You may recognize a few of the people I’ve come into contact with in the last few years. Here is what they had to say.
|“Fr. John Peck is one of those innovators who has probably already thought of and tried, or is implementing, the great idea you thought you came up with. When Ancient Faith Radio was first started, a search discovered this Orthodox priest who was already streaming Orthodox talks and music from the basement of his parish. But he is also one who doesn’t need the spot light and was quick to encourage us to take the ball and run with it. He understands the importance of the calling to evangelize, preach, and teach while at the same time preserving the historic worship forms of the Church. He has served in both OCA and Greek parishes and uses his passion and dedication to grow healthy and vibrant communities. He is both outspoken and gentle. His technical skills in web design are matched only by his pastoral skills in leadership, care, and outreach. The Church would be well served by more like him.”
John Maddex, CEO, Conciliar Media
|“Fr. John Peck is a dynamic cultural observer, critic and Christian “visionary” who sees things others miss and isn’t afraid to call a spade a spade (affably). He is equally conversant with first-century Christian literature and history as he is with post-modern cultural and intellectual trends. As the author of the prescient article “The Orthodox Church of Tomorrow” he accurately predicted trends we are now seeing in American society and in the church. He is a new media pioneer, spreading the Gospel and the Holy Tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church through online radio (Incarnation Broadcast Network), and the award-wining website “Journey to Orthodoxy,” (which he developed), reaching and impacting tens of thousands of online readers worldwide and directing them to the Orthodox Church. He is also an inspiring writer and public speaker. I have worked with Fr. John Peck on several projects and know him to be engaging, thoughtful, and inspiring. The Orthodox Church needs men like Fr. John to provide vision, enthusiasm and energy.”
Kevin Allen, Host of Ancient Faith Today with Kevin Allen
|“Father John Peck is an Orthodox priest devoted to the propagation of Holy Orthodoxy on American soil. His enthusiastic and creative endeavors to organically connect Americans to the faith once delivered to the saints are exemplary and to be recommended. I am particularly grateful to Father John for elevating the rich but much-neglected Orthodox tradition of preaching both in his practice and through his Preachers Institute.”
The V. Rev. Dr. Josiah Trenham, St. Andrew Orthodox Church, Riverside, CA
|“Fr. John Peck is a pioneer in the use of the new media in Orthodox Ministry. He has a unique ability not found in many in ministry today to take the ancient faith and translate it into a language that the wired generation will understand. Fr. John understands the words of St. Nikolai Velimirovich who said, “We must be super-conservative in preserving the orthodox faith, and super-modern in propagating it.” Fr. John has taken the saint’s word to heart and put them into action.”
The V. Rev. Fr. Peter-Michael Preble, Host, Shepherd of Souls Radio Show/Podcast
|“As a leading voice in the American Orthodox Church, Fr. John Peck clearly explains the connections that exist between contemporary Christianity, the crisis of Western culture, and the future direction of the Orthodox Church. His ability to see these linkages and to then boldly call Church leaders to change course has been embraced by many in the Church, and widely noted by others. No Ivy League theologian, Fr. Peck has spent his ministerial career in the trenches, ministering to the Lord’s people in rural settings, the inner-city, and online through innovated web programming. His wider interest in social and cultural issues is the result of his experience seeing how people are affected by the Church’s engagement, or lack of engagement, in the larger American context.”
