Born and raised in Greenwich, Ohio, Russ graduated from the Academy of Toccoa Falls Institute (now College) in Georgia in 1960. He attended Moody Bible Institute and Grace College, and graduated from Ashland College (now University) in 1966. He then joined the faculty of Mansfield Christian School where he taught history, government and Bible. Russ later taught most or all of the high school Bible courses. He has served as interim pastor/pastor for numerous evangelical churches, and was one of the first to make Francis Schaeffer’s “How Should We Then Live” a high school worldview course in 1977. Russ remained at MCS 34 years and his wife Susan taught there 26 years with time out to raise three children. He has been on staff with Southview Grace Brethren Church since 2010.