"The reason why I call myself a Christian and the reason why I can say wholeheartedly I believed in Christ was not because I associate myself with certain people, but just because I found that any question I could ask to the Christian faith and to Christianity would be answered. Christianity could stand up to any test or question I could put it to."
--Pete Stewart


by Mike Nappa for the Music Channel at crosswalk.com

{{Pete Stewart}} plopped onto his bed with a sigh. The year was 1990, and Pete was a student at Northwest College-a Christian school in Seattle, Washington. Here, for the first time in his life, Pete felt truly out of place in a Christian environment.

He never expected this kind of thing to happen. After all, hadn't he been raised in a Christian home? Son of a pastor, in fact? Hadn't he been to church more times than he could count, active in youth groups and more?

But now Pete felt himself going through a crisis of faith. The Christian leaders here had been hard on Pete and his friends, criticizing their long hair and appearance-and the fact they were making Christian-themed rock-n-roll music.

What do I really believe? He asked himself time and again. Do I want to call myself a Christian and associate myself with these people who seem so hurtful? And the questions went on.

Looking back on that time now, Stewart reflects "[Northwest College] was a fairly conservative school and we kind of just ran into a lot of judgmental stuff that I didn't expect to encounter. It kind of threw me

"I went through a period of about a year or so where I really wasn't sure what I believed and whether I could call myself a Christian or not. And during that time I just really questioned my faith and tried to examine it and find out what things I really believed for myself or what I had maybe said I believed because my parents had believed these things when I was a kid."

So Pete started digging for answers. He began reading the Bible to learn for himself what it said, and got involved in a Calvary Chapel church that was heavy on teaching from Scripture. He sought out friends who were facing similar questions and talked through the issues with them.

"We kind of sharpened each other over those years," he says. And after this self-described "faith crisis," he came to a solid conclusion. "Towards the end of that period in my life, I sort of discovered that the reason why I call myself a Christian and the reason why I can say wholeheartedly I believed in Christ was not because I associate myself with certain people, but just because I found that any question I could ask to the Christian faith and to Christianity would be answered. Christianity could stand up to any test or question I could put it to."

Fast-forward to 1999 and you'll see {{Pete Stewart}} as a leader in the cause of Christ through his career in Christian music. His credits are impressive. As the former front man for the Christian rock band, {{Grammatrain}}, he earned critical acclaim, number one hit songs, and press coverage in high-profile mainstream magazines like Rolling Stone and Spin. When Grammatrain split up, he landed in the studio, playing guitar for {{dc Talk}}'s mega-hit album, ==Supernatural==. Michael Tait of {{dc Talk}} was so impressed he offered to produce Pete's self-titled solo debut album-which just recently released to positive reviews as well.

But like the road to faith he took as a student at Northwest College, the road to fame hasn't been an easy one for {{Pete Stewart}}. In fact, life on the road has been downright miserable from time to time.

"When you're on the road," Pete says, "you end up kind of getting bogged down at some point because you've been out for a few months and you haven't been able to sleep in your own bed, you feel like you haven't gotten any privacy. You're sick, you're not eating well, and there's always some point where you're thinking, 'Why in the world am I doing this?'"

Like the first time Pete went on tour with Grammatrain. The plan was to load all the band's equipment in a U-Haul truck and drive it to Memphis. There they'd made arrangements to purchase a van for the tour. But when they got to Memphis, the van was no longer for sale!

"We had all of our gear sitting out in this parking lot where we had to return the U-Haul," Pete recalls. "We had no idea how we were going to get to the rest of our shows!"

Or the last tour with Grammatrain, which Pete describes this way, "It was just one of those tours where like every week something else happened." First someone rear-ended their tour vehicle, totaling the trailer, smashing up the vehicle and destroying seven guitars. Then the drummer got seriously ill and had to be rushed to the hospital-where he stayed while the rest of the band continued the tour.

But all along the way, God continues to give Pete strength and determination to continue. And every time a fan says one of Pete's songs helped him through a rough time, helped her work through her own questions about God, or helped a person worship God, Pete knows he's right where he belongs.

"I'm just so grateful," he says, "and unworthy in a sense. To me that's just the greatest honor I could have, to be used by God to reach someone in a powerful way like that."


The Real Pete Stewart

Full name: Peter Abraham Stewart
High School Nickname: "There was a group of people that used to call me 'Jazzin' Pete Stewart.' I don't know what in the world that meant!"
Currently Listening To: "A lot of Sheryl Crow and Tom Petty."
First Christian CD Pete Bought: "It was {{Petra}}. ==Captured in Time and Space==."
Hidden Talent: "Design web pages."
Thing Pete Can't Do to Save His Life: "Play sports. None at all. I'm terrible!"
Dream Duet: "Sheryl Crow."
First Public Performance: "Ninth grade, at the [school] talent show.I had a guitar strap wrapped around my head just 'cause I didn't know how else to look cool. I'm sure I looked like an idiot though!"
Favorite Bible Verse: "Romans 3:23."
Favorite Hymn: "It Is Well With My Soul."
Favorite Spare-Time Activity: "Probably write songs! [And] waste time on the Internet."


ALSO AVAILABLE - Tune in our Musician Resources channel for a musician to musician interview where Pete Stewart talks about his first self-titled solo project since Grammatrain, Ensoniq's Paris recording system and crickets.