Arciniega spreading the word through latest CD


By Kyle Mooty

LPR Editor

He’s a pastor, he’s a boxing coach, and he’s a talented musician. Can he fly? No. He tried that once. However, because of that failure, in a long, roundabout way, he is what he is today.

Peter Arciniega Jr., Pastor at Calvary Chapel of Lockhart, has had his second CD released – The Soulful Side of the Heart – and people from all over the country are discovering the sounds and words from him, words he says are all courtesy of God.

Arciniega said he knows the answer because it is the only answer, the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

And that answer comes across on the soulful sounds from The Soulful Side of the Heart.

His first album, Faithful Servant (2019), had some great songs, too, but many of those slipped past the ears of disc jockeys around the country. They are coming back now due to the power of Soulful Side, including the hit “Call on Jesus.” Arciniega tries to reach several audiences through the 7-song CD, with rock and roll, soul, country and blues all touched upon from the opening track of “Good Friend” to the final song “Born Again (It’s All Because of You).”

“Call on Jesus has opened things up for all of the others,” Arciniega admitted.

He recorded a video of the song in Corpus Christi. Within the first week of its release, the video had 1,300 views on social media.

Radio stations in Texas (Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Austin, etc.), Kansas, Georgia, South Carolina, Chicago, and even Hawaii have played his music. They’ve replied to Arciniega.

“From the very first time a radio guy heard it from South Carolina, he said, ‘Pastor Pete, you have a hit here.’” Arciniega said.

“Some Christian Radio stations won’t even open it because it’s not coming from Nashville. Limpus Broadcasting Company out of Corpus Christi has about 14 stations. They primarily play Tejano music. The owner and CEO heard this song and said, ‘Gold. This is gold. I’m telling you, I’ve been in radio since 1989 and this is gold.’”

Last week, Arciniega received a call from a station in Hawaii. The DJ said, “Pastor Pete, I don’t know if you know this, but you have a hit right there. That song is gonna stick around even after you die. It’s gonna be heard.”

Arciniega said it warms his heart to hear his song in the rotation of an Austin radio station, but it’s even greater when he hears kids singing the songs and knowing the lyrics.

“When you hear the kids sing your song, that is so cool,” Arciniega said.

A station in Chicago informed Arciniega the CD had made it on the Urban Influencers Chart for gospel songs.

Playing live, Arciniega uses local musicians, but all of his accompanying artists on the CD are from Austin.

The former lead singer for the popular band Los Palominos, Johnny Arreola, now sings gospel music. He recently told Arciniega, “I’m gonna be honest with you, people always give me CDs. They always want me to give it to somebody. When I got your CD, I don’t know why, but something told me to open it and listen to it.”

Arciniega has been playing instruments since he was 7, beginning with rhythm guitar, then drums and bass.

“I used to play for my dad at church,” Arciniega said “He never learned how to play, so he bought a guitar so I could learn.”

Arciniega’s life took a turn when, at age 11, he was playing Batman and Robin with others. He had a screwdriver in his hand and found his way on the roof. He was supposed to come down via a tree, but wanting to prove he could fly, Arciniega jumped. The screwdriver went into his mouth, ripping it up.

“Yeah, that didn’t work out,” he said. “They didn’t realize until I was in junior high that I needed surgery. I had three vocal cord operations. I wasn’t supposed to be able to talk. I was not supposed to be able to speak past 18. I was having problems swallowing foods with scar tissue and all kinds of damage. I had to go to speech therapy. I had to learn how to pronounce words. I basically had to start all over.”

Arciniega joined the Marine Corps in 1985 and was sent to California.

“I started singing more and more.,” he said. “I started singing at clubs at Marina del Rey. I started meeting the crème of the crop of musicians. Some of them played with Gladys Knight, some played with Rolls Royce, Funkadelic. I had a fabulous band. Eloise Laws, Ronnie Laws’ sister, was singing with me. I had the bass player from Gladys Knight.”

Arciniega used to play his music in local clubs in Lockhart, but on back-to-back nights he found himself having to defend himself from a patron, the second night even having a guy try to stab him.

“I told my wife I wanted to do what the Lord wanted me to do, but she said, ‘I didn’t marry that guy. I married a guy singing Mustang Sally.’” Arciniega recalled. “After that second night, she said, ‘Well, I think it’s time.’”

Saying he needed a reality check, Arciniega suddenly lost his voice.

“I thought I was done,” he said. “I was doing things I was not supposed to do.”

Doctors took a photo of his voice box and one said he didn’t even know how Arcniega could talk at all. The scars were so massive, he was told not to drink caffeine or any acidic foods.

“After he told me that, I got in my truck and the song ‘I can only imagine’ came on,” Arciniega said. “I could never hit that note before. But in that truck, I hit that note. Since then, I’ve never looked back. I’m excited because every time the enemies try to knock me off, the Lord just comes through.”

Arciniega also contracted COVID and his oxygen level reached as low as 72. At one point, nurses informed him they had lost him, but he returned to life.

“I saw a black silhouette go across my bed,” Arciniega said. “I said, ‘Lord, if he’s not yours, get him out of here.’ I’m living proof that our Lord is merciful.

“Right now, there’s a lot of people who need the Lord. Suicide is high. People are lost. The truth is what sets them free. That’s what the Lord said.”

Arciniega writes all his music, but he credits God with giving him the song, the lyrics, and the melody.

“A lot of it is just the word of God and my testimony,” he said. “All I can say is it’s God. I can’t explain it. The biggest part I’m doing is just obeying. I’m not over-thinking it. I’m not trying to be famous or a superstar. I am trying to get this song out to as many as possible. If it gets to one out of 10 people, let me tell you, that’s one more person that God will use to spread his word. Maybe they can talk to two or three people and change their lives.

“I’m trying to point people to Jesus. A lot of the Christian music you hear today, the theology and the people writing the music don’t always line up with what the scripture says. So, you don’t know who they’re singing to. Here, without a shadow of a doubt, you know that I’m singing to our Father in Heaven. Basically, I’m letting the world know that he’s the answer to all of issues.”

The CDs are already on their third order as well as Call on Jesus T-shirts designed by his wife, Sarah. In fact, Sarah’s voice can be heard at the beginning of “Call on Jesus.”

Arciniega’s songs can also be heard on Pandora, Spotify, and iTunes. The CDs are available locally by contacting Arcinega via Facebook (Peter Arciniega Jr.), email at, or by phone at 512-227-0147.


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