Bob Hartman

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Bob Hartman
Background information
Birth nameRobert Hartman
Born (1949-12-26) December 26, 1949 (age 69)
OriginLyons, New York, United States
GenresContemporary Christian music, rock
Occupation(s)musician, songwriter, producer
InstrumentsGuitar, banjo, vocals
Years active1972–present
Associated actsPetra

Robert "Bob" Hartman (born December 26, 1949) is a Christian artist, guitarist, writer and songwriter. He is the founder of Christian rock band Petra. Hartman was involved with the band from its foundation in 1972 to its end in 2005. He took a break from touring in 1995, but continued to write most of the band's songs, record guitars and produce most of the albums. He officially returned to touring with Petra in 2003 until he decided to retire the band in late 2005.


Bob Hartman grew up in Bryan, Ohio[1] learned to play guitar when he was 13 years old, teaching himself from books and watching other people. He has said that two of his major influences was Joe Walsh, a member of The James Gang and Jimi Hendrix at the time.[citation needed]

Hartman converted to Christianity when he was 20 after having heard about the shootings at Kent State University and asking God if he was real to reveal Himself to Hartman. God then revealed Himself to Hartman in a very real way which led to Hartman accepting Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. When he was 21, he joined a Christian band called Rapture with John DeGroff. During this time, he wrote some of the songs of the first Petra album. He also studied at Bowling Green State University, earning a B.A. in Psychology.

When Rapture broke up, DeGroff moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana to attend Christian Training Center (a school based in a church there). Hartman was already jamming with guitarist Greg Hough and they both moved to Indiana to attend the same school. Upon meeting drummer Bill Glover there, they formed Petra. Hartman became the principal (and most of the time, the sole) songwriter of the band, writing the lyrics and music for almost all of their songs.

In 1995, he felt he needed to take a break from touring but remained as the band de facto leader, songwriter, and producer. He also continued to play guitars on all of the albums despite not being featured on the album pictures or promotional material of the subsequent four albums - No Doubt, Petra Praise 2: We Need Jesus, God Fixation, and Double Take.

Amidst the struggles in the band during the late 90s, Hartman decided to officially return in 2001 for the release of the band's third praise album: Revival. In 2005, after much praying, he decided to retire the band after 33 years of ministry.

After Petra's retirement, Hartman started working with former Petra singer, John Schlitt, as II Guys from Petra in an album which was released on January 26, 2007 titled Vertical Expressions.

In 2010, Hartman and other members of the early line-ups of Petra, reunited under the name Classic Petra. They released an album titled Back to the Rock with a tour that lasted until 2012.

Personal life[edit]

Hartman is married to Kim Whisonant. They have one son together whose name is Jeff. Bob enjoys playing tennis and is a self-taught web programmer. He records and produces music at his in-house studio called House of Bob. He also makes guitars, which can be bought through his website.


  • Ibanez Talaman. Orange burst, white pickguard, Kent Armstrong lipstick pickups, non-locking tremolo (1995-now)
  • Fender American Standard Strat. Black, white pickguard, stock single coil pickups and Roland synth pickup
  • Gretsch Roundup. Pink-yellow burst, stock pickups, Bigsby vibrato tailpiece (1991-now)
  • Zion Powerglide. Blue, black pickguard, EMG SA front & middle pickups, EMG T rear pickup, Floyd Rose (1986-now)
  • Gibson Les Paul Junior. Mahogany body, routed Gibson front pickup, Seymour Duncan JB rear pickup, modified bridge (1976-now)
  • Hamer Mirage. Koa body, Seymour Duncan Vintage Strat front & middle pickups, Rio Grande Muy Grande rear pickup and Wilkinson VSVG tremolo
Other guitars that he has owned
  • Roland G-707 guitar synthesizer. Silver, rear pickup replaced by a cream open coil humbucker (1985, later was donated to Hard Rock Café)
  • BC Rich Stealth. Red, one humbucker, non-locking tremolo (1985)
  • Peavey Mantis. White, black pickguard, blade pickups, Kahler tremolo (1986)
  • Charvel 650. Blue, active pickups, Floyd Rose (1990–2001)
  • Hamer Custom with Zion parts. Blue, Joe Barden S middle pickup & HB rear pickup, Floyd Rose, reverse headstock (1991)
  • Hamer Californian. Red, tremolo, block inlays (1993)
  • Rickenbacker unknown model (1993)
  • PRS unknown model (1993)
  • Fender Stratocaster. Tobacco burst, black pickguard, stock pickups and tremolo (1988, later was donated to Hard Rock Café)
  • Zion Radicaster. White, black pickguard, active pickups, Floyd Rose (1985–1988)
  • Zion Radicaster. Yellow, black pickguard, custom graphics, active pickups, Floyd Rose (1988–1992)
  • Zion Radicaster. White, pearloid pickguard, active pickups, Floyd Rose (1989–1991)
  • Zion Radicaster. Amber flame maple top, active pickups, Floyd Rose (1990)
  • Zion Radicaster. Tobacco burst, black pickguard, active pickups, Floyd Rose (1991–1992)
  • Zion Radicaster. Amber quilt maple top, active pickups, Floyd Rose (1991–1993)
  • Zion Radicaster. Ash body, red pickguard, Dimarzio Virtual Vintage front & middle pickups, Joe Barden HB Two Tone rear pickup, Wilkinson VSVG tremolo (used in the late 90s, sold)
  • Devlin DEV-700BK (used recently, on sale)
  • Various Ovation 6 & 12 strings acoustics
  • Ampeg (1990, unknown model)
  • Kasha (1991, unknown model)
  • Mesa Boogie (1993, unknown model)
  • Peavey 5150
  • Marshall 4x12 cabinet (loaded with Mesa Boogie speakers)
  • Matchless (1x12” combo)
  • Marshall 1970
  • Egnater Mica

This information is from Petra’s videos, CD booklets, pictures from Petra’s pages (,, & and a couple of E-Mails answered by Bob Hartman himself.


  1. ^ About Bob Hartman Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  • Powell, Mark Allan (2002). "Petra". Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music (First printing ed.). Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers. pp. 692–699. ISBN 1-56563-679-1.
  • Renaud, Josh (1998). "Bob Hartman Interivew".

External links[edit]