After being raised Catholic until the age of 14, Russ was dramatically saved and discipled throughout the mid to late 1990s during the revival that swept around the globe. Ministering in churches and on the streets since 1998, Russ has witnessed countless miracles and he operates in the realms of evangelism, teaching, prophecy, healing, and releasing freedom over those held by bondage and addiction. His passion is to help God's people be healthy, strong, and to shine bright to the world around them. He loves to support Pastors and other ministry leaders by providing supplemental preaching, teaching, and prayer to the Body of Christ around the world.
Russ has also authored 2 books to help people move forward in their walk with the Lord - Becoming A Champion Proverbs Devotional and Making Disciples and Leading Small Groups. Currently he and his wife Shari serve as the founders and leaders of The River - a Christian Worship, Retreat, and Ministry Training Center near Richmond, VA. The River is a place where Pastors, Missionaries, and young adults can come for refreshing, healing, teaching, discipleship, and training. Russ and Shari have been happily married since 2001 and together they have 4 amazing boys.
Ministering to both youth and adults, Russ has preached and taught God's Word in churches of various denominations in America, Central America, and Europe. He is especially passionate about intimacy with the Lord, discipleship, making disciples, small groups, spiritual identity, and spiritual maturity. He has compiled over 150 Biblical Seminars to be used throughout the Body of Christ to develop spiritual maturity. To schedule Russ to minister at your church or ministry, please contact us through the booking page.
Does Your Church or Organization Need:
Practical, Applicable, Transformational Bible Teaching
Spiritual Identity, Destiny, Maturity
Intimacy with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
Hunger and Passion for God's Presence and Word
Healing, Wholeness, Strength
Victory and Freedom
If so, contact Russ and schedule him for a Sunday morning,
weekend conference, or series of meetings today.
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Spiritual Covering and Home Base
Russ' ministry is based out of Commonwealth Chapel in Midlothian, VA under the leadership and spiritual covering of Pastors Brandon and Katie Samuel. Brandon and Russ attended Northpoint Bible College together in the early 2000s.
Pastor Scott Tischler and Russ have been friends since 2012. Scott provides regular accountability, ministry counsel, and coaching to Russ and The River. Scott and his wife Penny are the lead pastors of Life Church in Colonial Heights, VA.
Russ is honored to serve churches and organizations from all denominations. Below are some of the organizations Russ has ministered with over the years.
"I met Russ in 1994 when he came into our church as a young man looking for God, and since that day he has never looked back. To this day Russ continues to be a passionate God chaser. We had the honor of having Russ serve with us as an intern here at Bethany Church and he served with distinction in several expressions of ministry. We also had the thrill of seeing him take his calling of God sincerely enough to go and pursue his ministerial degree at Zion Bible College, and once again he excelled in his venture. Today, Russ and his wife, Shari and family are actively involved in ministry both in the local church and beyond as they pursue the vision God has given them. I am very proud of Russ and always found him to be a man of great spiritual passion and integrity. I know he is a committed husband, father and minister, and Christ continues to reign supreme in his life and ministry. I heartily recommend him to pastors and ministries interested in seeing people impacted by God."
Rev. Don James
Assistant Superintendent of the NJ district of the Assemblies of God & Lead Pastor of Bethany Church - A thriving multi-site church with campuses throughout northern and central NJ.
"Russ has a great love for the Lord and the Word. He is a well motivated, diligent, and conscientious person of fine moral character. He also has a fine family who love the Lord. When he speaks, you can tell he is a student of the Word, that he loves to study, and as a result he is a fine speaker. I feel confident in recommending Russ - I know that he will give himself wholeheartedly and do an exceptional job."
Rev. Joseph Nieves
Retired Church Planter & Pastor of Emmanuel Fellowship in Allentown, PA; Bible Teacher & Academic Dean at Pinecrest Bible Training Center in Salisbury Center, NY; and international conference speaker.
Russ' Life & Ministry Journey
Russ is on a life long journey of discovering who God is and seeking after all God wants to accomplish in his life, the Church, and throughout the world. His heart is to intimately know Jesus and make Him known to the world around him. During the first several years of his life, Russ was raised in a Catholic church and school. While that season of his life instilled a deep reverence and appreciation for God's house and presence, he often pondered whether there was more to knowing and experiencing God than what he was experiencing during a Sunday morning mass service.
After being introduced to a personal and daily relationship with Jesus in 1994, he began to read the Bible for himself and spend extended times alone with the Lord in his bedroom. This tremendous season of intimacy with the Lord constructed a foundation that to this day is what Russ' life and ministry are built upon. In 1999 Russ completed an internship at Bethany Church in Wyckoff, NJ and then went on to attend Northpoint Bible College in Haverhill, MA where he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Biblical Studies with a Minor in World Missions. Russ and his wife Shari have also spent many years participating with and serving as volunteer leaders for Young Life.
Serving on staff and in various volunteer roles, Russ has been active in local church ministry and world missions since 1998. Passionate about seeing people saved, transformed, and launched into their God-ordained destiny, Russ is enthusiastic about sharing the goodness of God with individuals, churches, and ministry organizations alike.
