Pastor Ira J. Acree and Greater St. John Bible Church will host an Austin prayer and peace march every Wednesday night this month.

Church members, local residents and friends of Austin are invited to participate in the weekly event, which will be held at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 7, 14, 21 and 28.

Without a doubt, the safety of our community is at stake, Acree said in a statement announcing the prayer and peace march.

Crime in Austin continues to increase, and actions need to be taken to help our community, Acree said.

According to the Chicago Tribune, there have been over 1,000 crime reports in Austin, ranging from quality of life crimes to violent crimes, in only the month of July.

Chicago magazine states that Austin is the deadliest neighborhood in Chicago.

There have been 34 homicides in the past 12 months, and Austin has recorded the most homicides compared to other Chicago neighborhoods every month for the last nine months.

For these reasons, the Greater St. John Bible Church is encouraging all who care about their community’s safety to attend and march for peace in our community and surrounding neighborhoods.

So many futures have been aborted at the hands of senseless violence, Rev. Acree said.

It’s time we challenge every aspect of our community to put down the guns. We have already lost many of our best and brightest. The madness must stop; we cannot afford to lose anymore Hadiya Pendletons, Heaven Suttons and Blair Holts, Acree said.

The peace march will depart from Greater St. John Bible Church at 1256 N. Waller Ave. and take various routes each week.

For more information, call (773) 378-3300 or (773) 343-9078, or e-mail or