In Memoriam: Archpriest Peter Gillquist

Fr. Peter E. Gillquist, a retired clergyman of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, fell asleep in the Lord last night at the age of seventy-three. Born into a Lutheran family, the future priest went on after university to become a full-time staff member of the Evangelical Protestant Campus Crusade for Christ, eventually becoming one of the organization’s regional directors. He also worked as a senior editor for Thomas Nelson Publishers, being involved in the 1970s on the overview committee for the New King James Version Bible.

While still working with Campus Crusade Fr. Peter and some of his colleagues became convinced through their studies that the Orthodox Church was the only one that had preserved the ancient Christian Faith through the centuries. In 1973 this led to their organization of a network of house churches in the USA and Canada, at first called the “New Covenant Apostolic Order” and later (after 1979) the Evangelical Orthodox Church (EOC), as part of their efforts to live the Orthodox Faith as they knew it.

After exploring the possibility of joining the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America or the American Orthodox Church (OCA) the majority of the EOC joined the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese. (Although several EOC parishes that initially refused to be united with the Orthodox Church were later accepted through the OCA.) Fr. Peter went on to serve as director of the archdiocesan department for missions and evangelism as well as project director for the Orthodox Study Bible. He reposed due to a recurring skin cancer. May his memory be eternal!

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