Clergywoman leads church once pastored by her grandfather
By Linda Green

Rev. Lola S. Gresham Russell

The pastorate of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Norwood has come full circle.
The church that was once led by the Rev. Marvin Rhodes, who died in 1930, is now pastored by the Rev. Lola S. Gresham Russell, his granddaughter.
Russell, former director of connectional services at Antioch AME Church in Stone Mountain, was appointed to the 50-member congregation in May.
When she learned that she would be leading the church once pastored by her maternal grandfather, she said she felt affirmed to be its clergy leader. I knew that I was supposed to be here, said Russell, who is also the third generation in her family to preach in the AME Church.
In the Methodist tradition, churches are part of a connectional structure and each local church is part of a larger connection. Pastors are itinerant, meaning that they are sent or appointed by the bishop to lead a congregation, circuit, and charge or to supervise a group of churches. The pastors are appointed annually on the recommendation of a presiding elder or a superintendent.

To read more on this story, see the Wed., July 10, edition of The McDuffie Progress.





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