Church History - Greater St. John Bible Church

The Growing Stages of Greater St. John


ChurchGreater St. John Holiness Missionary Baptist Church was organized with a small remnant of believers on May 10, 1985 by the Deacon Board at 1424 N. Massasoit, the home of our Chairman at that time Deacon John Cousett. At the time of its inception the church had no pastor and would not find our true spiritual guide until 4 years later.

On the first Sunday in October of 1985, we moved to 3559 W. Roosevelt Road, like sheep in search of their shepherd. On January 12, 1986 we elected Reverend Eugene Rivers as Pastor. On the first Sunday in February 1986 we moved to 5410-12 W. Madison. On July 16,1987 we moved to 100 N. Austin.

Reverend Rivers retained his pastoral office until April 1988 when he resigned from service. The congregation then elected another Pastor, Rev. Manual Slater, who stayed with the church for a mere 8 months before departing from his pastoral office.

Finally, the church had given up on electing a Pastor and waited for God to send the right soldier to lead His people! On May 14, 1989 Rev. Ira J. Acree of the Mt. Vernon Missionary Baptist Church became our Pastor and Shepherd!

Sunday July 1, 1991 we moved to the Masonic Hall located at 5323 W. Lake Street. We remained there until the end of 1992 when we purchased our first building. It did not take Pastor Acree long to start taking his people to a higher standard of excellence.

On December 6, 1992 with the accompaniment of the Chicago Police Department the church relocated to 5320 W. North Avenue a worship facility that we would call our home for 5 years. There we experienced God's hand on our congregation. We grew to such masses that we were prompted to begin our Early Morning Worship Service at 8 am.

On October 25, 1997 we said our final good & byes to 5320 W. North Ave. and traveled to our present location at 1256 N. Waller singing "We've Come This Far By Faith." Since moving to our current worship facility on Waller Avenueour membership has grown to more than 1500 active members! To God be the Glory!

Due to explosive growth, we are currently working towards “Building a Lasting Legacy”; a church wide building fund campaign to erect a state of the art edifice to service and accommodate our membership and the Austin community at large.

The church name was changed to Greater St. John Bible Church.  Pastor Acree received this inspiration by God to reflect the church's new path towards greater inclusion, impact and influence which extended beyond our Baptist denominational barrier.

In 2008, the Voices of Greater St John embarked upon their first recording entitled “Glorify”, and is slated to be released in Spring 2010. The Voices were also selected as a regional finalist in the 2009 Verizon Wireless “How Sweet the Sound” search for America’s best church choir contest.

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