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Russell Benefieldcomment (0)

July 24, 2003

By Sondra Washington

First Baptist Church, Guntersville

FAVORITE BIBLE VERSE: The Psalms. There’s always some good verses that fit you.

FAVORITE HYMN: “Amazing Grace”

HOBBY: Collecting coins

FAMILY STATUS: Married to Alma for 30 years, 2 sons, 2 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren

Russell Benefield, 95, is Someone You Should Know because he has been a Baptist deacon for 74 years, the last 60 at FBC Guntersville. He was ordained at age 21.

Q: Why do you think you have been deacon for so long?

A: I’ve helped to ordain dozens of them. I have been chairman of the deacons. I never was in a group where we fussed about something. We’ve got along very well. I’ve enjoyed my church membership.

Q: What does it demand of you?

A: I’ve never thought of it as demanding. We hire new music leaders or pastors and look after the finances. Fortunately, we’ve never suffered financially.

Q: What do you get out of being a deacon?

A: Well, just a blessing being able to do those things. No money involved, just enjoyment.

Q: What led you to be a deacon?

A: Rainsville Baptist Church needed two deacons. The church was little, and there weren’t enough people to make six deacons because most of them were women and children.

Q: Do your family members support you in this activity?

A: Oh yes. One of my sons is a deacon of the same church that I go to.

Q: What difference has being a deacon made in your life?

A: It probably kept me closer to the Lord. It just blessed my heart a lot and kept me closer to the church. It make me work a little harder than I would have normally.

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