Memory Eternal – Fr. Jacob Myers

304231_4149887591574_1599657149_nMy wife and I learned tonight of the sudden death of a beloved friend, Fr. Jacob Myers. Fr. Jacob was Rector of St. John the Wonderworker Orthodox Church in Atlanta, Georgia. I do not think there is anyone whom he met who could not count him as a friend. He was one of the most tireless workers for Christ I have ever known.

Early in my priesthood he invited me to come down to his parish and serve three liturgies with him over the course of three days. It was a wonderfully “priestly” act of hospitality and so like him. I never knew anyone to love the priesthood more than he. I will miss him deeply as will my diocese and the larger Church.

I gave Fr. Jacob a ride to the airport in Dallas, TX, once. He saw a man begging by the side of the road. I stopped at a stoplight and Fr. Jacob insisted that I roll down my car window. He called the beggar over and handed him money through the window. “Pray for the priest Jacob who is traveling!” he called out.

He ran a feeding program for the homeless from his parish next to Grant Park in Atlanta. He has created an army who will no doubt pray for the priest Jacob in this last great journey. They will also need his prayers to help them endure so great a loss. Atlanta and the world lost a great soul.

Please remember the priest Jacob in your prayers and his beloved wife Matushka Rebecca, their daughters, Brigita and Gabriela.

Grant rest eternal and blessed repose, O Lord, to the priest Jacob who has fallen asleep. And make his memory to be eternal!

About Fr. Stephen Freeman

Fr. Stephen is a priest of the Orthodox Church in America, Pastor Emeritus of St. Anne Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He is also author of Everywhere Present and the Glory to God podcast series.





48 responses to “Memory Eternal – Fr. Jacob Myers”

  1. CoffeeZombie Avatar

    I am reminded tonight that the Orthodox world (at least, here in America) is so, so small…and Fr. Jacob was such a large person!

    When my girlfriend (now wife) and I first visited St. John’s, it was on a Saturday morning (so we wouldn’t miss Sunday morning at our Baptist church), and we got to talk to Fr. Jacob a little afterwards. At first, he’d thought we were married, and was surprised to learn that we weren’t.

    Because of some family issues involving strong Southern Baptists and their son visiting an Orthodox Church, it was about a full year before we returned to St. John’s. We met Fr. Jacob again, and, after a moment, he said, “Oh, I remember you! You’re not married!” 😀

    A couple years later, we stood in that same church with Fr. Jacob to be married, and he later baptized both of our children.

    Memory eternal!

  2. Stephen Avatar


  3. Karen Avatar

    Memory eternal!

  4. Joel Christian Avatar
    Joel Christian

    Holy Father receive this dear beloved servant, Blessed Son be his eternal Salvation, Sanctifying Sprit be his eternal comfort and his reward of eternal life! I ask all through our strong God; who was, and is, and ever shall be! May Christ continued to be blessed though a life that was poured out for him! Blessings!

  5. Subdeacon Basilmoses Avatar
    Subdeacon Basilmoses

    Father Jacob

    Memory Eternal

    The loss is so profound

    Simply, I miss Father Jacob in so many ways
    To enter and serve will tear my up not seeing him to
    bless me to vest…. ( crying)

    I was blessed to read the Psalms as Father Jacob
    was transitioning from this life. Many were filled with emotions as the faithful entered his room. Last week, Father Jacob emailed asking forgiveness for not being present for Liturgy due to illness. I was moved by his concern . I was blessed to serve with two good Orthodox men:

    Archbishop Dmitri and now Father Jacob Myers

    I am forever grateful to receive my blessings to vest and serve in their midst

    Lord Have Mercy

    Subdeacon BasilMoses
    St John’s Atlanta

  6. Sheila Aldridge Avatar
    Sheila Aldridge

    I still can’t believe he’s just gone–so quickly. We are broken hearted, though I know he’s wanting to scream down from the heavens, “You should *SEE* this!!” I know he will be praying for his flock and we will be praying for him as well. Please please pray for his wife Rebecca, daughters Brigitta and Gabi and baby grandson.
    Feels like we lost our good shepherd.

  7. Ann Hamblen Avatar
    Ann Hamblen

    Father Jacob – Memory Eternal!