Timothy J. Wilkinson, Ph.D. Professor and Dean, School of Global Commerce & Management, Whitworth University
“Father John Peck is a tireless and persuasive advocate for preaching in the Orthodox Church. I have had the pleasure to work with him on his groundbreaking website preachersinstitute.com which supports and encourages Orthodox preachers, providing insightful and inspiring material from patristic and contemporary sources. Sharing his enthusiasm for preaching with young preachers, Fr. John has participated as a mentor and evaluator at the national Festival of Preaching sponsored by the Academy of Preachers, and has brought an important Orthodox Christian voice to this growing movement. Fr. John’s passionate commitment to the preaching ministry, made evident by his tireless advocacy for homiletical excellence, is an inspiration to all of us who preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
The Rev. Dr. J. Sergius Halvorsen, Assistant Professor of Homiletics and Rhetoric, St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary
|“When I think of our Lord’s parable of the talents, I think of Fr. John Peck. He fully utilizes his considerable gifts for the upbuilding of the Orthodox Church, on the internet, over the airwaves, in the public square, and from the pulpit. As with anyone who risks all for the salvation of others, Fr. John has endured much suffering from Orthodox brethren –even clergy and bishops– who are so invested in maintaining the status quo that they are offended by twenty-first century ideas and means. Nevertheless, this undefeatable priest continues to challenge us –not only toward modern venues for the Gospel, but to look at ourselves critically for the sake of the future of Orthodoxy in America. His writings and preaching can be summarized as nothing less speaking God’s truth, glory, and judgment to Orthodox ears dulled from compromise with the world and a defensive, insular mindset. In a time when holy Orthodoxy has been self-focused in scandal and failed in its calling to evangelize the West, Fr. John Peck stands as a beacon of light and hope for American Orthodoxy.”
The Rev. Dr. Mark Hodges, St. Stephen Orthodox Church, Lima, OH
|“I’m beginning to believe Fr. John Peck has got some kind of crystal ball under his riassa. It seems that every week brings some new revelation or finding that supports his beliefs about the present state and future life of the Orthodox churches in America.”
Tina Gilman, Author, Cometh At Midnight Blog
|“Many Orthodox Christians in America are under the false impression that Orthodoxy is a refuge from the great battles breaking out across our culture and the Church universal. This is a dangerous deception. As recent events show, there is no hiding place. I can’t think of another figure in American Orthodoxy who understands the true nature of this war better than Fr. John Peck understands the nature of this war — nor can I think of anyone better positioned to help mount the resistance.”
Rod Dreher, Author and Journalist
|“Fr. John Peck is on the cutting edge of today’s evangelism. He is taking the message of the Apostles into the 21st century, and he is doing it in a way worthy of the new millennium. Through his websites, e-books, and webcasts he is taking the Gospel right into the living room of modern man, and challenging him with the claims of the Gospel. Fr. John is a visionary, dynamic speaker, and writer. There is no-one better to take the Gospel to this technologically obsessed and savvy world.”
Gary Catell, The Willard Preacher
|“Fr. John Peck’s keen intellect, ministerial insight and acumen are matched only by the passionate and consuming love he has for Christ and His Church. As a mentor, teacher, and prophetic voice to the larger Christian community, Fr. John is a rare example of a true scholar-priest. Read him with attentiveness and learn from him with expectation, for God is surely at work in and through this man.”
The Rev. Dr. T.J. Gentry, Sr. Instructor, Fellowship In Christ Ministry Training Academy
|“Americans are a deeply religious people. We are interested in religion and spirituality even if our interests don’t always align with historical Christianity. And above all else, American religion, and especially American Christianity, is entrepreneurial. We love to change our religion, we love to start new religions that are critical our old religion. One of the easiest things in the world to do is get an American to change his or her religion. I think this is a reality to which Orthodox Christians in America have paid too little attention. Pastorally it is relatively easy to start a new Orthodox community, after all we Americans change religions almost as frequently as we change our socks. The real challenge is not to get Americans to become Orthodox but to stay Orthodox and for this you need to lay a firm biblical, doctrinal and spiritual foundation. This is what Fr. John Peck does and does well. He helps communities and priests lay the foundation they need for long term growth through personal fidelity to the Gospel. Fr. John lays the foundation others need—myself included—to be faithful stewards of the mysteries of divine grace in season and out.”
The Rev. Dr. Gregory Jensen, Koinonia blog
|“Fr. John Peck is known for writing with clarity and passion. In a world where there is much sinking sand, his is a voice calling us back to the rock of historic Orthodoxy. It is a much needed voice in the ongoing debates of our time.”
The Rev. Lawrence Farley, Author, Straight from the Heart Blog
|“Fr. John has effectively brought Orthodoxy to the forefront of American culture through his writings, teaching and extensive use of social media. His work on cultural apologetics and self discovery offers essential tools for today’s rapidly growing Orthodox Church. His insight offers a blueprint for how the Church is to express itself in the post-modern world in which it is currently immersed. I look forward to his future guidance and insight!”
