The Rev. Fulton Porter III

  Send Email

The Rev. Dr. Fulton Porter III

Fr. Porter was born October 11, 1967 to Clara Womack Porter, a teacher, and Fulton Porter Jr., a mortician, in Jackson, Mississippi.  He was baptized and confirmed in the Roman Catholic Church and attended the Catholic schools of the city.  At an early age he sensed a call to the priesthood, encouraged by his devoutly Roman Catholic great-grandparents as well as priests and other religious at his parochial school.  He also had a love of science, which sparked his ever-growing interest in medicine.  His mother, Clara, joined St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Jackson and the young Fulton decided to follow her.  From the moment he set foot in the church he knew he was home. 


Fr. Porter graduated from St. Joseph High School and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Morehouse College in 1989, where he was influenced greatly during mandatory weekly chapel by some of the greatest African-American preachers and orators in the country.  He then went on to earn the Doctor of Medicine degree from Northwestern University in 1993 on scholarship from the U.S. Army.  He completed residency training in Internal Medicine at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.  He has served at bases in Georgia, South Carolina and Kuwait and was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army having achieved the rank of Major. 


He began to pursue his call to ordained ministry after seven years in the Army and received the Master of Divinity decree from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in 2004.  Fr. Porter was ordained a transitional deacon in the diocese of Upper South Carolina in June 2004 and was ordained a priest in April 2005.  Fr. Porter is bi-vocational and continues in the private practice of medicine as well as serving as rector of St. ThomasChurch, Chicago. He has been instructor of medicine at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine as well as the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and is a Fellow of the AmericanCollege of Physicians.  He is an active member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.  He is married to his beautiful wife Lisa.  They have two children, Fulton Niles and Haleigh Elise.  The Porters reside in Flossmoor, Illinois.


Fr. Porter has also served as Dean of the Chicago South Deanery in the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago.


The Rev. Trilby Murray

The Rev. Trilby Murry

Senior Warden

Rory Smith

Rory Smith

Junior Warden

James Dawson

James Dawson


Phala Diggs

  Send Email

Phala Daniel Diggs

Phala has a keen sense of faith, family, finance, freedom, education, business, independence and adventure that she attributes to her parents and grandparents.

Her quest for knowledge and life-long learning began at Chicago State University (formally Chicago Teachers College) where she earned her first degree - a Bachelor of Education.  At Northeastern Illinois University - Center for Inner-City Studies, she earned a graduate certificate for Development of Urban Education Curriculum.  This was soon followed by a Master of Education from the University of Illinois in Elementry-Secondary Administration and Supervision - Curriculum for Vocational Education; her Type 75 Certificate in General Administration/Supervisory while at National College of Education; and from Northern Illinois University, a Master of Education in Instructional Technology, as well as pursuit of a dortoral degree in the same discipline.

Phala's work ethic was shaped at Johnson Publishing Company during the summer between high school and college where she worked as a library assistant researching items for the magazines.  Her next job at he Wabash YMCA laid the fondation for her teaching career with The Chicago Publlic Schools at John Farrent Elementary School.  In 1970, she established 77th Street Building Management to acquire real estate properties in the South Shore Community.  After twelve years as a sixth-grade teacher, she joined Educational Developmane Corporation as a national consultant and later became a Regiional Sales Manager, National Sales Manager and Vice-President of the company.  Her assignments relocated her to Washington, D.C., Honolulu, Tulsa and Pasadena.  She continued her eduational sales career with Hoffman Educational Systems; began her own company, The Learning Station; concluded selling with Jostens Learning Corperation; then returned to The Chicago Public Schools as an instructional technology coordinator at the districl level and in Area 18, retiring in 2007.

Since returning to Chicago in 1990, Phala has worn various hats in her services at St, Thomas.  In the past she has been a Vestry member; Transition Team and Search Commettee member; Parish House Campaign Fund Committee Co-chair; Co-chair of the St. Thomas 130th Anniversaary Community Fest; and Diocesan Convention delegate.  Currently, she is a Scholarship Fund Committee member; the Non-Guild secretary; Vice-President of the Safe Haven Fosterr Home Board of Directors; a Lay Reader; Eucherist visitor for sick and shut-in parishioners; St. Thomas Ladies Garden Society member; during the Lenten season, hosts breakfast following the 8:00 a.m. Mass; and with Lisa Porter, a member of the Treasurer Team as Church Treasurer.

She is a life member of the Union of Black Episcoplians and active member of the Anti-Racism Commission of the Episcopal Diocises of Chicago.  Phala is a Golden Soror of Alpha Kappa Alpha Soroity, Inc. and an active member of Theta Omega chapter.  Her other affiliations unclude; International Society for Technology in Education, National Alliance of Black School Educators, and Chicago Principals and Administrators Association.


Phala is ever grateful for the tender mercies bestowed upon her by our Lord Jesus Christ.


Youth Minister

Wanda Norris

  Send Email

Wanda Norris

Historian & Photographer

Carol Neal

Carol Neal

Carol Neal’s interest in the Visual Arts began in early childhood.  This journey for artistic perfection was fueled  by the awards and encouragement she received from teachers and others close to her.  Her kindergarten teacher at Wendell Phillips Elementary School was the first mentor of her artistic ability. This laid the foundation for her educational training in drawing and painting and her desire for continuous educational pursuits at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, and from Ohio State University at Columbus where she was awarded a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Art Eduction.

