Our Pastor, Russell (Rusty) E. Akers, was born in Phoenix, Arizona on August 15, 1975. Him and his family eventually ended up in Dawson Springs, Kentucky, when his father, Robert E. Akers, was elected pastor of Apostolic Holiness Church (AHC) in 1989. After graduating high school, Rusty continued his education by attending Madisonville Community College (MCC) for 2 years. He then transferred to Western Kentucky University, but withdrew after about 2 months of classes to move back home and work. Once again, he enrolled at MCC for the next fall semester, but didn’t feel like he was where God wanted him to be. After praying for direction, the Lord opened the door for him to move to Paducah, KY and attend West Kentucky Community and Technical College, where he learned the trade of barbering. In his own words, Rusty referenced barbering as:
“A job that has been a blessing and worked very well with the ministry, and one that I continue to work and enjoy today.”
Rusty was asked when did he start feeling a calling into the ministry, to which he responded:
“I started running a bus route for the church and teaching Sunday school when I was 20. I knew God was calling me to a deeper ministry, but I was trying to run from the call. One day I saw a picture of Jonah that depicted him trying to avoid the will of God and being absolutely miserable. I saw myself in that picture; it was a powerful moment of honesty for me. Soon after I saw a vision of myself preaching and wept. I knew there was a call on my life that I could not avoid. My first sermon was preached on New Year’s Eve, 1998.”
He began preaching outside of AHC in 1999, and then began traveling as an evangelist in 2001. Over the 7 years in which he evangelized, Rusty preached for revivals, youth revivals, youth rallies, and camp meetings in dozens of churches of various sizes in several states across the U.S. He even preached as far away as British Columbia, as well as traveled to South Africa twice; once to preach during a revival, and the other for a crusade.
The Lord, having already decided whom Rusty would marry and spend the rest of his life with, led him to her during his 7 years of evangelism. He was originally scheduled to fly to Baltimore, Maryland out of Nashville, Tennessee on a Friday in order to preach on the East Coast. However, his flight was postponed and transferred to a departure from Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday instead. This flight change allowed him to attend Kentucky’s statewide youth rally in Louisville that Friday night. Rusty stated that “during service, there was a beautiful young lady (Mandy McFarland) on the platform praise singing, and I knew if I didn’t go speak to her after service that I would kick myself for the rest of my life.” He did, in fact, go speak with her after service, and, long story short, they married each other on September 23, 2006. Since then, God has blessed them with 3 beautiful children: Elin on July 22, 2010, Caleb on May 1, 2012, and Kye on December 6, 2017.
Throughout his lifetime, Rusty said he has been able to witness the glory of God firsthand on countless occasions. He has seen the sick healed, the addicted cured, devils flee, the empty filled, and heard many personal testimonies of the goodness and grace of our lord Jesus Christ. Of the many miracles and wonders he has witnessed, he wanted to share the following, personal testimony, about his son Caleb.
“We were told our son would be born with a defect in his left kidney. By faith we named him Caleb, believing God that we would receive a good report. After many prayers and medical tests and doctors telling us there was little hope of this organ ever functioning, we received the news we wanted to hear. The doctor spoke to us and used the exact words of ‘this is a very good report.’ Caleb had surgery and his left kidney is 100%.”
One final thought our Pastor wanted to share with you is:
“I have been privileged to be a Sunday school teacher, youth leader, assistant pastor, and now pastor. It has been a path of adventure and blessing. I love the life I live that the Lord has given to me, and I look forward to what God has in store in the future.”
Thank you for taking the time to read about our pastoral family. We hope you will continue to learn more about them, along with the many other great people in our church, by visiting us in the near future, or by watching our live stream through the Watch Our Broadcast page. May God bless you all!