The Rev. Ira Acree, activist and pastor of Austin’s Greater St. John Bible Church, presented each of 25 Chicagoland students with a $500 college scholarship July 13 during the church’s annual celebration of “Excellence in Education Concert and Awards Ceremony.”
“It has been very challenging this year raising the funds to assist these students in pursuing their dreams, but in the ninth hour our members rallied and stepped up and our supporters came through,” Acree said.
Acree said he’s been on the front line as an advocate for education and working hard to end the senseless violence.
“I think our supporters understand that education is a proven tool for combating violence.” said Penny Bady, the mother of 15-year-old Maurice Brown Jr., who was shot to death on his birthday Dec 12, 2003.
At the event she presented The Maurice Brown Jr. Scholarship in memory of her deceased son.
The urban church has given way more than $150,000 over the last nine years. The featured guests at the event were Stellar award winner VaShawn Mitchell and Stellar award nominee Kim Stratton.