Memory Eternal Fr. Peter E.

The servant of God Fr. Peter E. Gillquist departed this life at 9:20 p.m. on July 1, 2012, surrounded by family. He has finished the race. Memory eternal!

The body of Archpriest Peter E. Gillquist lying in state at All Saints' Orthodox Church, Bloomington, Indiana, the day before his burial. By User:Vmenkov - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
The body of Archpriest Peter E. Gillquist lying in state at All Saints’ Orthodox Church, Bloomington, Indiana, the day before his burial. By User:Vmenkov – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

July 7, 2012
Last evening ended three days of services culminating in Fr. Peter’s burial at All Saints Orthodox Cemetery in Bloomington, IN. His Grace Bp. Anthony, who presided at the funeral service, delivered an inspiring, engaging and memorable eulogy. Fr. Gordon Walker preached a truly evangelistic homily at the preceding Divine Liturgy. The Audio for both, as well as Fr. Jon Braun’s tribute, can be found at Ancient Faith Radio ( Below you will see the tri-fold sunbeams caught on film by one of the faithful at the funeral service.

We will post more photos as they become available.

We are moved by your outpouring of love. Thank you for your kind words and sincere prayers!


In lieu of flowers it is requested that memorial donations be made payable to All Saints Church (6004 So. Fairfax Rd, Bloomington, IN 47401). Funds will be split between the building funds of All Saints Church, Bloomington, Indiana, and St. Athanasius Church, Santa Barbara, California — Fr. Peter’s two “home parishes.”

Schedule of Services for Fr. Peter E. Gillquist – July 4-6, 2012

Wednesday, July 4
6:00 p.m. Public Visitation at All Saints in Bloomington
7:00 p.m. Trisagion Service
*All Night Vigil to Follow* (Reading of the Psalter)

Thursday, July 5
9:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy in Bloomington (Followed by transport to Carmel, IN)
5:00 p.m. Public Visitation at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church (3500 W 106th St. Carmel, IN)
7:00 p.m. Trisagion Service
*All Night Vigil to Follow* (Reading of the Psalter)

Friday, July 6
9:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy (His Grace Bishop Anthony Presiding)
11:00 a.m. Funeral Service followed by Mercy Meal at Holy Trinity GOC
3:30 p.m. Burial Service at All Saints Cemetery in Bloomington

Accommodations near Holy Trinity Church, Indianapolis/Carmel

The following hotels currently have rooms available for Thursday night, July 5.

Jamieson Inn
10201 N. Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN 46280
(317) 816-1616
Mention “$69 funeral rate”

Courtyard Marriott
10290 N. Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN 46290
(317) 571-1110
Mention “Fr. Peter Gillquist” to get special $79 rate

Embassy Suites Indianapolis – North
3912 Vincennes Rd.
Indianapolis, IN 46268
(317) 872-7700
$119 king room
$139 two queen beds

Drury Hotel
9310 N. Michigan Road
Indianapolis, IN 46268
(317) 876-9777
$87 for King or double

June 10, 2012
In 1999, Fr. Peter E. Gillquist (retired and attached to All Saints) was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma. Miraculously, he survived through the grace of God, the prayers of the saints, and the care of physicians. His prayer was to be given more time to assist in starting more mission churches, and to grow old with his wife, Khouria Marilyn.

Now, 13 years later, he has again been diagnosed with melanoma — only now stage 4. We are awaiting further word on a prognosis and possible treatment options. Scroll down to see any updates posted on this page. God bless you.

***For Immediate Release***

June 14, 2012…
The Very Rev. Fr. Peter E. Gillquist has been diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic melanoma. Fr. Peter survived a diagnosis of stage 3 melanoma in 1999 and another bout in 2010. He, Kh. Marilyn, and family await test results to determine treatment options in the management of this aggressive cancer.

The Gillquists request your prayers as they continue a lifelong journey of faith in the Great Physician, remembering that our communal prayer is for the healing of soul and body, and in the Lord’s time, a Christian ending to life, that is painless, blameless and peaceful.

Fr. Peter retired from 25 years of service to the Antiochian Archdiocese as Director of the Department of Missions and Evangelism in January. He is attached to All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Bloomington, Indiana, where his son, Fr. Peter Jon, serves as pastor.

June 19, 2012

Fr. Peter is in the hospital tonight with a fever. His physician felt it would be the best place for him to receive care as the doctors search for a possible infection causing this elevated temperature. Thank you for your continued prayers.

