at performances of his own. For twenty years he wrote gospel songs, and cantatas for church use. His cantatas have sold over six million copies.
From John Brown University he got the honorary Doctor of Sacred Music degree in 1967. In 1971 he got one from Western Conservation Baptist Seminary, the honorary D.D. Degree.
Some of the songs he wrote are:
William J. Reynolds, Baptist Hymnal (Boardman Press, 1976) page 254, 454, 399-400, 430
K.W. Osbeck, 101 Hymn Stories (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Publications, 1982) pages 227-231.
Al Smith Ministries. www.livinghymns.org