Raised in a musical family with a Pentacostal heritage, Peter spent his early years in an atmosphere filled with faith and worship. His parents, Jim and Ruth, both accomplished vocalists, music directors, and worship leaders, encouraged him to develop and use his gifting at his home church, Glad Tidings Church (Assembly of God), as well as several other local ministries. He was also blessed to be mentored by several key pastors and mentors, including Eric Lehman and Gary Spell. In time, he developed into a skilled pianist, worship leader, and vocalist playing a variety of additional instruments including drums and guitar. He steadily gained an appreciation for a diversity of music participating in jazz bands, school marching bands, classical music, and youth group worship rock bands.
Peter’s sense of his calling to music ministry grew exponentially while he participated in his home church youth worship band, where he experienced powerful youth revivals and moves of God’s Spirit in connection with the Toronto blessing and the Brownsville Revival. Forever changed by many supernatural experiences during these early years, his hunger and passion for experiential relationship with God became a core value for his life and ministry.
After spending the first 20 years of his life in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Peter felt the Lord’s direction to move to Southern California to complete his college education and train for ministry. In 2001, he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from Vanguard University and took a full time staff position as worship pastor at Celebration Church in Aliso Viejo, CA, where he also had interned as a worship leader during school. During these formative years of early adulthood, his mentor and dear friend, Doug Healy, helped him develop as a leader and minister.
As the church’s lead musician, Peter began to find he was being increasingly sought after to teach music lessons to young musicians. What began as a teaching few students blossomed into over 20 students and a position at several schools as a private music instructor. In addition to teaching music, Peter also developed as a songwriter and recording artist. For his songs and music, he found his main inspiration in his love for God and helping people experience that love and presence.
People need to experience God’s presence, power, and love. They also need gifted musicians who are far more than worship leaders, but ministers of God’s love. The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 14:3, that we should eagerly desire gifts that “strengthens others, encourages them, and comforts them.” When people encounter God through this kind of music, they are healed, changed, and liberated. This is what consistantly happens through Peter’s music and ministry. The mission of his music is freeing hearts to experince God.
A key part of Peter’s calling is forming the Dreamgivers ministry network. Dreamgivers’ mission is to encourage, sponsor, advise, and finance musicians as a community that supports them. Giving this support to worship musicians helps them realize their creative dreams and frees them to change lives through their ministry. And that is Peter’s heart and mission: to inspire others to dream and believe. Dreamgivers is a seed that we can all sow into the lives of worship musicians that will reap an incredible harvest of lives changed and souls saved.
In 2008, Peter met the love of his life, Michelle Stillwell, and was married one year later. Within just a few years, they were blessed with their two beautiful children, Mary and Peter Jr. Today, Peter and Michelle are Senior Leaders and pastors at Celebration Church and live in Aliso Viejo, CA. Pete is currently recording and sharing his music, loving leading worship and ministering at Celebration, teaching music, and looking forward all that God has in store for his family, music ministry, and the future of the Dreamgivers network.