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 came across this website when looking up something else, and have spent an hour here remembering how much Fr Gillquist’s writing meant to me. Becoming Orthodox showed up at the bookstore booth at the Greek Festival of a church where I was still a regular visitor. I was in the painful process of ending my lifelong membership in a denomination that had departed from the Church’s historic Faith and Biblical moral teaching. The Orthodox parishioners were wonderfully welcoming but I was making the journey alone. Fr Peter’s book was just what I needed. It’s been over twelve years since I was Chrismated. I never met Fr Peter or heard him speak, but he was a part of my Christian life as he will be for others who read his books. May his memory be eternal.

  2. Peter was my Spiritual father, as he over a several month period led me to Christ. Peter and Marilyn were always there for me. At times, I would call Peter at 1:30 or 2:00 Am, and we would talk, and sometimes he would visit in the middle of the night. He and Marilyn and all the kids opened their doors to me, as I lived with them for several months In Grand Junction. Peter would take me many places, once we went to Nashville and I met Gordon and then another time to Dallas and he baptized me in a freezing pool. I weep for Peter, because I really loved that wonderful man of God. He was my father, my brother, and my friend, he helped me through the darkest periods of my life, where only a brave man would venture to go. Peter showed me life, and I live it today in Jesus. Praise God!

  3. Pingback: Fr. Peter Gillquist’s angelic welcome | Joel J. Miller

  4. My English are not very good. I read all the above remarks and I felt blessed because I m an Orthodox Christian. I didn’t know father Peter. But I felt very sorry with his depth. He was a real servant for his people and for the Orthodoxy in USA. May God rest his soul! Eternal memory! Αιωνία σου η Μνήμη!
    Panagiotis Zantes Greece.

  5. To family and friends I extend my deep condolensces. As my best friend (and fellow staffer on high school newspaper the Grist) I loved him deeply. And so very much appreciate his existence!. God has always loved Peter — as I do — and deeply bless his soul, his accomplishments and his memory!. -Richard

  6. May the memory of Archpriest Peter E. Gilchrist be eternal, one of the first if not the very first leader of thirsty pioneering pilgrims from amongst the heterodox that sought and found the True Church in the 21st Century!

  7. My heartfelt condolences on the passing of Dear Fr. Peter Gilquist. He was a breath of fresh air. I will miss him not being here to talk at the North Texas Orthodox Missions’ retreats in Dallas. He was always an inspiration and he will remain to be. Memory Eternal, Fr. Peter.

  8. Dear Kh. Marilyn and family,
    Our deepest condolensces for the falling asleep of Fr. Peter. We will all miss him so deeply. He touched so many people’s lives. Of his many accomplishments, the Orthodox Study Bible certainly stands out as a ministry that will live forever. Without Fr. Peter, it would not have occurred.
    May his memory be eternal. We know he will be praying for us.

    John and Katherine Demakis

  9. Memory Eternal, Fr. Peter!

    We are eternally grateful for your work in establishing St. Ananias Orthodox Mission in Evansville, Indiana, our home Church.

  10. Thank you, dear brother in Christ, for you faithful witness to our Risen Lord through your years of following Him! Thank you for you love of all of God’s people and for His Holy Church. Thank you for your service to the entire Body of Christ. We miss you but rejoice that you are now with our Awesome God!
    You helped us know that Love is Now, that we should celebrate and not fight about the Holy Spirit, and that we should embrace God’s entire People.

  11. Dear Khouriyee Marilyn and family,

    With great sadness and joy, I learned of the falling asleep of my dear friend, your beloved husband, Father Peter. While he is now rejoicing in the embrace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we are saddened by his absence, knowing we must continue the race without his encouragement, his warm smile, his bear hug, his kind words and strong support.

    It was a privilege and honor to have known and worked with Fr. Peter. My fondest memory is of a time we both participated in a conference in Ethiopia.
    One afternoon, during a rest period, I heard a lot of noise outside my second floor window. When I went out on the small balcony, there was Fr. Peter preaching the message of salvation to a crowd of eager Ethiopians, who had gathered to listen and converse with him.

    May the Grace of our Lord bring comfort and peace to you and all the Gillquist family. May your memory be eternal dear brother in Christ!

    In His love,
    +Bishop Dimitrios Couchell

  12. Fr. Peter was (is) instrumental in my own “Journey to Orthodoxy,” which continues. My heart is a mix of heaviness and joy.

  13. Fr. Peter was the first Orthodox priest I ever met, and his book Becoming Orthodox was the first book I ever read on the Orthodox Church. He came to my campus and introduced me to a Church I never heard about, though that time in my life I had been to 15 different churches, and like the Samaritan woman, the church I then was with was not really “my church”. Fr. Peter revealed to me my church, the Church of Jesus Christ, and the Holy Apostles, and not a day of life goes by that I don’t bless the memory of this great man and priest of God.

    Memory Eternal! Mno Gaya Leto!

