The Rev. Walter “Wes” Smedley IV – Rector

Prior to his 2013 installment as Rector of St. Chrysostom’s Church, Rev. Smedley and his family lived in northern Virginia just a few miles from Washington, D.C. where he served as Rector of The Church of the Holy Cross for eight years. Before this he served as the Assistant Minister at Christ Church in Philadelphia for four years under the Rector, Timothy B. Safford.

During his time in Philadelphia Rev. Smedley met his wife, Lori, and was married in Christ Church in the 11 AM Sunday service. They have three daughters: Eleanor, Naomi, and Louisa

Rev. Smedley grew up in Haverford, Pennsylvania, an outlying Philadelphia suburb, where he and his family attended The Church of the Redeemer in Bryn Mawr. His father’s side of the family includes many generations of religious Quakers, and Quaker sensibilities inform his understanding of Christian vocation, faith, and practice.

After attending Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, earning a B.A. in English Literature, Rev. Smedley taught high school courses for two years at the Concord-Assabet Residential School outside of Boston. He next attended Earlham School of Religion where he completed the Quaker and Brethren graduate school’s Theological Reflection Year. In 2002, Rev. Smedley graduated from Yale Divinity School & Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University and was awarded Yale’s award for excellence in preaching.

During Rev. Smedley’s early career as a deacon, he worked extensively with Philadelphia’s homeless community and ran an after-school program in South Philly. While in Virginia Rev. Smedley served on the Standing Committee for the Diocese of Virginia, working with Bishops Peter Lee and Shannon Johnston. His international experience includes attending Jerusalem’s St. George’s College, working to establish an Episcopal public health mission in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and currently partnering with two mission parishes in Chiapas, Mexico.

Rev. Smedley and the St. Chrysostom’s community are at work engaging in partnerships with other Chicago churches and organizations to come alongside Chicago’s most vulnerable people and neighborhoods. He also serves as a member of the Diocese of Chicago’s Trustees of the Endowment Board.

While Rev. Smedley and his family stay connected with their East Coast roots, they have fully made Chicago their home and love it here.

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