The St. Luke Church of God in Christ was founded by Elder Luke Austin, September 22, 1942.
Elder Austin was born in Shelby, Mississippi, in 1908, moved to Chicago in 1923, and married Miss Addie Harris in 1928. The Lord saved Elder Austin in 1931. Under the leadership of Bishop Eleazer Lenox, Elder Austin served the Lord for eleven years as a faithful church member, choir member, deacon, and minister.
Being zealous for God, he came to the north side of Chicago in 1942 and opened a little mission at 971 N. Franklin Street, with only his wife at his side. Through their faith in God, hard work, and perseverance, the mission grew. In 1943 the church moved to 900 N. Orleans Street. This mission was rented for $25 a month. A few years later, the Lord blessed Elder Austin to purchase the lot at 914 N Orleans. Bishop Charles Harrison Mason, the founder of the Churches of God in Christ, came to this lot – filled with rubbish – and prayed God’s blessing. He said, “This place is going to be a blessed place. God is going to bless this place.” And bless it, God did. In 1962 a major portion of the edifice that stands today was built.
Faithful members gave as God blessed them. Some sold potato chips, skins, popcorn, etc., under a little tent on the corner in order to give a donation to the church. Mother Austin went out regularly on the street and gathered the little children to sing praises and listen to the Word of God. With this effective effort to become directly involved in people’s lives, the membership continued to increase.
Elder Luke Austin believed in prayer and preached the Word of God as plainly as possible. In the ministry, he was a giant who pastored a progressive church to the glory of God until his death on May 10, 1978.
On May 14, 1978, the late Bishop Freeman Guy Green, Prelate of the 5th Jurisdiction of Illinois, appointed Elder James C. Austin, Sr. – son of the St. Luke founder and graduate of the University of Illinois – as pastor of the St. Luke Church of God in Christ. Taking on the baton of holiness left by his father, Pastor Austin has demonstrated a genuine concern for souls.
Bishop James Austin has a vision of building a Monument of Holiness which will be an enduring work, an energetic organization, a spiritual body, attracting masses of people for the purpose of praising and promoting the beauty of holiness. This vision is coming to fruition.
The little mission which began on North Franklin is now the largest Pentecostal Church on the near north side of Chicago. We seek to 1) Develop individuals and families Spiritually, Intellectually, Physically, Socially, Emotionally, and Economically, 2) Edify the local church in love, and 3) Minister effectively to residents of our communities both domestically and globally – to the glory of God and to the praise of our Lord Jesus Christ.