Eugene H. Peterson was born in East Stanwood, Washington on November 6, 1932. He received a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Seattle Pacific University, a bachelor of sacred theology from New York Theological Seminary, and a master's degree in semitic languages from Johns Hopkins University. He founded Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, Maryland in 1962, where he served as pastor until retiring in 1991. He then became a professor of spiritual theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia until retiring in 2006. His first book, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, was published in 1980. He wrote over 30 books including Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places, Eat This Book, Tell It Slant, As Kingfishers Catch Fire, and Every Step an Arrival. The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language won a Gold Medallion Book Award. He died from complications of heart failure and dementia on October 22, 2018 at the age of 85.