Fr. Theodore Paraskevopoulos, National Youth Director, Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto
|“I first became aware of Fr. John Peck when priests in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in America sent me his seminal essay “The Orthodox Church of Tomorrow” I was dumbfounded. It was as if I had come across some ancient text which explained the inner workings of the universe for the first time. Exaggeration aside, his insights and bold assertions caused me to re-examine everything I thought I knew about institutional Orthodoxy. The more I read, the more time that has elapsed, the more I’m convinced that he had hit the nail right on the head. On a whim, I tracked him down via the internet, called him up, and started picking his brain. A great friendship ensued. After several months, he suggested that I start my own blog. After some prodding, prayer, and introspection, Monomakhos was born. It’s been a rollicking fun ride ever since. For this I owe Fr. John profound thanks. More importantly though, I thank the Lord that there are priests of his intelligence and courage serving His Church here in America. We ignore men like Fr. John at our peril.”
George Michaelopoulos, Author, Monomakhos Blog
|“Fr. John Peck was a presenter at our webinar last year on Orthodox Education. His presentation on Bible based curriculums for children was superb and one of the most popular topics among the attendees. Fr. John has a gift for bringing what can be difficult discussions into a familiar and straightforward setting making it easier to both teach and learn. His style is organized, inviting, and engaging to his audience. Fr. John is a very generous and friendly man and it was a pleasure having him involved with our webinar. We look forward to having him present at our webinar again in the future.”
Jennifer Hock, Webinar Coordinator, Illumination Learning
|“Fr. John Peck has distinguished himself as a prophetic voice calling all those who love God to seek the truth and beauty of the Orthodox Christian faith. His keen insights have produced incredibly effective and highly useful websites and media which attract a vast array of seekers, scholars, and pastors. He was a pioneer in using streaming media to present the beautiful music and rich teaching of Orthodox Christianity to an Internet audience. Today, he continues to set new standards in developing high quality, thought provoking, and attractive content which enriches the Internet landscape. Most importantly, everything he does clearly has at its core the mission to fulfill the Divine mandate of spreading the Gospel and glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ in all things.”
The Rev. Thomas Soroka, “The Path” and “Sermons at St Nicholas” on AFR
|“Fr. John Peck is one of the most cutting-edge clergymen I know who has brought many souls to their salvation through his inspiring writings and dynamic preaching. He has a way (and track record) of explaining the traditions, depth, history, and truth about Eastern Orthodoxy to others that makes their conversion to the Faith a very seamless and natural process. Of the many talents that God has bestowed upon him, he utilizes the computer as a medium for reaching out to the sheepfold. Designing websites and blogs is his gift. I personally attest to the reading of his The Orthodox Guide to Pastoral Blogging. What a wonderful book! It gave me all the tools for starting my own blog and showed me the ease of the whole process. A must read for the parish clergy. When a person meets Fr. John, he will immediately notice his zeal for bringing the love and salvation of our Savior into the hearts of many, and for his charismatic nature and genuine love that he has for others. We need more priests like him!”
The Rev. John E. Afendoulis, St. John the Baptist Church, Salinas, CA
| “If American Orthodox Christianity in the 21st Century is to find its prophetic voice and at last shed its tendency to turn inward to the refuge of the ethnic Church ghetto, it will be because of the work that Fr. John Peck and others like him are now doing for mission and evangelism. The Orthodox Church is not a museum, a nostalgia society, or a diaspora coffee house. It is here to mediate the work of the Holy Spirit in America, now so desperately needed. “To be the laos of God is to be sent out into the world to bring joy, hope, light and newness of life,” wrote Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh. “That is our mission.” As well as anyone I’ve ever met in the Orthodox Church, Fr. John Peck understands this. More importantly, he shows us how to do it. May his ministry be blessed abundantly.”
John Couretas, Writer and journalist, Grand Rapids, MI
“Wherever you are, there’s a way to where you ought to be. Drawing a firm line in these shifting sands, Fr John Peck connects you to the eternal Truth. Especially in these dark times, you need a good guy who wears black.”
