CHICAGO (WLS) -- Greater St. John Bible Church Pastor Ira Acree worshipped with his congregation on Sunday morning, ready to welcome a special guest to his pulpit.
"Mayors have been here before. Mayors have been elected because they got our support. This is the first one to come back and say, 'thank you,'" Acree said.
Chicago Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson spoke to believers, thanking them for their support in his runoff election victory.
"I believe that it's time for the city of Chicago to be a beacon of light for the rest of the world. We can do it together, Chicago, and we will," Johnson said. "One of the greatest things we can do is invest in our young people, and, I'm going to do just that. If you cause a child to stumble, Jesus said, 'you are better off tying a mallet around your neck and jumping in the lake.'"
But, Johnson's visit to the church came on the heels of a day of violence.
Three kids and a 17-year-old were shot on Saturday alone, including a 3-year-old boy, who was shot in the face in Calumet Heights, and rushed to the hospital in serious condition.
ABC7 asked Johnson's team for a chance to speak with the mayor-elect on the weekend shootings, but they declined, saying he didn't have time on Sunday.
"I think that it was a nice job and I think being the new mayor, I think hopefully he'll do a great job," said Shirley White, a parishioner.
Parishioners said they feel hopeful about Johnson's move to the fifth floor of City Hall on May 15.
"I'm confident. We are going to stay prayed up. I'm confident," said Cynthia Kimble, another parishioner.