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. Dear Marilyn and Gilquist family,
    I know that I am one of hundreds, maybe thousands who were touched and blessed by Fr. Peter’s ministry. I read his book “Becoming Orthodox” in 2004 and was Chrismated into the Orthodox Church at Pascha 2005. Praying for comfort and peace from God as you grieve. may his memory be eternal!
    In Christ,
    Rex and Iris Houdyshel

  2. I count myself blessed to have met Fr. Peter once when he came out to Seattle for a Lenten retreat. I’ll always remember that booming voice of his. I think God gave him that voice just for evangelism!

    John Cox

  3. Eternal be the Memory of the Servant of God the Priest Peter!

    The Orthodox Church here in the United States has truely lost a person who should be numbered withthe saints as an eual to the Apostles for his wonderous evangelical spirit in spreading “America’s best kept secret” the Orthodox Church in a manner that could be understood by many who had known nothing about Orthodoxy before. His books and lectures brought many to the Church who would have never found it without his special witness. His teachings also impacted the cradle Orthodox, many of whom returned to full communion after the basence of many years. We can Thank Our God in Heaven for the misitery of Father Peter and know that as he reposes in the bosom of the Lod, he will continue to pray for the Holy Orthodox Church before the throne of God.
    May His Memory be Eternal!

  4. Dearest Kyr Marilyn, Fr Peter and family,

    Jesus said that we are to light our light shine before all men that they may see the glory of God … surley it was very clear that Christ’s light shine brightly in Fr Peter’s life. His love for God, Christ’s Holy Church, and his family was very visible in not only what he said but in his life. He lived his life IN and As the Church.

    Fr Peter Jon, I know he was very proud of you and as one who has had you and your wife at our parish (doing a concert), I know why.

    Kyr Marilyn, your were a good and faithful wife ,,,may God be with you in your gief ,,,, I know Fr Peter is in a better place but please still allow yourself to grieve ,,, you are in my prayers

    Fr David Randolph
    Kyr Betty Randolph

  5. Khouria & Family & all extended family,
    Christ our Lord, grant rest to thy servant Peter among Thy Saints who have reposed in Thy peace, where there is no pain, sorrow, or suffering, but everlasting life, and bestow upon him the blessed eternal life which is from Thee, merciful Lord. Thou art the Resurrection and the Life, and to Thee I give glory, now and forever, through Jesus Christ our Lord who liveth and reigneth with the Father and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.
    Almighty God, we give Thee hearty thanks for the good examples of all those Thy servants, who having finished their course in faith, do now rest from their labours. And we beseech Thee, that we with all those who are departed in the true faith of Thy Holy Name may be found acceptable in Thy sight; and receive that blessing, which Thy well-beloved Son shall then pronounce to all who love and fear Thee, saying, Come, ye blessed of my Father, receive the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world. The God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant; Make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight; through Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
    Blessings and Special Memories,
    A new student of Orthodoxy,

  6. I read “Becoming Orthodox”… and Fr.Peter’s history was much like mine, Campus Crusade for Christ and Dallas Theological Seminary. Just after one year of struggling with Orthodoxy and what to do with it Fr. Peter came to my town to participate in a funeral as a National Fratenity Chaplin, and spoke at the Liturgy at the local Antiochian Church. I was introduced to him as “A Fan”, he signed my book, I gave him a lettter, and HE CALLED ME THE NEXT WEEK. He took time out of his busy schedule to give me a phone call and talk to me about my struggles in life and with Orthodoxy. A couple of years later I was Chrismated in the One True Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church,
    Thank you Fr. Peter for assisting in that journey,


  7. Dear Fa. Peter, You prayed for us on earth, please pray for us in heaven. May God Grant you Eternal Rest! Well done,my good and faithful servant, is what I imagine your greeting being in the heaven-lies. Thank you for sharing your vision of what the church was supposed to be and Orthodox Spirituality! Welcome Home! May your family take comfort in knowing that you are praying for them from the heavens.
    I am blessed by the memory of you visiting Indianapolis, EOC days, and staying in our home. Memory Eternal, Fa. Peter!

  8. Thank you Fr. Peter for helping me across the bridge from Protestantism to Orthodoxy and for helping renew a vision for evangelism within Orthodox Christianity. Pray for us !

  9. 20 years ago this month, on a Friday afternoon, I came upon a yard sale across the street from St. John Orthodox Cathedral in Eagle River, Alaska. It was clear to me there was a community here, but I had no idea what it was. After questioning the woman there for about 15 minutes, she handed me Fr. Peter’s book, “Becoming Orthodox” and said, “Come and see.”
    I shared that book with my husband, and we both DEVOURED it; and having read the book, attended St. John’s that Sunday on the feast of St. Paraskeva.
    It is with such great, and humble joy I see the results of that book in my life: my husband and myself, our thirteen children and all twelve of our grandchildren (the youngest two are newborns, so will be baptized soon!) are Orthodox Christians.
    Fr. Peter must be in awe as the Lord unfolds before him the impact he has had on people, their lives and families, and on the generations to come.
    MEMORY ETERNAL, +Fr. Peter!

    • Forgive me – for this post! …. Laura Anna-Paraskeva Temple!!! Please send me an email. I lost yours!!! I miss you!