  8. Gerasimos,presbyter Avatar

    My Beloved friend, you came from a Jewish family to discover and share the light of Christ as his Priest in the true temple of Godliness- you visited the sick, those in prison, fed the hungry, forgave sins, encouraged love of Christ, preached the Holy Gospel. With your Matushka, you made me feel at home in your home, and always no matter how long the time responded to my spiritual needs with great diligence.
    Memory Eternal beloved Batushka

  9. Alexis Spade Avatar
    Alexis Spade

    Father Jacob was such a special man of God. I’m blessed to have listened to so many of his sermons. I only wish I could still hear more. He baptized my older son 9 years ago and will forever have a special place with my family. God bless us as we deal with this loss. Alexis

  10. PJ Avatar

    I’m sorry for your loss, Father, but I am glad that this servant of God has gone to be with his Beloved.

  11. Norman Coppola Avatar
    Norman Coppola

    For a good number of years in our pre-Orthodox lives, Fr. Jacob was our pastor. He was then, and I’m sure became even more so as the years went by, a warm, beautiful, inspired and inspiring person, a gifted homilist, disciplined and dedicated in his spiritual calling. He was distinguished in my mind by a light touch, and seemed to live above the earth. My wife and I fondly hold him in our prayers, along with his very large family, all those saddened by his unexpected passing.

  12. Mat. Tatiana Weller Avatar
    Mat. Tatiana Weller

    Memory Eternal!

  13. Cecilia Garrett Avatar
    Cecilia Garrett

    I posted the following comment on another website dedicated to the memory of Fr.Jacob but wanted to post it here too: “I have so many memories of Fr. Jacob from the 20 years I lived in Atlanta. He knew me when I was a single sister, a courting sister, and then a married women, and finally a mother. He walked with me through all those doorways – supporting me and encouraging me. Thank you, Fr. Jacob. May your memory be eternal. I will pray for you and Rebecca and your family. May God support and console your family.”

  14. Father Geoffrey Korz Avatar
    Father Geoffrey Korz

    Father Jacob brought joy and inspiration to us, here in our parish in Canada.

    What a true lover of the saints of Christ – we pray and beleieve that he’ll now see them face to face.

    Our family feel his loss from this life, despite the distance, and he and his family are in our prayers.

    Memory Eternal, dear brother in Christ!

  15. Dessera Anna Stansbury Avatar
    Dessera Anna Stansbury

    My deepest prayers to Matushka Rebecca and all his family and to all his children at St. John’s and elsewhere. Fr. Jacob was very instrumental in my life as well as my family’s. He gave us a gift of rest and refreshment during a most difficult time in our lives. I pray now for his blessed rest in our Lord and I thank God for his willingness to love and accept others where they were. I will miss him terribly and will look forward to a blessed reunion with him one day, God willing! May his memory be eternal! God bless us all during this transition in our lives and may we all remember to love one another.

  16. Rachel Dovey Avatar
    Rachel Dovey

    Fr. Jacob and his prayers and counsel were a central force in my life. I moved to Atlanta at 23, hadn’t gone to church regularly in about a year. I grew up Orthodox, but had started to feel like the church was incompatible with my political views and job as a writer and reporter. Fr. Jacob reached out to me via phone, because I wasn’t going to church, and we had several of the most honest, searching conversations I’ve ever had with any clergy member. I had felt like I had to put this veil of Orthodoxy over my life and job, which was, and still is, very much in-the-world–engaged with tough questions and full of issues that I don’t know how to answer or categorize ethically. But Fr. Jacob was so human, so personable and honest, he showed me that being part of the church is not about knowing all of the answers to every moral or social question, but about being present with God through all of that crazy complexity. I can say with complete conviction that his example, his leadership with the Loaves and Fishes program, the way he took national and international headlines and then prayed for the suffering of those headlines during the Great Entrance, is the reason I’m still Orthodox, and the reason I recently baptized my new baby in the church. Thank you to a wonderful, wonderful man and true priest.

  17. Devin Avatar

    Interestingly enough the life of a kind and loving priest like this often inspires me more than a story of some saint from ages ago who lived what sometimes seems to me an almost impossibly holy life living on top of a pillar somewhere and praying for days on end without rest. May his memory be eternal!

