John Stephen Piper was born January 11, 1946, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to Bill and Ruth Piper. The Pipers soon moved to Greenville, South Carolina, where John spent his growing-up years. His father was an itinerant evangelist who also ministered through international radio and Bible courses.
At Wheaton College (1964-68), John majored in Literature and minored in Philosophy. Studying Romantic Literature with Clyde Kilby stimulated the poetic side of his nature and today he regularly writes poems to celebrate special family occasions and rich, biblical truths. At Wheaton John also met Noël Henry whom he married in 1968.
Following college, he completed a Master of Divinity degree at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California (1968–71). While at Fuller, John discovered the writings of Jonathan Edwards.
John did doctoral work in New Testament Studies at the University of Munich, Munich, West Germany (1971–74). His dissertation, Love Your Enemies, was published by Cambridge University Press and Baker Book House (and is now available through Crossway). Upon completion of his doctorate, he went on to teach Biblical Studies at Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota, for six years (1974–80).
Bethlehem Baptist Church
In 1980, sensing an irresistible call to preach, John became the senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he ministered for 33 years, until 2013. Together with his people, John was dedicated to spreading a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ — a mission he continues now for the wider church through the ministry of desiringGod.org.
Present Ministry and Family
John is the author of over 50 books and now frequently travels to speak, and writes regularly, through Desiring God. He also serves as chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary, Minneapolis, Minnesota. John and Noël have four sons, a daughter, and twelve grandchildren.