Courtesy Ira Acree

What: In response to Chicago’s crime epidemic, Pastor Ira Acree of Greater St. John Bible Church announces the formation of the Austin DreamMakers — a new mentoring program that brings together leaders and members of nearly a dozen West Side churches to address the violence that is plaguing the city. Ten Austin-area churches have signed on to be involved. The program is designed to offer conflict resolution, leadership training, academic support, career development and financial literacy for youth.

“The senseless violence has destroyed the lives and dreams of our youth for far too long. The Austin DreamMakers is just one of several strategic solutions we’ll be rolling out in the next several months,” said Pastor Acree.

The Austin DreamMakers mentoring program will kick off at 1 pm, Saturday, March 9, at Mars Hill Baptist Church, 5916 W. Lake Street.

“Our church is honored to be a part of this collaborative initiative that will change and impact lives,” said where Rev. Clarence Stowers, Pastor at Mars Hill.

Chicago’s crime problem hit Pastor Acree’s family directly last summer when his son was robbed at gunpoint in his neighborhood. The situation solidified his resolve to confront crime head-on. “We cannot afford to wait on the governor, the mayor, the police chief or anybody else to figure it out. It’s time for the church to stand up and take its rightful place in dealing with this problem,” Pastor Acree added.

Who: Austin DreamMakersis composed of faith leaders from 10 Austin area churches:

  • Pastor Steve Epting, Hope Community Church
  • Pastor Ira Acree, Greater St John Bible Church
  • Pastor Robbie Wilkerson, New Birth Christian Center
  • Pastor Reginald Bachas, Friendship Baptist Church
  • Pastor John Collins, Great True Vine Baptist Church
  • Pastor Cleophus Lee, Original Providence
  • Pastor Martin, Trinity Baptist Church
  • Pastor Clarence Stowers, Mars Hill Baptist Church
  • Pastor Matthew Miller, Rising Sun Baptist Church
  • Pastor Terence Keys,St. Rest Baptist Church

When: Saturday, March 9, 1 pm

Where: Mars Hill Baptist Church, 5916 W. Lake Street

Contacts: Pastor Ira Acree, 773-339-8590

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