Dr. Peter Kobe, who led the music department for nearly a decade at what was then Los Angeles Baptist College, passed away at the age of 80 on March 14.
In 1968, Kobe joined LABC’s faculty as head of the school’s music department. One of the notable accomplishments during his tenure was forming “The Reflections,” a traveling student music team that helped put LABC on the map.
In his written history of the institution, Dr. Carl Sweazy — one-time president of LABC — records the following:
“(Kobe’s) outstanding work included building musical groups of various sizes and specialties. Under his direction, concerts and choral tours over the country did a great job of advertising and popularizing the school, leading to increased student procurement.
“While his personal musical talent was recognized, his greatest ministry lay in the spiritual influence on the lives of his students and on the spiritual tone of the entire school. The testimony of Christ displayed in the programs presented by this department has helped project the best of LABC to the constituency.”
David Hegg (’77), senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Santa Clarita, experienced Kobe’s spiritual influence firsthand. Both Hegg and his wife, Cherylyn, sang in Reflections for two years, and they stayed in touch with Kobe and his wife Carol long after graduation.
“Peter Kobe was more than just a great musician and professor. He was a great man and a wonderful friend,” Hegg said. “For the past 48 years we have held them in the highest esteem, have partnered with them in hours of wonderful, God-honoring conversations, and just generally had our lives filled with laughter, wisdom, love, and the kind of admonition that every pastor craves and needs from those who have walked the path before us.
“Our world has lost, but heaven has gained, and we look forward to having Pete introduce us around when we’re promoted to glory.”
Kobe served at LABC until 1976, when he returned to his home state of Indiana to serve at Blackhawk Baptist Church in Fort Wayne. “He was very active on this campus, and very well respected,” said Dr. John Stead, who joined LABC’s faculty in 1970 and now serves as TMU’s executive vice president. “Peter was much loved. He really wanted the best for students.”
According to Stead, the music program at LABC “took a major step forward” under Kobe’s leadership, creating momentum that Dr. Paul Plew continued when he came to LABC in 1979.
Kobe is survived by his wife Carol, three children, and 13 grandchildren.
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