June 20, 2012

Fr. Peter is still in the hospital. During tests early this morning to determine the cause of his fever, it was discovered that his cancer is moving even more quickly than anticipated, and has spread to some of his vital organs. Fr. Peter’s children are travelling now to be with him and Kh. Marilyn. Your prayers for their safe travel, and for Fr. Peter and Kh. Marilyn’s continued peace during this time of illness are appreciated.

June 22, 2012

Our family shared a special time in the hospital room with Fr. Peter this morning, reading aloud your kind words of encouragement which have been posted on this site. Thank you for your continued prayerful support.

June 24, 2012

Fr. Peter is still in the hospital, surrounded by his wife, children, and a grandchild who is carrying his first great-grandchild. More family will be en route to Bloomington throughout the week.

We discovered today that reading your posts is not only encouraging to Fr. Peter, but also a helpful diversion from his physical pain.

As will happen, it seems there is some mis-information being circulated on the internet regarding Fr. Peter’s condition. Please always refer to this site for up-to-date and accurate information from those at his bedside.

June 25, 2012

We have been anticipating test results regarding possible treatment options, and today we received news that no cancer treatment would be of positive effect in Fr. Peter’s case. Therefore, the emphasis of his care is on pain management and prayer, so we are working on both. Fr. Peter, Kh. Marilyn, and their children are strengthened through your prayers.

June 27. 2012
Fr. Peter is sleeping more and more each day. He will be transferred to a hospice facility this afternoon, where his family will continue to participate in his care and comfort management, together with a 24-hour nursing staff. Your continued prayers for a peaceful journey are appreciated more than you know.

June 29, 2012 – The Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

Blessed feast day, dad. Fr. Peter has been in a hospice facility since Wednesday afternoon. When our family first heard about a hospice house, we were unsure what to expect. What we have found has been a blessing beyond what we can express: a large living room with couches and a kitchenette, a smaller, intimate sitting room, a chapel, a sizible outdoor deck, and eight large bedrooms, most of which look out into the woods. Currently, only half of the rooms are occupied by patients. At the foot of Fr. Peter’s bed is a four foot wooden shelf, which holds icons of Christ, the Theotokos, St. Peter the Apostle, St. Nectarios, and many of the holy unmercinaries. Vigil lamps burn around the clock, and at least one family member is with Fr. Peter at all times.

Presently, Fr. Peter sleeps most of the day. When he is awake, he asks for prayer. The family gathers to pray and sing, and he sings with us. These are the things we will remember all our lives.

The prayers you offer and the words you post here are such a source of encouragement to all of us. Thank you for your love and support as we continue this journey together.

July 1, 2012 – Saints Cosmos and Damian

These are holy days. God is so merciful, loving, and compassionate.
After the Liturgy of Ss. Peter and Paul Thursday night, Fr. Peter asked for prayer at the Hospice House. Fr. Peter Jon arrived around 10 p.m. and asked, “Dad, would you like to receive communion tonight or tomorrow?” Fr. Peter stated clearly that he would like communion right away, so we began to pray and sing. Although it was becoming increasingly difficult for him to speak in complete sentences, Fr. Peter recited all the prayers by heart and sang perfect harmony with the communion hymns. Then he went to sleep. That is the last food he has consumed — the Bread of Life, and thr Fountain of Immortality.

Fr. Peter didn’t awaken again until the following evening at 9:00 p.m. (Friday), when the wheels of Fr. Gordon Walker’s car hit the driveway. Fr. Gordon had driven six hours to be with his friend of 50 years in his time of need. They talked a while, smiled a lot, and then Fr. Peter went back to sleep following evening prayers.

The following morning (Saturday), we all gathered in Fr. Peter’s room for morning prayers, as he slept. Around 3:00 p.m., Fr. Peter awoke and asked if Fr. Gordon would hear his confession, which he did. Then a call was placed to Fr. Jon Braun, and the three old friends shared a few minutes together, talking about heaven. Then Fr. Peter fell asleep again.

Since that time, his vitals have changed dramatically, and he appears to be making the final sprint for the finish line. “Finish the race” is what his family members whisper in his ear. We are gathered by his bedside in prayer, Scripture-reading, and song. Finish the race, dad. We love you so much.

July 1, 2012

The servant of God Fr. Peter E. Gillquist departed this life at 9:20 p.m. surrounded by family. He has finished the race. Memory eternal!
“Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!”

