Who is Paul Peterson?

Hi! My name is Paul Peterson. The most important things you can know about me are in these pictures:

I love my family. I love my Soldiers.If you want to know more about me…


  • All my ladies! (I love being a husband to Sherri, and “Dad” to “The Ladies”… all six of them)

  • Reading. I love to read and regularly share what I’m learning on this blog.
  • Going to the gym. I am “Dad” to SIX girls… that means someday there’s gonna be a lot of dudes around my house… I’ll be ready.
  • Helping people discover “new life in Christ.” I used to do that as a pastor. Now I do it as an Army Chaplain!
  • Helping new parents enjoy the “first half” of parenting! Sherri and I have a website with lots of useful information for parents of young children. We call it First Half Parenting!



My life consists of two distinct chapters: pre-Jesus and post-Jesus.

Pre-Jesus I was a…

  • High school dropout
  • Bit of a wreck #fulldisclosurewouldnotbegood
  • Hopeless wanderer with no reason to live

Post- Jesus I am…

  • Married to my amazingly talented and beautiful bride, Sherri
  • “Daddy” to “The Ladies” (SIX daughters)
  • Educated, having earned two Master’s degrees
  • Living a focused, purposeful life – to help people discover the life Jesus promised!

My ministry experience:

  • I have twenty-one years of pastoral experience during which I helped re-energize a small and dying church, led a large and growing church, failed to start a new church, and started a new church. 
  • During these years I learned a lot about leadership, theology, organizational development, and most importantly… how to love people. 
  • Plenty of mistakes were made along the way, but thanks to the grace of God and the kindness of people, I am living my best life now as an Army Chaplain in the 101st Airborne Division! #AirAssault #ScreamingEagles #ArmyChaplain 


  • a journal for me
  • a resource of learning and encouragement for you
  • a networking tool for us (i.e. you & me)

I believe that life is a journey.

I believe that the journey is better when we travel with others.

I believe that the journey is at its best when we travel out loud.

Welcome to the journey!

40 thoughts on “Who is Paul Peterson?

  1. I saw that there was 0 comments so I wanted to be the first. Great writes dude. We love the blog thing here at the creek. I am working out the bugs to get it to the Everest like level of yours.

    Thanks for being so funny!!!!


  2. dear pastor, it is good to get in touch with you for the expansion of the king of God.
    i read about you and ,i am in Uganda , i serive as follow up miniter in New life church kabalagala. p.o.box 3319 .

    i would love to share with you .

    my e-mail : pastor_ christopher_okwii@yahoo.ca
    thank you

  3. Hi Pastor Paul,

    I would like your personal email address if I may, so I can write to you every now and then. It has only been a short time since you left but I feel so empty without you preaching on the pulpit. I’m sure this feeling will pass. The new pastors are great. Andy has quite a sense of humor, Greg is very friendly and easy to talk to, and Gloria is wonderful too. I think they all will make a great team. Greg and Gloria even remembered my name which made me feel very special. I haven’t seen Pastor Andy twice yet so hopefully he will remember my name as well.

    I just wanted you to know you are missed. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

    Best wishes and God Bless,
    Debbie Velky

  4. Hey Paul,
    I am starting a Bible study discussion group coming up. Just wanted to know if you could give me any pointers as far as questions to ask, structure, or topics to discuss. Thanks, man


  5. Paul I enjoyed your blog. I also whole heartedly believe what Hybels said about the church being the hope of the world. I’m very passionate about seeing “dead” churches experience life. I’m not in ministry right now but I’ve been blessed to be able to attend lifechurch.tv . I would enjoy talking more about this.

