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About GSJ

Our Mission

Our ministry strives to meet spiritual needs regardless of ethnic or socioeconomic background. We are a Word-centered ministry seeking to evangelize the lost at any cost, equip and empower the people of God, and provide holistic ministry to our community as well as the world.

Greater St. John Holiness Baptist Church was founded 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.


Greater St. John had many homes throughout the years as well as different pastors. On January 12, 1986 we elected Reverend Eugene Rivers as Pastor, and he was followed in leadership by 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.

In 1992 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  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 Avenue, our 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 secure 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 it was 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.

In January of 2019, we praised God for blessing our ministry to be debt-free at Mortgage Burning Celebration as we celebrated paying off the building at 1256 N. Waller, our current edifice.

Greater St. John Bible Church continues to be a pillar of the Austin community. To date, the church has given over $500,000 in scholarships to deserving students in the Austin area. 

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