Funeral arrangements will post tomorrow morning.

731 thoughts on “Memory Eternal Fr. Peter E.

  1. May Christ Our God welcome His faithful servant the Archpriest Peter into his Kingdom! My family is praying for Father and his own family. He had hoped to see the beautiful Orthodox chapel at the University of Connecticut, but ilness didn’t permit it. May he view the chapel and its works from heaven! Memory eternal!

  2. His amazing work has shown that careful, rigorous scholarship can recover and confirm historical truth; his life was an illustration of the relentless pursuit of Truth, regardless of where convenience would stray.

  3. I met Fr. Peter three times. The first time, I was a college freshman, and Fr. Peter was part of a Campus Crusade for Christ team. He tried to get me involved. I told him I loved the Bible studies, but it was not for me, because it did not emphasize the centrality of the Eucharist, every week! Thank goodness one can be a college freshman only once in this life!
    The second time I met him, he was Bishop Peter, and keynote speaker for the Diocese of Newton National Convention in Birmingham Alabama in 1987. I was working the bookstore at the convention and he walked in, our eyes met, he broke out in that wonderful smile of his and said “I took what you said about the Eucharist pretty seriously you know.” I was absolutely astonished that he remembered me, much less that he remembered what I said.
    The third time we met, he was Father Peter, a priest of the Holy Orthodox Church, and by then I was Orthodox nun. I will never forget the joy we shared to realize how our journeys had brought us together again, and he told me about Fr. Jon and Fr. Gordon becoming Orthodox priests also!
    I did not know his melanoma had come back until I learned of his repose. My offer my prayers for him and all of his family. As I read the names of all the comments posted, I realize it is truly a roll call of the extended Orthodox family who have been privileged to meet and be influenced by him. I am still running a bookstore-an all Orthodox one-and yes, I have his books in there! Everytime I shelve a new copy I remember an extraordinary man with a wonderful smile and endless energy and love for God’s church and His people. Memory Eternal!

  4. Dear Marilyn, Father Peter Jon and family,

    Be assured of our prayers with many wonderful memories of all that we have shared and will always share as co-laborers of Christ’s vineyard. Our dear brother, your beloved husband and father has taken his place at the table of Christ’s heavenly banquet. May we who remain so honor his memory as we continue in that labor of love that was diligently taught by the good work of Father Peter. Blessed be the memory of our beloved Father Peter, worthy of blessedness and eternal memory!

    Father Timothy Baclig, and the Parishioners of St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church; Van Nuys, California


  6. Fr. Peter was the very first Orthodox Priest that my wife and I met with after we discovered Orthodoxy in 2005 . I was at that time a Calvinistic Baptist Pastor serving a Baptist Church near Ann Arbor, MI. Fr. Peter happened to have flown into MI for a weekend to attend a crowning ceremony at St James Antiochian Church in Williamston. His time in town was limited but he took the time to meet with my family. He treated my family (and me personally as then Baptist Pastor) with respect, kindness, and sincere love. We got to know him fairly well over the years and have many good memories, having gone to many conferences, conventions, and other events where he spoke; especially the many times we enjoyed with him at the Antiochian Village.

    After we officially entered the Orthodox Church, Fr Peter would call me by phone on numerous occasions to see how my family’s journey in Orthodoxy was going. The last time he called me (he actually hunted me down because we had moved to WA State from Michigan) was last August 2011.

    After I heard that his cancer had returned and his condition was serious, I was really hoping to have just one more phone call with him . . . as I would have treasured his advice for me in my present situation in life right now.

    But, I am glad to have known not only a great Orthodox man who loved the Lord, but also a Servant who had a continual heart for evangelism all of his life.

    I will especially miss his laugh. I pray I will be able to meet him again in Glory.

    May the Lord bless his wife Marilyn, and the rest of the Gillquist family (and all of us who knew him) during this time of great loss.