  6. Hey Paul,
    I did it man. I broke down and got me a blog. I am now at http://www.bkeaton.wordpress.com.
    I really enjoy it too. I wrote two blogs yesterday. I told my mom the other day that I feel like I can’t type fast enough to put all of my thoughts onto paper. God is really showing me about 50 things at once, it seems like. But I love it!!
    I preached on church growth the other day too, and it was a great service, I was convicted more than anyone. I have a little blog about it on my website. If you get time, check it out and let me know what you think. Also, I am referring people to check out your website too.
    See ya,

  7. Paul,
    I was searching for articles on missional churches and re-thinking church and found your blog. I like your heart for ministry bro. Blessings on your preparation for the church plant.

  8. Hey, this is Dave, the youth pastor from Springdale. I didn’t get to tell you how great I thought your messages were this weekend at the retreat. I was greatly impacted by the substance of what you said, but more impacted by the passion in which you presented it. I am very impressed with your sold out and radical state that you are living in during this time in your life. It is very cool to watch the way God is pouring his love into you and your family and teaching you how to rely on his hand for each and every aspect of life. It is very inspiring! So, keep doing what you are doing. God bless!

  9. Paul…I keep hearing about you from the grapevine…thanks for pouring yourself into our young married retreat. They are “taking over” the church and we love it! Praying for you and the family. SA

  10. I was reading about you going to the gym. You may need to keep working on that because I remember when you duked it out with a 16 year old kid at Penn View in arm wrestling.
    How is it going? Don’t worry I don’t work out but I am going to have to start because I was just blessed with a baby girl of my own but she has two older brothers of her own to protect her.
    Talk to you later – I just wanted to write and bring back a voice from the past.

  11. I enjoy seeing men of God with focus like pastor paul. I dont enjoy those ‘too big super men’ that come from America and want to change our culture of getting rich from the God of riches without hard work.

    Those messages have not help our local people here. Christianity in Africa here has become over westernised. It is supposed to reflect the wonderful jewish tradition that is similar with our African heritage.

    I welcome news letters from Pastor Paul

  12. I’m impressed by your message and your focus…and very entertained by your sense of humor! Keep up the great work, and if you have a few minutes, please come on over to my blog and share with my readers about what you do. Your “cool job” is so much more than just a job.

  13. Love the blog…. Your family is beautiful. I know that you are getting started and I hope that what you do takes off well and people come to know the Saviour of the world through your ministry.

    Just to put a bug in your ear, we here at SecureGive have started this new stewardship concept that is changing the way people are giving at church. Not only that but it is changing the way churches have to pay to get donations. Bottom line is it is cheaper. Last year at my local church we found that 27% of the people that gave were new contributers to the church. If you could check out our website and let me know what you think I would greatly appreciate it. Either that or just spread the word.

    Be blessed

    Christopher Rivers

  14. Hey Paul, your work looks incredible, the blog is so neat–your wife is beautiful and your girls are adorable!
    This ministry (Walls Down Church) really seems to be foremost on your heart and that’s great!!!!, wish all pastors had that driving, exciting vision–Hey I think the last time we saw you was “maybe” IHC and that time you came to our house with PVBI—-I’m married now and we have two kids of our own– http://www.myspace.com/marriedwithkidlet

    Hope to hear from you soon–Need to call your mom and dad about next week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Hi Paul, My brother sent me this web add. for me to check out and I think it’s really cool! I have a simular story and since Jesus came into my life I now have a business and one of its goals is to help young adults get a second chance at life like Jesus gave me. My church has started a program with the local probation dept. to take kids in juvinal hall and put them into profesional training programs to give them careers to get into. If you would like to check out my website I would love for you to. It’s awesome that the fellow believers around the world can communicate with such ease. Bless you, Brother

  16. Hi Paul and Sherri,
    Surprised to find this on the web. I see you’ve added to the family since we last saw you. We are well and enjoying our Florida retirement. Good luck in your new church in Ohio.
    No Free Methodist church in our area so are attending a Nazarene church in Winter Haven.
    Blessings to you and the family,
    Lee and Jean Houseknecht

  17. Hello Pastor Paul,
    One of our desires is to eventually (in God’s timing) start a ministry directed at helping churches through some of those challenging, boring and tedious tasks which chuches still need to do but distracts from tending the sheep and serving the community (finances, administration, governance, compliance, IT, etc). I think that following your journey with this church plant will help us focus on some of the things we are thinking about. Looking forward to reading up on you and praying as God places in our heart.

