Bishop James Curtis Austin, Sr. is a dedicated pastor, spiritual teacher, and uncompromising preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He is known and respected as an honorable man, a holy man – a man of God. He is the husband to Missionary Vernesta T. Austin. Together, they are the proud parents of James, Jr., Dorcas, Prisca, and Marcus, and grandparents to his first grandchild, James Curtis Austin, III (affectionately called “Hudson”).
Bishop Austin received his call to ministry in 1966 and graduated in 1967 from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Science Degree. In 1978, he was appointed Pastor of the St. Luke Church of God in Christ and was consecrated to the sacred office of Bishop in 2004. The church was located in the notorious and troubled Cabrini-Green Community – little over one mile north of City Hall, downtown Chicago. This proximity allowed him to establish longstanding affiliations with local organizations such as Tabatha House (a home for the homeless) and the renowned Moody Bible Institute.
It was through these partnerships, and beyond, that he unyieldingly donated acts of kindness and contributions to underserved and underprivileged individuals in this near north community and around the world. Public officials such as the former Governor of Illinois, Pat Quinn, the President of the United States, Barack Obama (then Senator), and the Illinois Secretary of State, Jesse White, have visited St. Luke because of its notoriety in Chicago.
Bishop Austin is a visionary leader. His extraordinary leadership abilities are exemplified in his major contributions to the kingdom of God. He is the founder of For Christ Ministries, Inc. where he was instrumental in planting international ministries in the Republic of Trinidad/Tobago. He is currently the Vice-President of the Near North Ministry Alliance where he guides a panel of members that represent eight denominations toward the common goal of addressing community concerns. He also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Charles Harrison Mason Foundation and of the Olive Branch Mission (a shelter for the homeless) as its Vice-President. Under his direction, the body of Christ is crossing cultural boundaries, resolving family and community crisis, and coming to a renewed faith in Jesus Christ.
One of Bishop Austin’s most profound accomplishments was producing “The Legacy of a Leader” which is a commemorative video documentary on the life of the late Bishop Charles Harrison Mason – the most unsung hero of the 20th Century. He continues unto this day as a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ and as a faithful minister to God’s people.
For more information regarding Bishop James C. Austin, Sr. and his ministry, please refer to THE GOD-ORDAINED LIFE website: www.thegodordainedlife.com.