Eddie Hicks, 86, a gospel musician who sang, taught music, led choirs, and played piano and organ for 30 years at St. Mark’s Baptist Church in the District, died March 29 at Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center in Norfolk.

He had heart and kidney ailments, said Carol Anderson, a family friend and spokeswoman.

Mr. Hicks was involved in the music program at St. Mark’s Baptist from 1956 to 1986 and was minister of music there from 1979 until his retirement. He oversaw as many as six choirs, was a keyboard accompanist for the Eveready Chorus and participated in gospel music festivals across the country.

In 1976, he organized the Eddie Hicks Specials, an independent gospel group that has given concerts at Constitution Hall and elsewhere in the Mid-Atlantic region.

In the 1970s, he was a teacher’s aide and school bus driver with the Arlington County public schools. Mr. Hicks was a caretaker at Capitol Hill United Methodist Church for about 15 years until his retirement in 2004.

Edward Hicks was born in Sedley, Va. He left school at the age of 14. In 1995, he completed the General Educational Development program at the Lenox Adult Education Center in Washington.

A longtime resident of Washington, Mr. Hicks had lived at a nursing facility in Norfolk since 2006.

Survivors include a brother and two sisters.

— Bart Barnes