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A Little Bit About Gladie Russell

As a Teen
When Gladie was fourteen years old, she wondered if someday she would be a pastor's wife.

Playing catch one spring day with an older sister, Gladie shared her thoughts with her. "Someday I think I am going to be a pastor's wife."

" I feel sorry for you," her concerned sister shot back.

"I don't think it would be that bad," Gladie said, "It might even be special."

Gladie didn't share these thoughts with anyone else. She had just entered her teenage years, and was looking forward to dating boys. She didn't know any young man who wanted to be a pastor, and she didn't want to limit those much anticipated fun years.

Setting Goals for Her Life
In Grade 11, she stayed behind after a morning church service to see what their new pastor’s wife did as people filed by her and her pastor-husband. The pastor’s wife was vibrant. Animated. She knew exactly what to say to each person. Right there, Gladie gave up the idea of being a pastor's wife. It would be impossible even to consider it. Besides, she loved playing baseball too much. Did pastor’s wives play baseball? She wasn’t sure, but she didn’t think so.

Gladie thought up other goals to keep her on track, and she made three important decisions. Because she sensed such peace and joy at church, she decided that attending church would always be a part of her life. To accomplish this, she would marry only a Christian. In addition, she hoped to live in a large house someday, raise a happy family—and instead of being a pastor’s wife, to become a capable hostess of dinner parties.

God Reached Down to Her
After high school graduation, she worked for two years, then planned to go to Bible College.

Eight months before classes were to begin, she became a Christian! She had thought she was one. As an adolescent, she prayed with her teacher to receive Jesus as her Savior, but her knowledge of God was only intellectual. Her understanding of how much God loved her hadn't reached her heart yet. Gladie didn't realize how much she needed Jesus.

Gladie had attended church with her family for her entire life, gone to Youth group, sung in the choir, and taught Sunday School, but still she wasn’t saved. Saved from what? Saved from eternal death...by having her sins forgiven.

At age 19, Jesus made her aware how much she needed Him. She needed Him so much He died for her. She was sorry for her sins. Immediately, Jesus forgave her and gave her new Life from above—new life by the power of His Spirit. She was born again.

Now as she packed her bags to attend Bible College, she wondered, “Will God fulfill my childhood thoughts and lead me to become a pastor’s wife?” She was open to the idea. God’s Spirit now lived in her, and she loved the Lord. He would enable her.

After dating a few years, she decided to only marry someone who loved God more than he loved her--so that God would be the Source of his love. Gladie wanted their love and marriage to last. This man had to want to talk to her about his relationship with God--and about his inner life. He had to be someone who wanted to communicate! And she had to be able to trust him. Four years later she, again, started to date her teenage sweetheart. She found all three qualities in Doug. In 1969 they were married. Yes, Doug wanted to be a pastor.

Post-Secondary Education
Gladie has five years of post-secondary education, although she didn’t remain in one discipline to obtain a degree. The call on her life is to be a Christian—to honor the Lord with her life...and to be a wife, mother, and a pastor’s wife. During her year in the College of Education, her supervising teachers commented, “It’s in you to teach.” (Her teaching interest began as a child when she taught her younger sister at a table in the tree playhouse).

Gladie decided she wanted to use her gifts in the church and returned to Bible College. Over the years, she developed courses for adults, teens, and led women’s groups. She and Doug moved to Quebec and enrolled in a year of language study, and ministered there for eight years. They have lived all across Canada from Quebec to British Columbia.

Her passion is to equip others, and especially to encourage women in their walk with the Lord.

Family and Update
Gladie and Doug enjoyed raising their children--an
d found their children's teenage years some of the best.

They have three married children and eight grandchildren. The cake cutting photo was taken at the farewell in their last church.

Doug is now a chaplain. Gladie is developing resources using Scripture-based prayers, and doing other writing. Over the years she saved journals, taught courses, gave talks, took pictures and stored other mementos. Now she is sorting them out and gathering them together. 

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