    Press On,

  18. Hey Paul!
    I finally have caught up with you! It’s been a really long time hasn’t it? At least I know that you and Sherri are doing great! What beautiful girls! I have 2 beautiful girls myself! Great to see your blog and also that you are being a blessing to so many people. Keep up the great work in keeping Christ first!

    Talk Later!


  19. Hello there old friend!! I see your family is growing and are as beautiful as ever!! Glad to hear your voice on the video I just watched as well! Brian and I are doing well… miss you all…. hope all is well.
    Brian and I are hoping to soon move to Pittsburgh, since he has a new job there at Mercy Behavorial Health… and I’m now an EMT! Things are looking up for us, any hope you’ll be coming our way soon?? Give all your “ladies” xoxox’s from me!! 🙂
    Jami and Brian

  20. paul, hi, long time no see! great to see you are doing good and have a beautiful family, Do you remember me?
    josh withe

  21. Hey
    Ray had the privledge of meeting y’all Sunday the 11th of October when we were in Rock Hill on business.
    I was unable to come because of illness….
    I was so glad that Tammy sent us your blog so I could get to know you a little bit !
    You sure have a beautiful family…..
    Ray and I are going to make another wind-whirl trip to Rock Hill in a week or so, maybe we can catch you at the church and give ya’s a southern hug!
    We were a part of the beginning of New Life Church and then was called to Tennessee to Forrest Chapel Church.
    Our dream of retirement will head us back to Rock Hill which then we can be a part of our church again.

    God is sooooo Good! Our devotion today was so great, we can live a life of what-if’s! Just do what you feel deep within the Lord wants you to do and he goes before clearing the way! All the fears, doubts, and questions will be taken care of with the step of obedienance ! Whew! Sounds so easy, doesn’t it?
    Welcome Paul & Sherri and family….
    We will try to touch base when we’re in town.
    God Bless
    Sue & Ray 🙂
    PS…My nephew moved to Nashville a few years ago and he works at Nashville Climb…great place if ya like danger in your life! Kiddin! His name is Tyson Martin, you can go on their site and check it out…sometime if your down this way you could stop in and work out…..

  22. Glad to see all is well with you and yours. We’re still in the New Castle area and things are well with us also.

  23. Paul,

    I came across your web site when I was doing some research on my father’s (Paul Peterson) WWII history. I’m always pleased to hear about another believer.

    My mother’s name was Sherrill. Yes, my parents were Paul & Sherrill Peterson of Portland, CT. I live in Columbus, Ohio now and attend a Nazarene Church. Next time I’m in South Carolia, I will try and look you up.

    John Peterson

  24. Pastor Paul:

    I’m not sure if you remember me or not, seeing as how you’ve been gone for many years, I wouldn’t imagine you would. I used to attend church when you were the pastor at Arlington Ave First Free Methodist in New Castle, PA. It’s so funny that I found you, I wasn’t even really trying to, but I guess He works in funny ways sometimes. It looks like you are doing well, I am so glad to see that! Sherri & the girls are beautiful, as always — though you’ve added a few since I saw you last. 🙂 A lot has changed at Arlington since you left, and it sure hasn’t been the same. If you could email me, that’d be great.

    Love & God Bless,

  25. hey Paul, not sure if you’ll remember this but I interviewed you almost 2 years ago for a book I was writing about church plants and pastors. I just wanted you to know that the book was finally e-published and can be seen on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NBEAWIC It’s called “Failure in the Balance: Letting God write your ministry story”. I’d be happy to send you a manuscript so you can see how I worked in your story. Our interview was not only good for the book but for me as a pastor. Thanks for talking with me and sharing your story. I’m glad to see you’re still blogging and pastoring. God bless you brother,

    Chris Vitarelli

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