is a dedicated pastor, spiritual teacher and uncompromising preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  He is known and respected as an honorable man, and a holy man of God.  


He is the husband of Missionary Vernesta T. Austin, and together they are the proud parents of four adult children:  James Jr., (Yashika), Dorcas, Prisca, and Marcus, and one grandson, James Curtis Austin, III (affectionately called “Hudson”).


Before graduating in 1967, Bishop Austin received his call to ministry in 1966.  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.  He has established long-standing affiliations with local organizations such as Tabitha House (a home for the homeless) and the renowned Moody Bible Institute.

Bishop Austin unyieldingly serves the underserved and the underprivileged in the Near North community, where St. Luke has resided for more than 75 years, and around the world.  Liberia, in particular, has become a concern of his heart after having traveled there in March 2018. Public officials such as former governor of Illinois Pat Quinn, the past president of the United States, 

Barack Obama and Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White have visited St. Luke church because of its notoriety in Chicago.


One of Bishop Austin’s most profound accomplishments was producing “The Legacy of a Leader,” which is a commemorative documentary video on the life of the late Bishop Charles Harrison Mason, one the unsung heroes of the 20th century.  In addition, Bishop Austin was inspired to write two books: Preach (collaborated with First Lady Austin) and The God-Ordained Life.  The latter book and its companion eight-week DVD series reveal God’s plan for our lives.  Bishop Austin continues as a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ and a faithful minister to God’s people.

St Luke Church of God in Christ

914 North Orleans | Chicago, IL 60610

Phone: (312) 266-7258

Bishop James C. Austin, Senior Pastor

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