Archpriest Peter E. Gillquist

Archpriest Peter E. Gillquist, well known evangelist, author, teacher, preacher, and lecturer, fell asleep in the Lord surrounded by his beloved Khouriya Marilyn and family members here Sunday, July 1, 2012, the Feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian.

According to Archdiocese’s web site, Father Peter had been diagnosed with and survived stage 3 melanoma in 1999, facing a second bout in 2010. On June 14, 2012, it was reported that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic melanoma—a very aggressive form of cancer. Six days later, an update on the same web site stated that, while still hospitalized, “it was discovered that his cancer [was] moving even more quickly than anticipated, and [had] spread to some of his vital organs.”

Born in Minneapolis, MN to Parker and Louise [Blitsch] Gillquist on July 13, 1938, Father Peter married his high school sweetheart, Marilyn Grinder, in 1960. After being long-term residents of Santa Barbara, CA, they moved in 2009 to Bloomington, IN, where their son, Priest Peter Jon, is pastor of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church.

Father Peter earned a BA in journalism from the University of Minnesota. He pursued graduate studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, TX, and Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL. He served on the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ, was Director of Development at the University of Memphis, and later became Editor of Christian Books at Thomas Nelson Publishing Company.

Father Peter was instrumental in leading 2,000 formerly-Protestant Christians, members of the Evangelical Orthodox Church, into canonical Orthodoxy in 1987. Thereafter, he was appointed Director of the Department of Missions and Evangelism of the Antiochian Orthodox Christan Archdiocese of North America—a position from which he retired in January 2012. A recent Ancient Faith Radio retirement interview with Father Peter, Khouriya Marilyn, and Father Peter Jon is available here.

In addition to his beloved wife, Khouriya Marilyn, Father Peter is survived by and their six children and their spouses, Priest Peter Jon Gillquist, Greg Gillquist, Ginger Gillquist, Wendy Braun, Terri Speier, and Heidi James, and 20 grandchildren. He is also survived by his stepmother, Marion Gillquist, four siblings, a niece and four nephews.

On Thursday, July 5, beginning at 5:00 p.m., Father Peter will lie in state at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 3500 West 106 St., Carmel, IN.  A Memorial will be celebrated at 7:00 p.m., followed by the reading of the Psalter throughout the night.  On Friday, July 6, His Grace, Bishop Anthony, Auxiliary of the Antiochian Archdiocese’s Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest, will preside at the Divine Liturgy at 9:00 a.m and the Funeral Service for a Priest at 11:00 a.m.  A mercy meal will follow.  Interment will take place at 3:30 p.m. at All Saints Cemetery, Bloomington, IN.

May Father Peter’s memory be eternal!