Meet David Peters — The Priest Behind Viral 'Hot Priest Summer' Videos

Photo: Instagram 
Who Is David Peters? New Details On Priest Behind Viral Hot Priest Summer Videos

Forget hot girl summer, this summer is HOT PRIEST summer! Pause to reflect on how gross I feel saying that because my dad is a priest. Okay. Moving on. So who is David Peters, anyway? David Peters is just your average TikTok user...who also happens to be an Episcopal priest who has developed a crazy following after posting his funny videos and daily musings on TikTok. His unique and joyous approach has already earned him a killer following. Will you be the next fan? 

1. Hot Priest Summer

It's a hot priest summer, and we all have David W. Peters to thank for it! This Episcopal priest may live and work in a suburb of Austin, Texas, but he already has fans all over the world, and it ain't necessarily because the dude gives good sermons. You see, Peters, a former army chaplain who served in Iraq, has embraced Tik Tok as his way of preaching to the masses and the results have exceeded his expectations already. He says that Tik Tok is the perfect vehicle for him to share the development of the new church where he's working, and will hopefully do a good job in terms of building his congregation. 

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2. Why TikTok?

For Peters, Tik Tok is so much more than just a way to help him pass the time and keep people amused. "My job is to start a new church in a really rapidly growing suburb of Austin, and part of the job is to tell the story on social media," he said. Whatever his reason, the channel is working. He's already got over 22,000 followers! "There's different religious people. I thought I'm going to do my thing here. I'm a priest and my job is to take really old stuff and present it in a way that makes sense to people and they can connect with it," he said. Peters thinks that the reason his campaigns have been so successful is because of how quickly the platform allows him to connect with his audience. 

3. Why It Works

Whatever he's doing, it is working for him and then some! The priest, who is also a father of two children, regularly shares videos on the platform that perform crazy-well, and with good reason! They are a delight, and I'm not just saying that because my dad and he share a profession. In just one video where the dude spends his time sharing potential options for what he should wear to work that day, he's managed to get more than two million views! That is insane. He's also got maybe my favorite bio ever:  "Vicar. Episcopal Priest. Iraq Vet. He/Him. VSCO Girl for Jesus. Jesus Stan Acct"

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4. What To Watch 

"TikTok is very immediate, just like the generation that's watching it. Things go viral really fast and then they stop. There's a sudden surge," said Peters. In addition to using TikTok, Peters also makes it a point to make sure that he also shares those videos on Instagram to help build views. Some of his most popular offerings feature him trying on different hats to figure out which one he should wear for a religious procession. He also does a bit about what it's like when God checks on Twitter during the weekend, and riffs on the bottle cap challenge subbing in a thurible, the device used to swing burning incense.     

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5. A New Take 

Peters hasn't drawn any criticism from people thinking his behavior isn't appropriate or is dorky, and that's largely because everything he is doing and sharing on the platform is so joyous, and, as he explains, that's deliberate. "I think religious people, especially religious leaders, are not known for their joy. But we believe that someone died and rose from the dead — that should make us really happy as people,'" he said. "There's always this death in this life and we experience it, but then there's this resurrection that happens. To me, that's something to really celebrate and be joyful about."

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6. Time In Iraq

But of course, finding joy and celebrating his faith hasn't always been the easiest thing for him, particularly when he came back to the U.S. after serving his time in Iraq. "I'd lost so much in my life during that experience. Coming home, it seemed impossible that I even had a future or that there was joy in the future. I get a lot of comments like, 'Oh, he looks so happy.' And like, yeah, I am. I should be: I'm alive." Every post he shares is a testimony to his gratitude, and frankly, there's nothing else I've found that's such a guarantee of bringing a smile to your face. 

Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cats, Batman and Margot. She's an experienced generalist with a passion for lifestyle, geek news, pop culture, and true crime.