Jonathan David Brown (November 20, 1955September 27, 2016; age 60) was an American record producer and engineer. He served as Petra's producer from 1980 to 1986. During that time, he produced five of their albums. Brown was also in charge of recording and mixing all five albums.


Jonathan David Brown was born on November 20, 1955 in Oklahoma City. From an early age, his father and grandfather began to instill in him a love for music. During his childhood, Brown learned to play guitar, piano, and percussion, and played with his father regularly. In high school, he was part of the high school choir, where he learned to focus and project his voice.

In the 1970's, he was a member of Seth, a Christian group where he played keyboards and wrote many of their songs. The drummer of the band was Keith Edwards, who would later work with him as a session drummer for Petra. Seth toured the country for two years, also releasing two albums in 1974 and 1975.

Brown graduated from high school in 1974 and turned down a scholarship to Oral Roberts University to accept a job at Mama Jo's Recording Studio in North Hollywood, California. During his time there, he worked in the recording of several notable artists, including Alan Parsons.


Brown had produced for Maranatha! Music since 1975. In 1980, he became Petra's producer paving the way for the band's first period of success. During the 6 years he worked as their producer, Petra released five albums and toured around the world, becoming the most important Christian band of the US. Brown also served as the main recording engineer of the band. Of the five Petra albums produced by Brown, both Not of this World and Beat the System earned Petra their first Grammy nominations.

In 1986, when lead singer Greg X. Volz left Petra, Brown decided to leave with him. Brown said in an interview that he and Greg "were very close" and he decided to support him.

After Petra[]

After leaving Petra, Brown collaborated with Volz on several of his solo albums. Brown produced, recorded, played, and wrote on four of Volz' albums. Brown also produced albums for Twila Paris, Glen Campbell, and Steve Taylor, among others.

In 1992, Brown was convicted and sentenced to a 27-month federal prison term and fined $10,000 for accessory and perjury, when he helped Damion Patton hide from authorities after a drive-by shooting of a Jewish synagogue in Nashville, Tennessee. Articles in Brown's apartment indicated membership in the white supremacist group Ku Klux Klan. After serving his sentence, Brown has referred to it as his "Federal Sabbatical".

In 1997, Brown released his own album under the pseudonym The Nazarite. The album was titled Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. He also continued to produce and record for several artists.

Personal life[]

Brown was married twice. He married his high school sweetheart, Tammy Gail Brown, on January 1, 1975. They had a son, Jacob Nathaniel, born on July 22, 1977. Jonathan and Tammy divorced in 1985.

Brown met his second wife, Rachel, at the Petra office in Nashville, Tennessee. After moving there, they got married on May 2, 1987. They had five children: Jesse Logan (born 1991), Susanna Mary (born 1996), Sharon Bonnie (born 1998), Judah (born 2000), TanaBell (born 2002). They lived in Ozark, Missouri, where Brown had a recording studio.

Brown passed away on September 27, 2016.


with Petra[]

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