Peter Illyn is Founder and Executive Director of Restorning Eden. Raised in South Carolina as a Russian Orthodox, Peter graduated from Rhema Bible College where he earned credentials as an evangelical minister. He spent nine years serving as a pastor in Foursquare churches in Portland, OR and Yakima, WA. Peter returned to school for an undergraduate degree in marketing. Upon graduation, as a sabbatical, Peter took two llamas on a four-month, 1,000 mile trek through the Cascades, which set the long-distance record for llama packing.
According to Peter, “I went into the mountains an evangelical minister, but I came out an environmental activist. I believe God made a good earth and I am called to be a good steward; to protect the fruitfulness and connectedness of creation.” Peter returned to school for a Masters degree in social marketing, combining his three passions – nature appreciation, social marketing and Christian theology and began to create an alternative framework for Christians to engage nature, compared to the “dominion” theology perpetrated by the far right.
Though an evangelical, Peter also works with Catholics, Orthodox, mainline Protestants, and Jewish leaders. Peter’s success in reaching the church community with a message of environmental stewardship has been featured on Lehrer Newshour, CBS Evening News, CNN, Outside Magazine, Utne Reader, Charisma, and Christianity Today amongst others. In addition, he has also been interviewed for numerous local newspapers, Christian newspapers, and radio talk shows.