    “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.” Psa 116:15 (115:6 LXX)

  7. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones!”
    I was very happy to meet Fr. Peter two years ago, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His book “Becoming Orthodox” gave me a lot of courage and straightened my faith.
    The Lord That father Peter loved with all hist heart, That he preached all his life, call his servant to his kingdom.
    I want to express my deepest sympathy to his family on his passing into Eternal Life with our Lord.
    Memory eternal!
    Fr. Constantin

  8. Several years ago, while I was still debating becoming Orthodox, Fr. Peter called me at my home one afternoon and gently asked, “I understand you are considering becoming Orthodox. Is there anything I can do to help you with your decision?” The call was totally unexpected and I still don’t know who gave him my name, but the thought that someone who had so many burdens and responsibilities would take time to talk with a stranger overwhelmed me. Not too long after I was chrismated and later was blessed to meet Fr. Peter in person and have the opportunity to tell him how much that telephone call meant to me. Judging from the many others whose messages tell how Fr. Peter led them to Orthodoxy, I see I was not alone in being blessed by his faithfulness!

  9. I am truly deeply saddened at Fr. Peter’s passing. I have been on a journey towards Orthodoxy and Fr. Peter graciously spent so much of his time talking with me. My wife and I had the privilege of being at his last missions conference in Dallas earlier this year. I will cherish the wonderful breakfast we had. What a wonderful servant of the Lord!!! Our prayers are with the family. Memory Eternal!

  10. kh Marilyn, Fr. Peter Jon and family.
    Please accept my prayers with you all in this time of sadness;

    May his memory be Eternal!

  11. To Khr. Marilyn & family,
    I knew Peter while I was on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ in Nacogdoches, TX from 1980-1988. Many thanks for Peter and his friends making my time there so meaningful & fulfilling. While we are saddened at his passing, we know that he has gone to be with his loving Lord. From reading some of the comments above, it sounds like he served his Lord with distinction. He has gone to his heavenly reward. Glad to hear that his mission was in the area of reaching people for Jesus Christ & planting churches to the glory of our Lord. He will certainly be missed. I was richer for having known him. May the family sense the very real presence of Christ during their time of grief. The good news is that we do not grieve as those without hope! May you sense His presence in real ways!…Bob & Cheryl Beaver

  12. My sincere condolences to the family. Coming across the book “Becoming Orthodox” strengthened my faith by showing me that anyone who seeks our Lord Jesus Christ, wants to know the truth, and wants to follow It shall find Him. Being born into Orthodox faith and tradition I had been asking myself what was the chance for people in America to discover the truth and the book of Fr. Peter gave me some answers. May the memory of Fr. Peter be eternal.

  13. To Khr. Marilyn and family,

    For awhile Fr. Peter and I were the only Scandinavians in the Archdiocese and we would kid each other about being “Norse-ski.” Now heaven has its token “Norse-ski “and I will greatly miss my fellow Norseman.

    Fr. Peter was the second Orthodox clergyman that I met on my journey to the Church, and he remained one of the most influential. His sense of humor and his ability to explain things simply was a great blessing and help to many of us. Even though we only talked face to face rarely and for very short duration, I felt like I had known Fr. Peter all my life and that we were not only fellow clergy but good friends. His influence on those of us who have become Orthodox from the ranks of evangelical Protestantism was immense.

    I thank God for Fr. Peter and will be praying for him and for his family until we meet again face to face in the Kingdom of God. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones!”

  14. Fr. Peter’s book “Becoming Orthodox” had a great effect on my family and I, along with the prayers of St. John of San Francisco and Shanghi, we became Orthodox Christians. Fr. Peter’s life and words touched more people than he ever knew. Memory Eternal!

    Rdr. Symeon Campbell

  15. Marilyn, my heart goes out to you and yours. I know that Peter is with the Lord and so very happy. I will never forget all the times I spent with you so many years ago and now I know how much the Lord used that to help me grow. All to His glory! Much love in HIM. Harriette

  16. Dearest Khouria Marilyn and other members of the wonderful Gillquist family,

    My most sincere condolences. Fr. Peter really deserved to be called the Saint of the modern time. Fr. Peter’s extraordinary dedication and his gigantic impact to the development of the Holy, Universal, and Apostolic Church brought his name to the list of the best contributors to Orthodox Christianity ever. He will be truly missed by so many people. Also, Fr. Peter earned a really special place in the Victorious Church.

    Fr. Peter and all of you are in my unworthy prayers. May Fr. Peter’s memory be eternal and may God help you all.

    In Christ,

  17. Memory eternal. What a blessing Father Peter has been to so many. My heartfelt condolences to Khouria Gilquest – this is a sad part of a journey for a widow without her best earthly friend. Father Peter will live on in your heart and the hearts of all of us. We praise God for sending him to our Archdiocese and for all his godly knowledge he shared. Love in the Risen Christ, Judy

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