St. Edmund Episcopal Church - Chicago
The Church of St. Edmund, King & Martyr dates back to 1905 when its first services were held in a basement room in Chicago, Illinois. It was then known as the “Washington Park Mission.” In 1940, St. Edmund’s Mission made formal application to the Diocese of Chicago for admission as a parish. By 1948, the necessary funds had been raised and with a grant from the Diocese of Chicago the former Greek Orthodox Church of St. Constantine located at 6105 South Michigan Avenue was acquired. In 1962 a new Casavant pipe organ was installed in this building.
In May of 1996, thirty-three stained-glass windows featuring outstanding Blacks were installed in St. Edmund's Episcopal Church. One of these windows recognizes Rosa Parks. Known as the "Mother of the Civil Rights Movement,” Mrs. Parks was present at the ceremony and looked on with pride as the window was dedicated in her honor. The adjacent windows honor abolitionist and statesman Frederick Douglass and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Others windows commemorate the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Tubman, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and many others.
In 1996, Triune Music installed a Peterson MIDI system and few custom digital stops (including a rear Trompette en Chamade) for a visit by the Archbishop of Canterbury. By 2006, the console was having enough mechanical problems that the church requested bids to replace (or rebuild) the console to make it more reliable. They also wanted a better MIDI system and additional piston memories. In 2008 the custom Rodgers console was delivered and interfaced to the existing 25 ranks of pipes. It is now a stunning 4-division instrument that benefits greatly from some additional romantic stops that were added to balance out the “neo-baroque” specification.
The Rev. Dr. Richard L. Tolliver has served as the Rector of St. Edmund’s since June of 1989. He has served parishes in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. He is the recipient of numerous awards and has received international recognition for his efforts to revitalize Chicago’s Washington Park neighborhood. He is also a former Associate Country Director of the United States Peace Corps to the East African Country of Kenya and Country Director, the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. He is fluent in French and is a world traveler.