Our Pastor

Pastor Ira J. Acree was born in Osceola Arkansas, he’s a civil rights activist, philanthropist and community leader. With more than 20 years of advocacy, public relations and superior people skills, Pastor Acree has positively affected the lives of people in the Austin community, Chicago-at-large and the nation as a whole.

Pastor Acree accepted the call to ministry early on in life. He served under Pastor Johnny Miller until he was chosen to lead Greater St. John Bible Church. Under his leadership, the church has grown in membership, ministry focus and community relationships. Pastor Acree – being a strong supporter of education – has led his congregation to award over $350,000 in scholarships to students in the community who are pursuing higher education and attending college.

Ira is the author of three books: “In Pursuit of Mr. Right,” “Just Do It,” and “The Man in the Mirror.” He also hosts “All Hands On Deck” for CAN-TV. He uses his influence across the city of Chicago to advocate for civil rights and support those who have been victims of violence, brutality, and conflict.

He is often described as a coach, mentor, administrator, leader, and activist, but his most valued role is that of the shepherd of God’s Flock. As Pastor, he focuses greatly on the relationships built with his congregation and the Word of God that he shares weekly. Greater St. John Bible Church continues to grow and expand under his leadership, and this is evident in the harvest that has been produced. Greater St. John is home to college graduates, educators, business owners, and others who, with the support of Pastor Acree, are now also strong community leaders who stand for positive change in Chicago. Ira received his B.A in Political science from the University of Illinois Chicago and a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry from North Park Theological Seminary.

Pastor Acree is married to First Lady Margaret Acree, and they are the proud, loving parents of Marcus and Nicole Acree. They also have one grandson, Marcus Jr., whom Pastor Acree lovingly refers to as Duke.