St. George Church has been served by some devoted clergy, including;
Archimandrite Gabriel Cooke
Our father in the faith, the Rt. Rev. Archimandrite Gabriel [Cooke], fell asleep in the Lord in Chino Valley, AZ on the morning of Thursday, September 10, 2009.
A convert from Byzantine Rite Catholicism, he was ordained to the diaconate in 1986 at Saint Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral, Brooklyn, NY. The following year, he was ordained to the priesthood by His Eminence, Metropolitan Philip, at Saint Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church, Bayridge, NY.
He served in the Western Rite Vicariate of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America.
In February 1996, he was elevated to the rank of Archimandrite by His Grace, Bishop Joseph of the Antiochian Archdiocese at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Portland, OR.
On November 22, 1997, Fr. Gabriel was tonsured a as a stavrophore monk by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman of the Orthodox Church in America at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery, South Canaan, PA.
Father Gabriel held a B.A. in Philosophy and Psychology from Holy Redeemer College and a Masters Masters in Theological Studies and Art History from the Graduate Theological Union, Berkley, CA. He also pursued graduate coursework in Eastern Theology at the Papal College Josephinium, Columbus, OH. He received a Master of Divinity degree from Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, Crestwood, NY in 1986. In 2006 he was a Doctoral Candidate at Harvard Divinity School.
Among his varied ministries and activities, Father Gabriel served as Ecumenical Officer on behalf of Metropolitan Philip to the Interfaith Clergy Council of Oregon from 1987 to 1997; president of the Oregon Orthodox Clergy Brotherhood from 1988-1997; and president of the Arizona Orthodox Clergy Brotherhood from 2000-2006.
Father Gabriel served Antiochian and OCA parishes, including Saint Michael Western Rite Antiochian Orthodox Mission, Seattle, WA; Saint Anne Mission [OCA], Albany, OR; and the Church of the Annunciation [OCA], Milwaukie, OR. In 1997, he was assigned to Saints Peter and Paul Church [OCA], Phoenix, AZ, which he served faithfullly until June 2006, after which he served at the Prescott Orthodox Community while being attached to Saint John of Shanghai Monastery.
Church planter, missionary, monk and holy priest.
May Father Gabriel’s memory be eternal!
Fr. John A. Peck
Fr. John A. Peck served St. George Orthodox Church in Prescott from 2008 to 2012. Born in Detroit, MI in 1962, he grew up there and in Mt. Clemens, MI graduating in 1980 from Mt. Clemens High School. He attended Michigan State University and met the future Mrs. Peck, Deborah Robertson, there. They were married in 1984. Their son, Nathan (1985), was born 14 months later, followed by their sons, Benjamin (1990) and Joseph (1994). It was in 1994 that the Peck family departed the lower 48 for Alaska, attending St. Herman Seminary on Kodiak Island. He was ordained a deacon at Holy Resurrection Cathedral in Kodiak, AK on May 4, 1997, and to the Holy Priesthood on June 22, 1997 at St. Innocent Cathedral in Anchorage, AK.
Fr. John received his B.A. in English Literature from Michigan State University. He graduated from St. Herman Theological Seminary in Kodiak, Alaska, after serving as Administrator, and teaching courses in Introductory Speech and Communications, Introductory and Advanced English Literature, Basic Composition, Religious Education, and Christian Psychology. He completed coursework towards a Master’s degree in Public Administration at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. He was granted a D.Min. by Veritas Theological Seminary in 2009. His thesis became the book “Called To Serve: A Basic Bible Survey for Orthodox Christians.”
His work experience includes decades of non-profit administration, including a stint as the Executive Director of The Helen Foundation, a non-profit medical foundation located in Mesa, AZ.
Fr. John founded the Incarnation Broadcast Network, the first 24 hour Orthodox Christian internet radio broadcast in the world. He established the first Orthodox seminary website in the world. He hosted the first Orthodox Media Guild gathering in Chicago in 2004, inviting Orthodox media ministries from around the country to plan how to use their new technologies to reach the unchurched.
He was instrumental in diaconal preparation and instruction, serving as lecturer in Biblical Studies and Practical Liturgics for the Late Vocations programs of the OCA Diocese of the Midwest, and the Northeast Ohio Catechetical School for Theological Studies. He is also the founder and director of the Preachers Institute, an online homiletic resource for Orthodox pastors and preachers.
Fr. John has written several workbooks and manuals for instruction: Called To Serve, Student and Leader’s Manuals, Divine Liturgy: A Student Study Text, the Bible Drill/Bible Divas Field Manuals, and S.W.A.T. (Spiritual Warfare And Training). He has written articles for Orthodoxytoday.org, the American Orthodox Institute, The Handmaiden magazine, the Interior Strength blog, the St. Katherine College website, and others.
He is also a contributor of a number of articles, and commentary on the Old Testament books of
- Song of Songs, and
- III Maccabees
for the newly published Orthodox Study Bible.
Fr. John arrived at St. George in February of 2008.
He founded Journey To Orthodoxy: The Orthodox Christian “Welcome Home” Network for helping those seeking inquiring into and seeking contacts within the Orthodox Church, and assisting heterodox pastors in their transition to Orthodoxy.
Recently, he launched Good Guys Wear Black, a website designed to help men who are discerning a vocation in the Orthodox Church.
Fr. John is very happily married and the father of three boys.
Fr. William John Clark – a Friend of the COmmunity of St. George
Father Bill is a retired priest under the omophorion of Archbishop Nathaniel in the Romanian Archdiocese of the Orthodox Church in America. His journey to the priesthood took many interesting turns including serving the public in Florida as a law enforcement officer and entertaining the public as an actor and opera singer. It was during this time that he met and married his lovely Presbytera Margie.
Born into the Roman Catholic faith, Father Bill converted to Orthodoxy in 1986 and went on to study theology by way of the St. Stephen’s Theology course through the Antiochian Archdiocese.
Ordained a deacon in 2001, he became a full fledged priest by 2003 just before his 69th birthday! Fr. Bill may be the oldest man ordained to the Holy Priesthood in this hemisphere. Fr. Bill graciously fills in as a supply priest wherever he is needed, whether here in Arizona, or as far away as Indiana and Texas. Despite maintaining a sometimes grueling schedule, he is always ready to serve the Lord and the flock.
We here at Saint George certainly don’t mind sharing him with fellow believers, but are always happy when he returns “home.”
He is always ready with a smile and a joke guaranteed to make you smile.