Friends of Russ and the Ministry
Ministry flows out of relationship with the Lord and other Christian brothers and sisters. Because of this, close friendships, accountability, prayer partners, and ministry advisers are very important to Russ. Below are some of the churches where Russ has ministered and/or ministers whom Russ has an ongoing relationship with. In addition to the names below, Russ and his church The River are led and held accountable by a Board of Trustees, a group of intercessors, and a team of ministry advisers.
Bethany Church in Wyckoff, NJ - Pastors Don James and Rich Osborne
Boston Worship Center Church in Boston, MA
The Bridge Church in Mechanicsville, VA - Pastor Lowell Qualls
Christian Center Hof Church in Hof, Germany - Pastor Watson Klutz
CityReach LA in Santa Monica, CA - Pastors Nathan Kollar and Josh Houston
Commonwealth Chapel Church in Richmond, VA - Pastor Brandon Samuel
Crosslight Church in Petersburg, VA - Pastors Mike Buckley and David Wiley
Crossroads Community Church in Hopewell, VA
Destination Church in Colonial Heights, VA - Pastor Bryan Briggs
The Dwelling Place Church in Midlothian & Williamsburg, VA - Pastor Brian Britton
Emmanuel Fellowship Church in Allentown, PA - Pastor Joe Nieves
Fellowship Baptist Church in Ettrick, VA
First Assembly of God Church in Petersburg, VA - Pastor Dwayne Walker
House of Prayer Church in Chesterfield, VA - Pastor Steve Stells
King's Castle Ministries in San Salvador, El Salvador
Lakemont Baptist Church in Petersburg, VA
Life Church in Colonial Heights, VA - Pastor Scott Tischler
Matoaca Christian Fellowship Church in Matoaca, VA - Pastor Ryan Atchison
New Hope Chapel Church in Carolina, RI - Pastor Bob Jaruta
Norwich Church in Norwich, CT
One Church in Westerville, OH - Pastor Greg Ford
Providence Foursquare Gospel Church in Providence, RI
Spirit and Truth Ministries in Ashland, VA - Pastors Kim Rodriguez and Alison Tyler
Ute Indian Reservation in Fort Duchesne, UT
Young Life Youth Ministry in Allentown, PA - Eric Johnson
Young Life Youth Ministry in West Milford, NJ - Mona Patel
Ministry Core Values
Love God, Love People
Jesus said if His disciples do these two things, then we are fulfilling the heart & essence of everything found in the Old Testament law. Instead of focusing on following external laws and rules, we should focus our time and energy on maintaining healthy relationships with God and the people around us. Paul said that love does no harm to a person and that love is the fulfillment of the law; thus confirming Jesus’ words that if we love God and love people, then we are truly following Christ and living out the example He modeled for us. (Matthew 22:34-40, Romans 13:8-10, Galatians 5:14)
Love & Unity
Jesus said His disciples & Christianity would be recognized and distinguished by a few things: our love for one another, our unity with one another, and the fruit that is displayed in our lives. One of our greatest testimonies to the world is our love for other Christians and our willingness to work together in unity to love and help the world around us. (John 13:34-35, John 15:7-8, John 17:20-23)
Encouraging the Saved, Winning the Lost
Outside of worshipping God and enjoying daily fellowship with Him, it seems we have two main responsibilities as we walk through life; edifying and encouraging other believers toward spiritual maturity, and actively seeking, praying for, evangelizing, and discipling the lost. Jesus is the answer for all of the problems and issues that humankind faces, so it is our job to point people to Jesus and help them love, know, and follow Him in a greater capacity than they are now. (Luke 15:3-7, John 1:40-42, Romans 14:17-19, Ephesians 4:29)
One of the greatest and last commandments Jesus gave to His disciples was to go out into all the world and teach, train, disciple, and baptize people in His name. We may not all travel to other states or nations to do this, but it is our responsibility to love, pray for, and do what we can throughout our everyday lives to fulfill this commandment with the people that cross our path. We are God’s representatives and ambassadors on the earth and so we must take responsibility to do what we can to contribute to the overall work of what God is doing throughout the earth. (John 3:16, Matthew 28:18-20, 2 Corinthians 5:17-20)
The Bible says we can not be in love with God and be in love with the things of this world at the same time. At some point in our Christian experience we must realize how much more eternally powerful and wonderful God’s kingdom and its value system are compared to the ways and value system of the world. We should seek to see ourselves, our lives, people, and the issues of this world through the lens of Biblical truth. (James 4:4, Matthew 24:35, John 17:14-19)
God says we are citizens of Heaven. This world is not our home; we are simply passing through during this journey of life to discover God, receive Him, and fulfill our God-given destiny before we return to Him. Because of this, everything we think, say, and do should reflect the idea that eternity is a greater reality for us than this life. After all, we will spend 80 years or so on this earth but all of eternity with God and other Christians in Heaven. (Psalm 119:19, John 14:1-4, Philippians 3:20, Hebrews 11:13-16)
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