  18. P. Susan Furry Avatar
    P. Susan Furry

    We are stunned at the loss of this brother and great servant of God. How often I fail to see the Lord moving in a life until I am suddenly called to look at a completed life. As a pastor, Fr. Jacob, you walked with us, your flock, holding us gently. Then Holy Orthodoxy shepherded you to bear much fruit. And what fruit you have to present to the Lord that you have deeply loved from your youth. Yes, Fr. Jacob, your memory will be eternal!

  19. Linda D. McMillan Avatar

    God Bless you, Fr. Jacob on your way home. I love & miss you already. You have shown me as well as other such deep love & compassion. You are appreciated for your spiritual leadership.
    Thank you for who you are eternally in my heart.

  20. Bishop Kyrill (Esposito) Avatar
    Bishop Kyrill (Esposito)

    Memory Eternal! Father Jacob was a very old and dear friend, one of the few, who at a difficult time came forward and stood shoulder to shoulder with me to support me when I was consecrated to the episcopacy. Only one other old friend, Fr. Benjamin Teitebaum, stood with me that day. Frs. Jacob and Benjamin are both returned home now, both loving men of God to thie God’s loving arms.

  21. cathy nagler Avatar
    cathy nagler

    The first time I met Fr. Jacob I was immediately drawn to his warmth, compassion, true caring and love. This has only grown on subsequent visits. He has been so instrumental in my sister and her family’s lives. I have been deeply touched by him and will forever remember him. I pray for his family and the church. We have all been blessed through knowing him.

  22. Protopresbyter Joseph Fester Avatar
    Protopresbyter Joseph Fester

    Dear Fr. Stephen,

    Thank you for your beautiful words and remembrances of our dear brother in Christ, Fr. Jacob. Kathy and I feel the loss of Fr Jacob very deeply. I recall with joy when I was leaving the Diocese of the South that he arranged for a big silver sized platter in the shape of the great state of Texas inscribed with words of thanks for my time in the South. He was a friend then and became an even greater friend to us after our departure always willing to share his joy and love especially in some very difficult times for us. He never failed to inspire us and share his love for Christ. He was not just a talker but a doer for the Lord. His legacy was imprinted in the hearts every person he touched especially the hungry and the homeless. My earnest prayer is that what he established in Atlanta will live on in the hearts and deeds of his flock and friends and that he will continue to lead us to see the face of Christ in the least of the brethren.

    His love for the saints, his veneration of their relics can now be complete as his soul dwells with Christ and those saints who may be with for eternity. Pray for us, dear Father Jacob before the throne of God. May He remember you for ever and may we never forget your example.

  23. Tatya Avatar

    I meet father Jacob in 2007, about a month when I came back from CA. I went to visit and worship holy relics of Vladika John. After vespers and confession, we set down in church and spoked about a life two hours. In one point, he looked at me seriously and said: “If you do not want to respond to my question, it fine. I think this and this happened to you, is not ?!” I was speechless !! Thought in my head :” Yes, 24 years ago ! You were not there ! Only, I know ! No one else !” We were sitting and looking in each others eyes for sometimes. Then about time to leave and I call for my ride, we stood on the steps of the church. He said that he will be with me until my ride picks me up, we set down on the stair and start to spoke about his life and how he become a Christian ! He told me something, on this front stairs of the church, what is totally changed my point of you of something what was troubling me for a few months. We have seen each other several times during the years. About two years ago, was usual Saturday night. We spoked how is everything, everyone left, we were sating on the side walk and talk. Suddenly from the dark to homeless man came, one said: ” Father, I am hungry !”. He turned back, opened the church and got some food for them, waked back. Then he came and said to one of them ” Please, say to so and so, to stop by I have something for him and a new clothes. Is he still have that jacket ? I did not see him about a month now. ” I though : “He must be talking to a dozens of people, even during one day, and after all he remembers some homeless man with jacket ?!” I can think about a couple other stories of him, in fact I though about all of them last night. He true love people and his parish !One of the best priest I know ! Memory Eternal !

  24. Eirenikos Avatar

    Wonderful – Memory Eternal!

  25. John Koch Avatar
    John Koch

    I met Fr. Jacob in 1975. I wasn’t ready for Christianity but I was an avid tennis player, so Fr. Jacob asked if I wanted to play tennis with him once a week. He led me to Christ, not with a fishing net, but the net of a tennis court. When I remember him I always remember his “eye being single” and his being “all things to all men”. A man of God!