Peter and Helen Evans, Authors of “Get Serious: The Church’s Stand on Contemporary Culture.”
|“Few contemporary observers of the American Orthodox experience have such a grasp of the current culture, or such deep respect for the fullness of the faith, as Fr. John Peck. While demonstrating great compassion for those outside the Church, he also does not hesitate to call the Orthodox laity, clergy and hierarchy into account for their failures to live up to their high callings. His understanding of what this world really needs, and what the Orthodox Christian faith has to offer, is both well-grounded and absolutely compelling. He speaks boldly and persuasively to an often inattentive culture. May God grant him many years!”
Cal Oren, Orthodox Christian Laity
“Fr. John Peck has masterfully embraced the internet as the new frontier of evangelization. Whether sharing conversion stories, encouraging vocations or teaching the art of preaching, he has been a pioneer in sharing Orthodox Christianity with a global audience. Many people recognize Father John as an accomplished author, speaker and American missionary. However, I tend to believe that his new media kerygma, a source of inspiration for others to accept rather than shun the internet as a vital tool for proclaiming the Gospel, is what sets Father John apart from the rest who strive to walk in the bold and determined footsteps of St. Paul.”
J. Basil Dannebohm
Praise for Called To Serve Bible Survey Workbook
The following are reviews for my Bible Survey book, Called To Serve, the only Bible survey course containing all the books of the Orthodox Bible.
This excellent little book, Called To Serve, by Fr. John Peck, is just the kind of tool I wish I had in hand when I began to study Holy Scripture in my youth. I would like to see it widely available to the young people and other beginners in all of our Orthodox parishes. It is a gem.
The Rev. Patrick Henry Reardon, Senior Editor, Touchstone Magazine, Chicago, IL
Finally, a comprehensive and practical introduction to Holy Scripture for Orthodox Christians! Called To Serve equips its users not only to grasp the content of the Bible in a memorable way, but it supplies the tools to apply that content in the context of everyday life. The Scriptures are treated not as academic text(s), but as the living Word of God bringing meaning and purpose from God to all who have, do, and will embrace It. Particularly helpful are the many mnemonic devices and summary outlines which make learning the Bible surprisingly easy and accessible.
The Rev. Jonathan Cholcher, St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church, Warren, OH
How does someone who is unfamiliar with the Bible even begin to “study the Bible”? Called To Serve fills a huge gap in Orthodox study materials for both Christians who were raised on Bible study and others who have only heard the Scriptures read in services or quoted in books or homilies. For the person who is interested in beginning to study the Scriptures or is interested in leading a study group but has no clue how or where to begin, this is the book. Fr. John Peck has packed a wealth of information about the entire Bible in a short, very readable and interesting book. I will not hesitate to recommend it to our radio program listeners who are seeking an introductory “Bible Survey” from an Orthodox perspective.
Steve Robinson, Host of “Our Life in Christ” Orthodox Radio Program
As an Orthodox, home-schooling mother, I am constantly on the lookout for quality curriculum which may be utilized for the home-school arena. Furthermore, I am adamant about my children having a depth of knowledge of their Faith, one that runs deeper than what they receive from the typical church school. Fr. John Peck has provided a curriculum that meets all those needs. Having completed Called To Serve, my children have a greater understanding of the Holy Scriptures. I look forward to using the other workbooks written by this author. I used this workbook for both my 6th, 7th and 9th graders; and I now plan to implement it into the teen program at our church. I hope the author continues to develop different workbooks.
Hannah Hunt, Home-schooling Mom
The book by Fr. John Peck, Called To Serve, is a welcome explanation of the Orthodox Christian reading of the Holy Bible. It clarifies, expands and explains the basic books of Old Testament and New Testament, pointing out in a contemporary style to all readers, especially the young and the unfamiliar with daily scripture reading, ways to get into the texts and discover anew a fresh approach to the ancient, precious and holy Word of God.
The V. Rev. Vladimir Berzonsky
Called To Serve is a Bible survey in 20 short lessons. The course is thorough, and will guide students well in looking at Scripture from an Orthodox perspective. They offer map work, word devices to memorize data, discussion guides, diagrams and illustrations. Fr. John has the gift of saying memorable and useful things in a succinct way. The lessons are varied-always a plus in a textbook. Called To Serve is a useful and attractive survey course.
Valerie G. Zahirsky, O.C. A. Department of Christian Education