The Tim Peterson Singers (TPS) never get tired of praising God. For more than two decades, the group has traveled around the world lifting the name of Jesus.
Now approaching the quarter-century mark, TPS plans to mark the occasion with a 25th Anniversary Concert on Oct. 12, at 6 p.m., at New Life LA, 2600 S. La Brea Ave., in Los Angeles and founder Tim Peterson and president Evangeline Lane invite the entire community to attend the free event.
“We want everyone to celebrate with us,” said Peterson. “We believe that God has ordained our ministry, so we have dedicated our lives to the spreading of the Gospel and the liberation of life through songs of praise and thanksgiving.” Acknowledging their blessings, TPS designated “God’s Been Just That Good” as the concert theme.
TPS’ longevity can be traced to their philosophy that “it’s not about us, it’s about God.” Their commitment to “taking ourselves out of it” has resulted in countless opportunities to share God’s Word through song. They have worked with gospel greats such as Pastor Shirley Caesar, Donnie McClurkin, Yolanda Adams and The Winans and appeared on TV in the “Soul Train Christmas Special” and Nickelodeon’s “All That” shows.
In addition to engagements in the U.S., the ensemble has performed multiple times in Italy and at the Vatican. The reception to their singing was “amazing,” said Peterson, because TPS sang in English and even though the audience spoke Italian, the crowd responded with tears of joy and applause.
At the close of another overseas concert, a mother brought her paraplegic son backstage, recalled Peterson. “She brought him in a specially-made bed and said, ‘pray to your God’ and we all prayed. Those types of encounters we have seen over and over again.
“After every show, it would take us two hours to get out of the place because people wanted to touch us and tell us, in their own way, how much the concert meant to them.”
Peterson credits God’s anointing upon TPS members for the moving reactions to their music. The singers have strong relationships with Christ and are active in various churches in Southern California, he said. They also maintain professional careers outside of the group and when they come together, he noted, “It is not about any one’s ego, but it is about the ministry.”
Surprisingly, forming a gospel ministry was not Peterson’s intention when he first moved to Los Angeles. A native of Louisiana, he relocated to L.A. immediately after graduating high school. His plan was to use his drumming and songwriting skills to become a star.
Gifted with the ability to play different genres of music, he accepted gigs with both sacred and secular bands. A new group that he joined offered him studio time to record his own music and Peterson decided to sing a song that he had written many years before entitled, “Faith Is.”
“I didn’t to have a group then. I just knew people who could sing. So, I went into the studio and on the first take we did everything perfectly. That had never happened to me before. Usually you have to record many takes of a song before you get it right,” remembered Peterson.
“I felt something in my spirit at that point. After that, I stopped writing R and B and started only writing gospel. Then I formed the group. I knew some people and we came together and for the first few years, we rehearsed diligently and had nowhere to go. We had no engagements but we rehearsed and prepared,” he said with a laugh.
During this period, Peterson played at First AME Church of Los Angeles, led by then-Pastor Cecil “Chip” Murray, where he worked with two men that greatly influenced his approach to ministry. Joe Westmoreland served as the minister of music and Charles May was the pianist.
“They were writing plays like “Jezebel” and songs liked “The Grace of God” and what I’ve learned from them was that it was never about them. It was always about God,” he said. “Those were my mentors. They were all about doing God’s work and that stuck with me. I modeled my gospel ministry after them.”
Since that time, TPS has flourished and grown in popularity, yet Peterson and his group remained grounded in the Lord.
“My favorite scripture is Psalm 34 – ‘I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall continually be in my mouth.’ That is simply how I live my life,” insisted Peterson. “No matter what happens, I will bless Him because He has been just that good to me.”