  26. Victor Hayes Avatar
    Victor Hayes

    My heart can not express the grief I have over this. He was so kind and sweet and always had an ear for anyone.
    He blessed my mother when she passed and he will forever be in my heart and sole.
    I have no fear that he is with God right now and I am sure that God said you have done enough Jacob now be with me.

    I truly loved this man, he helped me through some hard times in my life.

    God Bless you Father Jacob

  27. Bruce and Linda Kettner Avatar
    Bruce and Linda Kettner

    Five or six years

    The five or six years of our young lives spent under the tutelage and close to the prayerful example of Fr. Jacob Myers (known as RJ back in Boston) left us with almost as strong an impression as our childhoods. Yes, dear Norman, a light touch is what he had indeed–always playing the kinda dumb jock, eagerly interested in creature comforts like what snacks we had in our fridge, that is until we’d come for early morning services and find he’d been kneeling for a long time already, and would continue to kneel for a long time after communion, too, unless he was busy staving off broken marriages and banishing suicidal thoughts with loving counsel in his cramped, dark quarters behind the chapel. Love you, RJ–if you have any say in the matter, we hope you’ll meet us when we come through.

  28. Deborah Engleman Avatar
    Deborah Engleman

    I knew Fr. Jacob for 26 years, from the Order days to Orthodoxy. I can’t believe he’s gone. I can’t imagine St. John’s church without him. Maybe that isn’t right, since it is God’s temple, but Fr. Jacob was such an incredible vortex of energy. So many memories, Fr. Jacob…you leave us with so many memories…and such inspiration for fighting the good fight!

  29. mary benton Avatar
    mary benton

    These beautiful tributes are a reminder that there are some very wonderful and holy people living among us that we may never know in this world (as I never knew Fr. Jacob). Knowing of him is a great gift. Blessings to those of you who will miss him personally.

  30. Margaret Avatar

    Memory eternal!

  31. Natalie Avatar

    Memory eternal!

  32. dinoship Avatar

    Memory Eternal!
    “For Christ God has brought us from death unto life, and from earth unto Heaven….”

  33. Debi Hayes Avatar
    Debi Hayes

    God Bless you Father Jacob, and may your family find peace in knowing you are with your Father now. You were always so kind to us, and we all feel blessed to have known you.

    You will be missed greatly.

  34. Michael Bauman Avatar
    Michael Bauman

    It is a great witness of the Church that we neither fear death nor minimize the evil that leads to death. Neither should we fear our own grief as I have seen many do.

    As one who has lost many: both parents, a wife and close friends I grieve with those who grieve but I also know that God succors us all. Mourn in Christ for “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted”

    I only new Fr. Jacob in the old days, before the Church. We have that in common. Although my path into the Church diverged from his, it has been a journey that has produced good fruit. I am glad and rejoice reading the testimony to the fruit it produced in his life.

    Memory Eternal.

  35. Christopher D. Stevenson Avatar
    Christopher D. Stevenson

    These memories and words that people are sharing are so powerful.

    I just started attending Liturgy at St. John only very recently so I didn’t get to know Father all that well but I do thank him for the e-mails we shared where I was asking him about a tough situation in which I’ve found myself and his counsel was so awesome. I love the few sermons I’ve heard so far from him and he was so funny.

    What really moves me is his ministry for the poor and homeless and that is following Jesus, living out the Holy Gospel, being an icon to the people I just think it’s so touching. My prayers are for his repose and for God’s rich mercy.

    Dear Jesus receive the soul of Thy servant and enlighten him with Thy beauty! Grant that his memory be eternal like You promised in Psalm 111. Amen+++

    I am so glad I got to meet him. And he is in my prayers

    Ad Iesum, per Mariam,

  36. Photius Avatar

    I knew Father Bless for over three decades and he had a great impact on my life. He taught me about the Church, about life and about following Christ. He had flaws and was human but when the scales are weighed in heaven, the good that this Priest did in the world is outstanding.

    I will miss him very, very much. We need more people in the world like Father Jacob.

    Glory be to God for all things, good and bad.

  37. fatherstephen Avatar

    I truly value these stories (and please send more)! Nothing we do will be a sufficient tribute for such a kind soul. But it strikes me as interesting that the “views” on the blog are well above the most ever recorded in a single day. Fr. Jacob’s life is a more eloquent commentary on the gospel than anything I could ever write!