She taught art in the Chicago Public School system where she inspired talented young students to pursue their ambitions.   This led her to expand her horizons and incorporate photography as a media of expression.  She was intrigued with the camera’s ability to capture and freeze moments of time.  Her first intended use of the camera was the same as Norman Rockwell; to photograph scenes and later paint them.  Carol’s love of the camera has completely consumed her art interest; but, she has  resumed painting the art she is experiencing with her camera.

 Carol's  desire to perfect her photography skills led her to return to school.   She enrolled  in Columbia College Chicago School of Photography and in June 2000, was awarded a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Photography.  

Her photographic work include assignments for United Airlines, The Chicago Urban Leaguers, and StreetWise Newspaper, and has worked with The Edward Fox Photography Studio of Chicago.  Carol has had solo exhibits and has won awards for her photographs.  She appreciated the opportunity the camera offers her to see life and use her personal interpretation and skills to put that experience on canvas.  She admires the work of Ansel Adams, Richard Avedon, Wayne F. Miller, and Diane Arbus.


“My Desire is to Share with Others,
What I see with My Eyes, Capture through
the lens of My Camera, and Express with My Brush.”
                                  Carol Neal


Director of Music/Organist

Dr. Keith Hampton

Keith Hampton, DMus, AAGO, ChM

Keith Hampton, affectionately known as “Doc”, is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Chicago Community Chorus (CCC).  In addition, Dr. Hampton is an organ performer, conductor, composer, educator, church musician, adjudicator, and workshop clinician. He is the Vocal and Instrumental Instructor at the Chicago International Charter School, Bucktown Campus and the president of Dr. KT Productions, Inc., Chicago, Illinois. Keith is the Director of Music/Organist at St. Thomas Episcopal Church and Assistant Director of Music at Trinity United Church of Christ, both in Chicago, Illinois.Classically trained as an organist and conductor, he has served as Music Director/organist-choir director of Hillcrest Baptist Church in Country Club Hills, Illinois; Bryn Mawr Community Church, Chicago, Illinois; Wesley United Methodist Church, Aurora, Illinois; Congregational Church of Park Manor and Park Manor Christian Church, both in Chicago. 


A specialist in the field of Gospel Music, the North Central American Choral Directors Association in 2010 selected Dr. Keith Hampton as one of the top 25 Contemporary Composers "whose composition, Praise His Holy Name, should be standard repertoire for choirs today and for the next 25 years."


Dr. Hampton has guest conducted the, ACDA Eastern Division High School Honors Choir, Alabama All State Junior High School Honors Chorus, Baltimore All County High School, Georgia All State Collegiate Chorus, Ithaca College Gospel Festival, Oklahoma All State Junior High School Honors Choir, Rhode Island All State Chorus, Virginia All State Honors Choir, Wisconsin All State Middle Level Chorus and District Choruses in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.


Keith Hampton earned a Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Westminster Choir College, a Master of Arts Degree from Marywood University, and a Doctor of Music Degree in Church Music from Northwestern University.   Dr. Hampton has been awarded the Service Playing, Choir Master, and Associate certificates from the American Guild of Organists.


Dr. Hampton was twice chosen as one of 14 conductors to participate in the Oregon Bach Festival Conducting Master Classes.  The festival is held at the University of Oregon under the direction of Helmuth Rilling and Thomas Somerville.  He also was chosen to conduct in an A Cappella Music workshop sponsored by Chorus America.  In the summer of 2013, Dr. Hampton participated in the Choral Conducting Symposium held at the University of Michigan under the direction of Jerry Blackstone, Julie Skadsem and Eugene Rogers.


At Dr. KT Productions, Inc., Keith provides music transcriptions of Black Gospel Music with the use of Finale by Make Music. He produced the CD, Celebrate, in 2009, and published the book, Praise His Holy Name … And Other Songs in the Gospel Style, in 2011.  In 2012, Dr. Hampton produced two organ CDs, Organ Masterworks, Volume I and French Organ Music, Volume II.  As a published composer, Dr. Hampton’s arrangements of Spirituals and Gospel Songs are available through Augsburg Fortress Press, Choristers Guild, earthsongs Publications, Hal Leonard Corporation, Hinshaw Music, and Dr. KT Productions, Inc.


Additional information about Keith Hampton’s musical activities can be viewed at: and

8 a.m. Organist

Richard Evans

Richard Evans

Mr. Richard Evans currently serves as the Director of Music/Organist of St. Edmund's Episcopal Church and also serves as 8 a.m. organist at St. Thomas Episcopal Church.  Mr. Evans Recently retired from School Distriict 163 after 41 years of service.  Mr. Evans Studied organ with Blanch Smith Walton and Dr. Robert Lodine and holds degrees from the American Conservatory of Music and Governors State University.

  April 2020  
Bible Search
Contents © 2020 Saint Thomas Episcopal Church • Church Website Builder by mychurchwebsite.netPrivacy Policy