Reverend Lemuel Russell is the son of the late Otris and Eugenia Russell. He is a native Memphian having been educated in the Memphis City Schools at the Booker T. Washington High School (1973). It was in high school that Reverend Russell recognized a passion and a call to service for his community. The result of this passion and call to serve manifested itself into a call from God to a higher level of service in the Gospel Ministry.
Upon graduation from Booker T. Washington High School Reverend Russell attended Christian Brothers College and completed his undergraduate degree at Memphis State University. He is currently attending Memphis Theological Seminary pursuing a Masters in Divinity degree.
In his ministry of service over the years, Reverend Russell has served the inaugural ministry teams of Shelby County Interfaith. He attended 10 Day National Leadership Training sponsored by the Industrial Areas Foundation, a national community organizing institution. Reverend Russell served as Interim Community Organizer for Shelby County Interfaith. He has served on various community taskforces and committees.
After accepting his call to the Gospel Ministry in 1993 Reverend Russell was licensed at the New Fellowship Baptist Church. He was ordained in August, 1995 at the Testament of Hope “Community” Baptist Church where he served 17 years under the pastorate of the Pastor T. O’Neal Crivens, Sr. After Pastor Crivens’ retirement in October, 2011 Reverend Russell was unanimously elected the new pastor of the Testament of Hope “Community” Baptist Church. Pastor Russell’s vision for Testament of Hope is to build community; as God has called the church to be a model community in this city. Under Pastor Russell Testament of Hope has adopted the motto: “Testament of Hope “Community” Baptist Church—the “Community” in the community: Building community one family at a time.”
For 27 years Pastor Russell has been married to his wife and long-time friend, Carol Elaine. They have three daughters, Candace R. Harrell, Bethany M. Durham, and Muriel Conner.
The future is bright indeed for the Testament of Hope “Community” Baptist Church. Pastor Russell’s passion and excitement for the cause of Christ at Testament of Hope is evident to his congregation and to all he meets. Building on the foundation that has been laid by Pastor Crivens, Pastor Russell and the Testament of Hope family declare that the best is yet to come. To God be the glory!