Austin church gives out $20K in scholarships

Greater St. John gave out the money to 17 students

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter

By Michael Romain


Earlier this month, an Austin church gave away $20,000 to 17 college students during an Aug. 3 scholarship concert. The event, held at Greater St. John Bible Church, 1256 N. Waller Ave., featured gospel acts such as Sir The Baptist and Lillian Lloyd of Ricky Dillard and New G. 

Greater St. John's pastor, Rev. Ira Acree, said that 16 students were selected to receive $1,000 scholarships while one student received a $1,500 scholarship during the annual service. Acree also picked random college students from the audience to surprise them with monetary gifts of at least $100.

Acree said that the scholarship program has operated since 2001 and has given out more than $320,000 to Austin area students since it was created.

"If we are going to stem the tide on the violence, every institution must make an investment in our neighborhoods," Acree said. "Government can't do it alone! Everyone needs some skin in the game. I'm grateful to our members and partners for their sacrifice."

The ceremony took place a day after Acree helped organize an anti-violence march that shut down Lake Shore Drive.

"Pastor Ira Acree and Greater St. John are a role model for urban churches across the country," said Rev. Gregory Seal Livingston, one of the lead organizers of the march and the president of the Coalition for a New Chicago. 

"Acree has the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other, blessing his people with what some might call a Reality Christianity – in other words, one day he's marching for resources for the marginalized and the next day he's blessing our youth with the gift of education." 

2018 scholarship recipients

Isayas Aris | Copper Mountain College

Paradize Brown | Lakeland University 

Tralese Campbell | Lakeland University 

Jaylan Crout | Columbia College

Carolyn Johnson | University of Illinois at Chicago 

Kendall Jordan | Illinois State University 

Courtney Lilly | Illinois State University 

Crystal Lilly | University of Michigan, Ann-Arbor 

Keionyae McNeal | Florida Memorial University 

Marquan Morrison | Clark Atlanta University 

Jamille Newson | Lakeland University 

Brianna Patterson | University of Illinois – Springfield 

Keondra Rollins | Elizabeth City State University 

Cari Russell | Illinois State University 

Jermesha Striblet | Bradley University 

Donte Washington | Illinois State University 

Jaidin Winfield | Jackson State University 



Love the News?

Become our partner in independent community journalism

Thanks for turning to Austin Weekly News and We love our thousands of digital-only readers. Now though we're asking you to partner up in paying for our reporters and photographers who report this news. It had to happen, right?

On the plus side, we're giving you a simple way, and a better reason, to join in. We're now a non-profit -- Growing Community Media -- so your donation is tax deductible. And signing up for a monthly donation, or making a one-time donation, is fast and easy.

No threats from us. The news will be here. No paywalls or article countdowns. We're counting on an exquisite mix of civic enlightenment and mild shaming. Sort of like public radio.

Claim your bragging rights. Become a digital member.

Donate Now

Reader Comments

No Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2019

To view the full print edition of the Austin Weekly News 2019 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Austin and Garfield Park.

MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad