I’m really excited today to get to announce to our Appian Way readers that Chuck Russell, our fellow Appian Way blogger, is coming to work on staff with Brian, Leo, and me at Church of the Resurrection. In his job as Internet Resource Consultant for United Methodist Communications (UMCOM), Chuck has been part of our web team for almost two years. But now he’s moving from Nashville to Kansas City and will be full time on our staff. Woo hoo!
I interviewed Chuck about his background and his decision to come to Resurrection. Here are my questions and his answers.
Clif: First, tell us a little about yourself – where you’re from, your family, your wife’s family, your pets, etc.
Chuck: I am originally from Abernathy, Texas just outside of Lubbock and my Mom and Dad still live there. My wife, Amy, is from Kansas City and her family lives in Parkville, Missouri (in the Kansas City area). We have one cat named Nilly who is already in Kansas City – she wanted to make the move up early to get adjusted. No kids yet but we will be working on that!!
Clif: Briefly, give us your testimony. How did you come to Christ? When and how were you called into ministry?
Chuck: I am a lifelong Methodist but I became a Christian during college at Texas Tech University. I was involved in an amazing Wesley Foundation (United Methodist Campus Ministry) and basically was converted by the love and Grace of Christ as represented in the people I came into contact with there. I was also deeply influenced by my reading of John Wesley’s sermons and writings. I am radically Wesleyan and could spend hours talking about why Wesley’s basic theological position is exactly the right direction for reaching this culture. My calling into ministry came first at Texas Tech where I knew I would be living my life for Christian service. God lead me through an amazing seminary experience at Asbury Theological Seminary that is basically indescribable. It’s also where I met my wife.
Clif: What have you been doing since you graduated from seminary?
Chuck: After graduating I worked in Lexington, Kentucky while my wife finished seminary. Yep two Masters of Divinity in the same house … that’s a lot of divinity! Anyway I was working with a corporate technology training company there, teaching everything from database applications to Internet technologies. After Amy graduated I was fortunate to find a job that combined my interest in technology and my heart for ministry at United Methodist Communications. UMCOM is one of the national agencies funded by apportionment dollars given by local churches. Its focus is on the communications strategy for the denomination and equipping local churches to effectively use technology. My job was focused on training and equipping churches across the denomination in the use of Internet technologies. I also worked with annual conferences and larger churches in a consultative role.
Look for more of this interview in the next couple of days …