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. I remember reading Fr. Peter’s book Let’s Stop Arguing About the Holy Spirit.when I was a student considering applying for staff of Campus Crusade. For some reason, the name of the author stuck with me. Nearly forty years later, I was looking at my newly-purchased Orthodox Study Bible (only the NT at that time) and saw his name as project director. My first thought was, “it can’t be the same man,” but it turned out it was indeed. Apparently we had followed somewhat similar paths.
    Blessed Repose and Eternal Memory.
    Vicnaja Pamjat.


  2. Dear Marilyn & Family,

    I pray that the peace and grace of the Holy Spirit would be with all of you in your time of loss. I grieve with you. Fr. Peter was something of a “second father” for me, after having lost my dear Dad thirty-five years ago. Being with Fr. Peter and working alongside him so often over the years has produced some of my most precious memories. I feel something of a void inside. But we all know that our dear Father rests in the bosom of our Risen Lord Jesus! Thanks be to God!

    My dear Father Peter, by God’s grace, we will see you at the Resurrection!

    Fr. Bill Caldaroni

  3. Beloved friends, We received the news with great sadness at our clergy-laity assembly. Memory Eternal! Our prayers are with you.
    You will not remember me, but I first learned of your spiritual journey towards Orthodoxy almost at its very beginning; and then we followed along from the various places we lived (Scotland, Texas, Hong Kong). We were blessed to meet several times in different places over the years, before and after my Presvytera and I became Orthodox. I will always remember and cherish those times and our conversations, which inspired and challenged me. May our Lord continue the great blessing of Fr. Peter’s ministry through all in your family. In Christ, +Fr Brendan Pelphrey

  4. Dear Khouria Marilyn and other family members:
    You are in our prayers. Where would so many of us be if Fr. Peter had not taken the journey into the Church and then, through his powerful writing, speaking, and pastoral love, beaconed us to join him.

  5. Fr. Danial Fr. Danial Doss, St. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church (OCA) Burr Ridge, Illinois on said:

    With sadness and acceptance of God’s will, we bid farewell to this great man, priest, father, speaker, author, and leader. May his memory be eternal

    Fr. Danial Doss
    St. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church (OCA)
    Burr Ridge, Illinois

  6. I was very saddened to learn of the passing of Fr. Peter this week. He was a man or endless enthusiasm and energy and I was honored to know him and to spend many hours with him during the 1980s. He cared deeply for his wife, Marilyn, and his children, and his love for them was constant and evident. He was a great leader, speaker and writer and his like is not often found. I pray for his family, asking that our Lord will keep his memory eternal. I know that today Fr. Peter is joining with the saints who worked so diligently with him to find the Orthodx faith, and who have passed on before.

  7. I am so sorry to hear of Fr. Peter’s passing – I will remember him for his strength, his book, and kind words to me at the last convention in Chicago. May the Gilchrist family find peace in his great achievements and deep spirit with the Lord.

  8. Dear Marilyn and Family of Father Peter,

    Our heartfelt sympathy at the passing of Father Peter.

    Our thoughts are with you,

    Ken and Anne on Sabado Tarde

  9. Fr. Peter,

    Memory eternal! It’s been about ten years since you came and spoke to my OCF. I didn’t take any notes, but I still remember some of the things you said. You spoke from the heart, and your life is a great testimony to Orthodox Christians in America. With much love and gratitude…

  10. Marilyn,
    My family sends our condolences.

    Edith Langlois
    209 Walnut Bend Cv
    Memphis TN 38018


  11. Father Peter was one who influenced me as an evangelical to embrace Holy Orthodoxy.May his memory be eternal

  12. Dear Marilyn and family, Tom and I are catching the morning flight from Alaska to be with you as we all pray our beloved Fr Peter into the heavenly realm. Such memories we share with you, from my making your daughters’ wedding cakes, to Tom taking Fr. salmon fishing on the Kenai river, to bringing your friends Ross and Sue Barbour to our home for a special dinner, to all those great times when we were neighbors in Goleta. Most of all, we thank you all for your great witness to the love of God. What an extraordinary family you are! What wonderful wisdom and grace was given to Fr Peter, as he touched so many lives. May you all be comforted by the Paschal hymn “Christ is risen from the dead”. And may Fr. Peter’s memory be eternal. Love, JoAnn

