9/20/2019 St John's welcomes The Rev. Peter Ackerman
The Reverend Peter K. Ackerman was born in Southern California, where he lived in the San Fernando Valley section of Greater Los Angeles. A life-long Episcopalian, he was born on Easter Day almost literally inside the All Saints Episcopal sanctuary, where his mother, as an adult, had been baptized just hours before.
As the sons of television executive producer Harry Ackerman and classic television actress Elinor Donahue, Peter and his three brothers grew up immersed in the television industry. It was only natural that as an adult, Peter was initially drawn to work in the entertainment industry, first as an actor and later in the administrative end of television production.
It was during that period of his life that Peter met and married his wife of 32 years, Marie, who hails from Stockton, CA. They have two adult children: Amy, who resides and works in Chicago, and Harry, who lives with them.
In the 1990’s, despite working as the assistant to the line producer on a number-one program, Peter felt unfulfilled vocationally. After some focused prayer, he found that God began opening doors. Not long after his realization, he began working in a commercial real estate office. His less-taxing work schedule afforded him the time to say “yes” when his parish, St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Studio City, invited him to become a part-time youth leader. That position led to Peter leaving real estate entirely to become the church’s full-time parish administrator.
Over time, the St. Michael and All Angels clergy, youth members, and adult parishioners began seeing a sense of call in Peter, to which Peter responded by entering into a formal discernment process. Once it was determined that Peter would be going to seminary, his bishop at the time insisted that he and his family leave the familiar life of the San Fernando Valley and attend Virginia Theological Seminary. With the bishop providing financial help for their move, the Ackerman family acquiesced, and relocated to northern Virginia, near Washington, DC. Peter graduated seminary and was ordained in 2007, at which point a local parish in Alexandria, Virginia wanted to hire him as their Associate Rector. With permission from his home diocese, he accepted this call, which eventually led him to formally becoming a priest in the Diocese of Virginia. In 2011 he was then called as rector of St. Christopher’s Church in the nearby town of Springfield, Virginia. After serving with St. Christopher’s for over eight years, Peter and his family are delighted to return to their home state of California and settle into life in Lodi at St. John the Baptist Church.
For recreation both Peter and Marie love National Park hiking. Additionally, Marie is a sommelier and hopes to put her wine expertise to use in the wine country which they love to explore. Peter and his son enjoy discovering used bookstores; Peter is a collector of vintage “movie tie-in books” and pulp novels, while Harry immerses himself in history. The entire family loves old movies and, of course, classic television. At the request of a literary agent, Peter is currently at work on a book about what it was like growing up in a family so intimately involved with classic television. Peter and his family are delighted to become a part of the Diocese of San Joaquin and members at St. John’s, Lodi.