Meeks told ABC7's Charles Thomas that he "definitely will not run in 2012 in next year's primary." He said he will devote all of his time to running his 20,000-member Salem Baptist Church on Chicago's South Side.
The 55-year-old Meeks was first elected as an independent in 2002. Since then, he has been considered a Democrat with a focus on education. He was a candidate for mayor of Chicago earlier this year before he dropped out of the race.
There was no word on who might run in the South Side Senate seat primary to replace Rev. Meeks.