is Senior Pastor of Christ Lutheran Church of Marietta, Georgia, and a Sponsor of The Visit of His Holiness XIV Dalai Lama (Emory University). He is a Founders Society Member of The Allman Brothers Band Museum at The Big House and is the 2013 Lutheran Services of Georgia “Heroes of Hope, Healing, and Strength” recipient.
Dr. Edwards is an Oxford Foundation Fellow (U.K.) and is a Visiting Fellow of Yale University Institute of Sacred Music, Russia United Methodist Seminary and Africa University (Zimbabwe). He was made a Membro Honorario of the Sociedade Evangelica de Musica at Sao Paulo, Brasil. Edwards sang on a Grammy nominated CD with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Robert Shaw, and sang during the Chick Corea Master Workshop with Antonio Sanchez, and John Patitucci, as well as during The Dweezil Zappa and Jorma Kaukonen/Jack Casady Workshops. He will participate in The Marshall Tucker Band’s “Jam in Jamaica” in 2014. Bill Ganz and Edwards wrote the Top Ten Western song, “Smoke of a Thousand Campfires,” which has been performed by The Tucson Symphony Orchestra.
Thirty-two different hymns by Rusty have been published in hymn books used by forty denominations in over a dozen countries. His songs have been sung on every continent, including at Chapel of the Snows in Antarctica.
Rusty Edwards was born on January 22, 1955, in Dixon, Illinois, and ordained in 1985.
He was Assistant/Associate Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Moline, Illinois from 1985 to 1991. He was Senior Pastor of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Rockford, Illinois from 1991-1998, during which time he co-founded Luther Academy at Gloria Dei (LCMS-ELCA K-6 School.) He has been Senior Pastor of Christ Lutheran Church from 1998 to the present. He was Volunteer Manager of the 2003 ELCA Youth Gathering at Atlanta.
He received an M. Div. from Luther Seminary at St. Paul, Minn., in 1985, and a D. Min. from Graduate Theological Foundation at Notre Dame, Ind., in 1990. He also holds certificates from Blackstone School of Law at Dallas,Texas, Seminary of the Southwest at Austin, Texas, and Pecos Benedictine School of Spiritual Direction in New Mexico. He was an Oxford Foundation Fellow (U.K.) in 1998, and Visiting Fellow of Seminary of the Southwest in 2004.
Edwards' hymn collections are: The Yes of the Heart with a foreword by Chick Corea, Grateful Praise (Selah), As Sunshine to a Garden, Each Breath Every Heartbeat, Bidden Unbidden, and in 2013, Uncommon Mercy (Selah).
He has 15 ASCAP Awards, 2 RAMI Awards (with The Pitneys), and recorded a Grammy nominated CD with The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Robert Shaw.
He is a Kentucky Colonel and an Honorary Citizen of Austin, Texas. Tyler Texas held a "Rusty Edwards Hymnwriter Day" in 2009.
He and his wife Lori are the parents of Benjamin and Ian.
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