  38. Photius Avatar

    Father Jacob would often challenge us during his sermons and point out trends in American culture which ran against Orthodoxy, such as consumption and materialism. He would challenge us when we fall to “Get up!” and keep striving for perfection. I think what I liked most about his sermons was that it was not a statement every week about what God can do for me… rather the challenge was what can I do for God here on earth. Many times those sermons were so inspirational and challenging to my core I would drive home from Church in silence reflecting about my purpose here on earth and what could I do for Christ.

    Father Jacob taught me the wonders of venerating the Saints and due to his education I have read thousands of pages on the great Orthodox Saints and learned so much. Saint John the Wonderworker is now always in my life and prayers and he is a great and wonderful Saint. I had a laugh today thinking about Father Bless now in Heaven… in amazement at seeing all of God’s wonders in heaven.

    For my life, Father Jacob Myers impacted my life greatly and showed me the great things Priests can do on this earth.

    Glory be to God.

  39. Paula Mossaides Avatar
    Paula Mossaides

    My family and I volunteered to help at Thanksgiving for multiple years in a row. Father Jacob was so loving and devoted to his flock. He was an inspiration to us all.


  40. Visibilium Avatar

    I spoke to him on the phone twice, and he seemed to be quite a character. I regret never having met him.

  41. Andy Avatar

    I’m sorry for the loss. Mary, pray. Jesus, save.

    I once spend a summer as an intern at an Episcopal mission in Atlanta. I lived a few blocks southwest of the Church he served. One Saturday evening, I popped over for Vespers. One of my favorite memories was that as he went around the room sensing the icons and the people, he had the biggest smile on his face. From where I was standing, it seemed as if there was nothing else in life that he’d rather be doing at that moment. I referenced this story a few times in various places and I think it’s one of the few times I’ve seen someone filled with “the joy of the Lord”. It brings a smile to my face even now.

    Memory Eternal.

  42. Kurtis Avatar

    I am so fortunate to have known Fr. Jacob for this past year. I became a catechumen in May of 2012 after attending St. Johns for a couple months. We became friends rather quickly as I would help out every week at the food program for the homeless that he ran and so dearly loved. My biggest regret at this point is that I didnt visit St. Johns sooner so I couldve spent more time with him. (I knew of the parish, but as a newbie to Orthodoxy, it took a while to muster up the courage to actually go…) I am trying to set that regret aside so I can focus on the time I was fortunate enough to spend with him. He truly reflected the love and joy of Christ more brightly than anyone I have ever met and will surely be missed.

  43. Panteleimona Thomas Avatar
    Panteleimona Thomas

    Luke 21: 1-4. And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and he saw also a certain poor widow putting in 2 mites. So he said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”

    One day after Saturday Divine Liturgy, Fr Jacob saw me depositing my tithe. He challenged me to put in 2 mites, instead of 1. I was tithing my income, but not my time. Given my 40 hour a week job, we settled on establishing a 1 hour a day free medical clinic. We called it the Abba Moses Free Medical Clinic. It has served over a 1000 people a year for 24 years. Thank you Fr Jacob for teaching us how to tithe 2 mites. Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Amen +

  44. Harriet Howell Avatar

    I was so lucky in my life to have known Father Jacob. He has been such an inspiration to me and my children and will always be in our hearts and thoughts. He has taught us how to give of ourselves and always help others. The world was such a better place with him in it. We never felt alone. However, I am sure he will be looking at all of us to continue his kind deeds. May his Memory be Eternal. We will all Miss you Father.

  45. Timothy L Ruble Avatar
    Timothy L Ruble

    Fr.Jacob Myers , you are truly a one of a kind orthodox priest, and I will never stop loving and praying for made me feel loved and helped myself and everyone else on their spiritual walk with The Lord. Thank you Fr. Jacob for what you did while you walked this earth. You will remain in our Hearts. Tim & Kim -Atlanta,Georgia 2013

  46. Kathy Avatar

    God bless you, Father Jacob. And thank you. May your memory be eternal.

  47. Anne Avatar

    I knew Father Jacob a bit but not at all after reading so many beautiful thoughts on his life. His wife lived near my town in conneticut. That was my connection along with Father Ben and Mariam. Memory eternal dear father Jacob.

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