Russell was born May 7, 1953 in Magnolia, Arkansas and moved to West Monroe, Louisiana with his family in 1961.
Russell met his wife Sue (Pectol) while they both were working at Camp CH-YO-CA Christian Summer Camp. Russell and Sue married on December 28, 1973 and moved to Lubbock.
He graduated from Lubbock Christian College in 1976 and began teaching school and coaching athletics. Presently, Russell and Sue are both school teachers in Lubbock and the directors of White River Youth Camp.
They have been members at Sunset for close to 30 years, they have three daughters who attend Sunset and they have five grandchildren.