  10. To the Gillquist Family,

    The clergy and parishioners at St. Mary’s Basilica in Livonia, Michigan extend their heartfelt condolences and expression of sympathy on the passing of your dear husband, father and grandfather, Fr. Peter Gillquist.
    Fr. Peter will be remembered for his work, his authorship and his love of the missions for many years to come.
    So blessed is the way God has led him and blessed is the way God will leave, for all of you, wonderful memories.
    May God have mercy on his soul and may his memory be eternal.

    Fr. George and Nouhad Shalhoub
    Fr. Jim and Audrey King
    Deacon Issa Rizkallah
    Deacon Dennis and Andria Bojrab
    and the entire church community

  11. Dear Presbytera Marilyn,
    We just heard of Fr. Peter’s falling asleep in the Lord, may his memory be eternal and may God give him rest among His saints !
    We still remember being welcomed by you and Fr. Peter when we arrived in Santa Barbara as students fifteen years ago. Thinking about your strong faith and Christian witness has always strengthened us in our faith and for this we remain forever grateful.
    In Christ

    Fr. Iosif and Cristina Bena

  12. Pingback: Κοινώνησε και εκοιμήθη εν Κυρίω ο Fr. Peter E. Gillquist. Memory Eternal! + Fr. Peter Gillquist : Από τους Ευαγγελικούς στην Ορθόδοξη Εκκλησία του Χριστού! « Orthodox Missi

  13. To all family and friends,

    May God grant you strength during the difficult time. Fr. Peter’s gift to the church through his writings and evangelism have been incredible. I know how his books have helped me, and also being able to meet him in person on a couple of occasions was a great honor for me. His contributions to Orthodoxy have helped and will continue to help so many to find there way to the One Holy Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church. May his memory be eternal!

  14. May Father God grant his servant and my friend the Archpriest Peter eternal memory.

    Marilyn, I am so sad for your loss and I pray that you and your wonderful family with feel the healing love of our Lord. We have shared so many incredible experiences together over the years from those first moments in Goleta where we smoked cigars and drank cheap beer in the back yard while discussing theology and the Orthodox Church. Step by step the will of the Almighty brought us into sacramental unity. And now, Father Peter has entered into the fullness of union with his Savior. After digesting the grief of loss, one of my first thoughts was that from the original group there aren’t many of us still here who rode the waves of discovery, but then I reconsidered and see that there are thousands of souls touched by Peter and the shared vision given from above.

    May God bless you all.

    Fr Ted and Karen Wojcik

  15. I heard Father Peter tell the beautuful story of his journey to Orthodoxy so many times on AFR and his story hit the mark every time. What a teacher!
    To all his loved ones, may the Lord strengthen you during these sad days.
    Memory Eternal.
    Mel Chrysostomou
    Adelaide, Australia

  16. To Kh. Marilyn and the entire Gillquist Family:

    Christ is Risen!

    It is with great sorrow and sadness that we express our deepest sympathy to you and your family. With Fr. Peter’s passing, we lose a great priest and preacher. May the Lord bless his soul and accept him among the just.

    – Fr. Ghattas Hajal, Dean & Pastor
    – Fr. Michael Sakran, Assistant Pastor
    St. Elias Cathedral, Ottawa, Ontario

  17. My heartfelt condolences to the family of Fr. Peter and to all who will miss him greatly. I only knew Fr. Peter through his books, and he had a profound effect upon my life. His books became the catalyst for my exploration and entry into the Orthodox Faith. I will forever be grateful to him for his books and his evangelical zeal. He is truly an Apostle for the 21st century in America. I have no doubt that he is now hearing “Well done, good and faithful servant!” Memory Eternal….

  18. It is no exaggeration to say that Fr. Peter added a unique chapter to the history of Orthodoxy in America. What is more significant to me, however, was the way he dealt with individuals — always with sincerity, support, sensitivity, and spiritual conviction. He so authentically combined the roles of visionary and pastor! He changed us all, and we are all the better for it.

    May his memory be eternal, and may God’s consolation be with his family and with all who so keenly feel his loss.

  19. Dear Kh. Marilyn, Rev. Fr. Peter John and family
    “With the saints give rest, O Lord, to the Soul of your departed servant, the Archpriest Peter, where there is no pain, nor sorrow, nor suffering, but life everlasting!”
    Economos Antony Gabriel, Rev. Fr. Michael Shaheen, Rev. Fr. Jean El-Murr and the community of St George, Montreal offer you with contrite hearts and mourning souls the deepest sympathies. Our words of condolences cannot redeem the great loss, but they convey our love, support and encouragement.
    Archpriest Peter has touched and impressed the lives of many people with his zealous ministry of love and his faith. With this love and faith we carry on and exalt our prayers to the Merciful God to receive His servant Fr. Peter in His bosom and to grant you and the family strength, courage and blessings to endure these difficult moments that they may be transformed to a time of joy in the Resurrected Lord.
    “Christ is risen from the dead trampling down death by death, and
    to those in the tombs, He bestowed life.”
    Economos Antony Gabriel, Pastor Rev. Fr. Michael Shaheen, Assistant Pastor
    Rev. Fr. Jean El-Murr, Assistant Pastor

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