On Friday October 13th, Grace Presbytery unanimously agreed to accept the ordination of Dr. Albert E. Russell and move him from licentiate to Pastor of the Grace Community Church in Millbrook, AL. On November 5th at 4:00pm, the official installation services were held. Committee members descended upon Grace Community Church for this momentous occasion. The committee for installation consisted of Dr. Scott Fowler (Spring Creek CPC), Pastor Keith Mariott (Branchville CPC), Pastor Sam Foreman, Elder Ben Ingram (Spring Creek CPC) and Elder Ken Moore (Grace Community CPC). Other special guests included Pastor Jan Overton (Crestline CPC) and Pastor Edward Nettles (Freewill Missionary Baptist Church).
As it stands, Dr. Russell inclusion as an African-American Pastor in the Cumberland Presbyterian denomination is a milestone and a testament to the attitude of tolerance and graciousness that the Cumberland Presbyterian Church has always been known for. The generosity of the Cumberland Church, the Pastoral Care committee and the Grace Presbytery is much appreciated by Grace Community Church.
Grace Community Church endured several years of working through the ordination process and has supported Dr. Russell mightily. Many came out to support the installation. Family, friends and congregants gathered for a message by Keith Mariott and to witness this historic day. There was great food and fellowship. Grace Community Church is grateful for all that Grace Presbytery has done and we look forward to what God is going to do through this little church on the hill. Credit to Tori J. Walker for the photos.