Broward County’s First Ladies
By Elayne Samuels
“He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” Proverbs 18:22 (NASB)
From simple storefronts to elaborate college-styled campuses, Broward County is the home of many houses of worship. With varying theological DNA (Pentecostal, Lutheran, United Methodist, Baptist, African Methodist Episcopal (AME), Catholic, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, or Non-Denominational), each one represents a hunger for the people of faith to assemble and proclaim the gospel.
The wives of the pastors of these churches are often known as “First Lady” of the church. These are women filled with His spirit. Each one is committed to their husband, family, church and our community.
This week’s featured “First Lady” is First Lady Shirley Russell of Royal Assembly Church of The Living God, Inc. Interview with First Lady Shirley Russell of Royal Assembly Church of The Living God.
WG: What is your life verse? Why is it special to you?
First Lady Russell: My life verse is Isaiah 53:5 “But He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.”(KJV) This verse is special to me because it says to me that He was utterly crushed for my moral evils and that my spiritual condition was made whole (my spiritual healing and forgiveness). Where would I be, if He hadn’t died?
WG: Do you remember your salvation moment? Please discuss.
First Lady Russell: My salvation took place on a Fiday night in 1970. It was the best feeling that I have ever experienced. I didn’t have control of myself. I couldn’t control my tongue. I couldn’t control my arms or my feet. Oh, what joy! What love that was!
WG: Is there a special move of God that you would like to see an increased evidence of in Broward County?
First Lady Russell: I’d like to see the Body of Christ get together more on one accord. I’d like to see us work together to stop the killings in our schools.
WG: What are the titles of your favorite Christian songs? Singers?
First Lady Russell: I have so many favorite Christian songs. “Grace and Mercy” by Dottie Peoples is one of my favorites. “Amazing Grace”, “God Is Good, He Won’t Change”, and “Jesus Said, “You Can Lean On Me” are songs that always bless me.
WG: Do you watch or listen to other pastors? (national or local) Who are they?
First Lady Russell: Yes, I watch and listen to other pastors. Bishop T. D. Jakes and Pastor Creflo Dollar’s messages really are powerful. Pastor Creflo Dollar is a great teacher. I’ve learned so much from him. Bishop T. D. Jakes – the man is awesome! I can feel the Holy Ghost power from him from where I sit on my sofa.
WG: Family Life—Your spouse (His name? Where and how did you meet?)
First Lady Russell: My spouse is Pastor Douglas Russell, Jr. I met him at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Pompano Beach, FL in 1961. We were married in 1964. We have one son, Chipman Douglas, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
WG: Do you have a secular job?
First Lady Russell: No, I don’t have a secular job.
WG: What are your personal interests/activities/goals?
First Lady Russell: I enjoy cooking, walking, and helping others. I would love to learn how to sew and make my own clothes.
WG: Please complete the following: Jesus is my….
First Lady Russell: Jesus is my rock, my fortress, my deliverer. He is my God and my strength, my buckler, the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. He is my life.