  13. Dear Marilyn and Family, we are so grateful for the deep memories with you, from my wedding to Mary, and your flower girl
    role in the service. And I remember first meeting Peter, and hearing of his efforts with Campus Crusade, which I still support with joy. And then the many visits to Santa Barbara, dinner with you and with your mother Olga,
    and the transition to the Orthodox brand of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
    As a former pastor said to me on my last visit and prayer with him, “So long Leigh. See you in heaven.” And we will, thanks be to God.

  14. Pingback: Fr. Peter Gillquist: Evangelical Pioneer for Orthodoxy | Orthodox-Reformed Bridge

  15. May Fr. Peter’s memory be eternal!

    May God strengthen and bless you, Fr. Peter Jon, your mother Marilyn, and all your family.

  16. Memory Eternal, Fr. Peter, honest minister and servant of Christ!!!

    Our prayers are still one voice, our service is still the same deed, our liturgy is the constant pace…Christ, the Head of the whole Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church lead you all along the way to your spiritual riches and you are the man of His brave heros, for you has never been astray and your life, your fidelity and devotion are witness….No more to say but pray together now!!!!

    The fire and the page, the hewed hairs and the swords,
    The grains and the millstone, the whispers and the clatter —
    God saves all that — especially the words
    Of love and pity, as His only way to utter.
    The harsh pulse pounds and the blood torrent whips,
    The spade knocks evenly in them, by gentle muse begotten,
    For life is so unique, they from the mortal lips
    Sound more clear than from the divine wad-cotton.
    Oh, the great soul, I’m bowing overseas
    To you, who found them, and that, your smoldering portion,
    Sleeping in the homeland, which, thanks to you, at least,
    Obtained the gift of speech in the deaf-mute space ocean.

    Joseph Brodsky

  17. Kh. Marilyn, I will forever remember Father’s polite but firm insistence that it would be better for him to drive his Lincoln than have another ride in my much smaller car when you visited us in Fort Wayne last year. I’m sure there’s nothing smaller than a Humvee in Heaven. 🙂

    Gracious! Where would so many thousands of us be if he had not written that book?? I remember when I got “Becoming Orthodox” in the mail in 1989. I got it and another title in the mail that day from CBD; I started reading as soon as I got home from work and had finished it by the time I went to bed that same day, and my life has never been the same. Looking back, that one day was perhaps the most important one in my life. Thank, you Fr. Peter, good, faithful, and absolutely critical (to the people of North America) servant. Rest in the company of the saints!

    Pdn Michael

  18. We were so sorry to hear of Fr. Peter’s passing. He was a wonderful, wonderful, man! His gregarious and loving personality was enjoyed at our home on several occasions during his travels for the SAE fraternity and for helping a new church in Princeton, NJ. We were so fond of him and he will live on in our memories and in the Wiik family as it grows. A contribution will be sent in in his memory where requested. Love to all.

  19. Fr. William Conjelko, Protopresbyter - pastor of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church - Kankakee, Illinois on said:

    The Orthodox Church lost one of its 20th century apostles today and we are all saddened by it. May God Grant Fr. eternal rest – memory eternal. Fr. & Charlotte Wm. Conjelko

  20. Memory Eternal, good and faithful servant!

    Kh Marilyn and family,
    You have been and will continue to be in our prayers for peace and comfort as you prepare to sing Father Peter to rest during the next few days. What a changing of the guard it has been in recent months, from those who led the way for so many and who now intercede for us in God’s presence as we follow their path and example. What a blessing they have been to us all!

Comments are closed.