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A Spark for Youth

Peter Reeves has a heart to evangelize and disciple young people.
M. Peter Reeves says his life’s mission is to inspire people through the good news of Jesus.

“Sharing the gospel is my obsession, and inspiring the Church to do the same excites me,” says Reeves, 30. Reeves first experienced a call to evangelistic ministry while attending Assemblies of God youth camp in the PennDel Ministry Network. Eager to tell his peers about the Lord, Reeves became a Youth Alive campus missionary during his teen years.

“I grew up in a single-parent home, and an Assemblies of God church changed my family’s destiny,” says Reeves, a first-generation minister. During his formative years, Reeves attended Philadelphia Christian Center in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, with his mother, Grace Siwale.

His passion for ministry and his dedication to discipleship drove him to study theology at the University of Valley Forge, the AG school in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. He graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Theology.

Reeves eventually accepted a youth ministry position at Mount Hope Church in Lansing, Michigan. While at Mount Hope, Reeves oversaw a dynamic youth ministry known for its large contributions to Speed the Light (STL).

“Speed the Light was my main discipleship tool as youth pastor,” says Reeves. “I wanted the students to understand the sacrifice that comes with following Christ. We live in America, where everything is relatively easy and peaceful. Speed the Light opened their eyes to an entirely different world.”

“Peter was very intentional with how he raised funds for Speed the Light,” says Austin P. Westlake, AG national student discipleship director. “He gives generously and is very direct and intentional in asking others to be generous also.” Reeves and Westlake, 32, met on a STL missions trip and became friends.

During his five years as youth pastor, Reeves inspired Mount Hope to steadily increase its annual STL offering from $10,000 a year to $215,000 in 2022.

The efforts of Reeves with STL opened doors for him to minister to students and youth ministries across the country. During his travels, Reeves began to perceive a need.

“I noticed how discouraged a lot of leaders seemed to be and realized that God was calling me to inspire people and to be there for them,” he says.

Reeves began by offering coaching to leaders who wanted help with ministry development. He started creating resources to help leaders with individual spiritual growth.

After five years at Mount Hope, Reeves sensed God taking his ministry in another direction. Upon spending several months in prayer, Reeves and his wife, Joanna, launched Reeves Initiative, a ministry geared toward young people in the foster care system. The Reeves served as foster parents for two years before having biological children.

“We want to send 1,000 students in foster care to youth camp, youth convention, or a missions trip,” says Reeves. So far, Reeves Initiative plans to sponsor 30 students to AG youth events in 2024.

Reeves also has stepped into his longtime dream of becoming a full-time evangelist. In January, Peter, Joanna, and their two children (Charlie, 2, and Macklin, now 9 months) moved from Michigan to Orlando, Florida, where Peter now serves as the staff evangelist at Faith Assembly, a megachurch.

“We preach the gospel everywhere we can and host spiritual connect events,” says Reeves. “We want to create a place for students to have powerful moments where they can hear from God.”

Ally Henny

Chicago-based Ally Henny is a writer, speaker, minister, and vice president of The Witness: A Black Christian Collective, an organization committed to encouraging, engaging, and empowering Black Christians. She has her Master of Divinity from Fuller Seminary with an emphasis in race, cultural identity, and reconciliation,