  14. These are some comments that were left on my webpage, so I put them here also

    1. from Fr. Andrew and Kh. Dannie Moore

    “We were members of the EOC in 1979, and entered the Antiochian Archdiocese along with so many of our dear brothers and sisters. With a small house church in inner-city Atlanta, we depended on Fr. Peter, Fr. Gordon Walker and others to guide us to Orthodoxy. We have blessed memories of the visits Fr. Peter made during those early years. He would sit in our living room, with the guitar, and sing with us ,,.,. how we recall “The Baptism of Jessie Taylor” and once he sang, “Front Seat, Back Seat” by Dallas Holm … what joyous times as we all struggled to embrace the ancient Church and the faith of the Apostles. We shall ever be indebted to Fr Peter for his kindness, his humor and friendship in leading the way for our faithful at St. Stephen. May God grant his soul rest where the just repose. Memory Eternal.”

    2. from Chris Stevenson

    “Fr. Peter Gillquists book Becoming Orthodox was instrumental in me becoming Orthodox. His book was riveting and I could not put it down for any length of time. I loved it. Any time I saw him speak online I was listen and it always impacted me… I loved it. May His Memory be Eternal…. BRAVO JULU Fr. Peter…. BRAVO JULU!!!”

    3. from Fr. JRaphael and Kh. JCatherine Garcia

    “Our world loses a great mentor and Christian leader but gains a great advocate in heaven. THANK YOU Fr. PETER for the guidance you have led many. Our hearts ache but our spirits rejoice for the joy of your returning to the beauty of GOD’s Fullness of Being. With great love your memory will be eternal”

    4. from John-Ambrose Cox

    “I am a former Charismatic Protestant who was ordained in the Charismatic Episcopal Church who converted to Orthodoxy almost three years ago. I had first heard of Father Gillquist’s book Becoming Orthodox prior to my starting my time as a catechcumen in the Orthodox Church in America. During my time as a catechcumen, I read the book and found that I had gone through some of the same experience on my own journey to Orthodoxy. Father Gillquist became an inspiration and someone I could relate to. I often recommend his book to any evangelical or charismatic who is interested in learning more about the Orthodox Faith. Father Gillquist will be greatly missed; but I am sure that there will be many more of us who will have read his book on our way to Orthodoxy.”

    5. from Marc Trolinger

    “Fr. Peter was a big man with a big heart, and a great love for the Church. Although he will be missed by many, his prayers for those of us who remain in this life will be a great blessing.”

  15. Father Peter greatly impacted my life with his Love is Now book.

    I actually got his phone number a few months ago and wanted to talk to him regarding my journey toward Orthodoxy … curious his position on various matters, especially on certain areas that I still struggle with. For various reasons I never got a chance to call, and sad to hear of his falling asleep.

    Still, thank you Most Holy Trinity for Father Peter’s life.

  16. Dear Marilyn and the entire Gilquist Family,
    Our deepest sympathy is with you on the passing of our dear friend, Fr. Peter.
    We remember the time he was in our home and eating Kibbee Knayee–he loved it. We’ll never forget his beautiful Christian personality no matter what health conditions he was in. He will be truly missed and his writings, his ability to convey God’s message of salvation, and his positive outlook on life will never be forgotten. He truly will be missed. Memory eternal and may God grant all of you the strength and comfort that you will need during this time. He and you will be remembered in our prayers.
    With love in Christ,
    Fr. Anthony and Family.

  17. Dear Gillquist Family,

    Thank you for reaching out to all of us through this website, and we are so sorry for your loss. It’s been so special to follow the recent events and especially to see the three sunbeams in the church at the funeral. Fr. Peter is a true gift from God and we will miss him very much. We will look forward to seeing the rest of you when Michelle is healthy enough to travel to Indy. God bless you all.

    Love, PJ, Michelle, and George Boyle

  18. We have been in continuous prayer for all of you during these weeks. We remember Fr. Peter in our family prayers together and will again today during and after the Liturgy. I recall dinners at the Gillquist home during my journey to Orthodoxy. It was the book “Becoming Orthodox” that began my journey. Skip, now my husband, gave it to me during a time that I was searching for a deeper truth. And now, we are members of St. Gabriel in Angels Camp, CA as a direct result of the Missions and Evangelism efforts of Fr. Peter and the service of Fr. John Finley. We are grateful! We will miss Fr. Peter’s jovial laughter and faithful strength, even in the midst of pain. We pray that when our time comes to be reunited, we can turn our eyes and hearts to the heavens with such surety. May his memory be Eternal!
    All our love and prayers during this time of grief,
    Skip & Shannon Sharp

  19. Kh. Marilyn, Fr. Peter J., and family,

    I extend my deepest condolences to all of you on the repose of Fr. Peter. Along with many others who have posted here, my dearly departed wife, Regina, and I were deeply influenced by Fr. Peter’s book Becoming Orthodox, and it was one of the most influential stories on our path into the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. May his memory be eternal!

    Pray for us, Fr. Peter, Enlightener of Protestants!

    Charles Demetrios

  20. Fr. Peter was a huge reason I am Orthodox today. His inspiring audio tapes, especially regarding his own journey to Orthodoxy were a huge inspiration for me. I was fortunate to meet him a couple years ago during my St. Stephen’s residency at the Antiochian village. God speed Fr Peter and may your memory be eternal!

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