We are so pleased to introduce you to our new minister and his wife, Russell & Shannon Crawford. Russell, is a native of Holdrege, Nebraska, located in the south central part of the state. Even though Russell graduated from high school there, he grew up in the small south western Kansas town of Elkhart, Kansas. In Elkhart, Russell was involved in the Lord’s work. He song led his first service at seven years old and preached his first sermon at age eleven! Russell grew up with great interest in the important work of teaching and preaching the gospel. In Elkhart he was trained in song leading, public prayer, presiding over the Lord's supper, church leadership, and preaching the gospel. Russell received this training from able-bodied Christian men who took him under their wings of guidance and leadership, and applied his training to achieving great effectiveness in his ten years of serving the Lord's church.
In college, Russell was heavily involved with the work at the Kearney church of Christ in Kearney, Nebraska, under the pulpit ministry of Eddie Lee and the eldership. It was during these years that the elders of the congregation put Russell in charge of the college program. Russell served as the organizer as well as the Bible teacher in the program for three years. During his years at Kearney, he was also one of the principal song leaders. He also served as one of the substitute preachers on Sunday evenings, as well as substitute for the 3-5 year olds Bible class.
In February of 2007, Russell was asked to help serve the congregation in Gothenburg, Nebraska until their preacher healed from a stroke he had suffered. Russell became Gothenburg's official part-time minister in April of 2007, and took on the role of full-time minister in August of 2010. Russell was heavily involved in the community being on staff at Gothenburg Public Schools as a substitute teacher, as well as being involved in Lions Club as first vice president and later on assuming the role of president of the chapter. Russell was heavily involved in the community being on staff at Gothenburg Public Schools as a substitute teacher, as well as being involved in Lions Club as first vice president and later assuming the role of president of the chapter.
In August of 2012, Russell married Shannon Brinn of Murray, Kentucky and together as a team, they served the Gothenburg congregation until March of 2013. After Gothenburg, Russell and Shannon moved to Sabetha, Kansas and worked with the Sabetha church of Christ. Russell was hired as the full-time minister. In Sabetha, Russell and Shannon worked on building a strong Bible program for young adult believers. They hosted Monday night Bible studies in their home during the entire two years that they were at Sabetha. Shannon, during this time, was also one of the Bible teachers of the 3-5 year olds children classes. Together Russell and Shannon also wrote weekly and bi-weekly edification articles distributed in the congregation, entitled "Fishermen For Christ" (Russell's) and "Girl Talk" (Shannon's). Russell and Shannon served together in the Sabetha congregation until March of 2015.
In May of 2015, Russell became the full-time minister for the Heath church of Christ in Kevil, Kentucky. His background and experience have brought many positive strengths that we feel will assist us to grow in Spirit and in Truth