Evangelist Gladys Elaine Russ peacefully passed away on May 29, 2018 at her home in Lockhart, Texas. Born on February 13, 1958, in Clinton, North Carolina, she was the sixth of nine children (one died at birth) to Mrs. Hattie Mildred Bratten and Mr. Joseph L. Bratten.
Her early education was in the Clinton school system. Her family moved to Washington D.C., where she completed the 10th grade. She obtained her GED in Lockhart, Texas, thereby accomplishing one of her major goals.
Evangelist Gladys Russ was saved at the age of 15 at The Grant Revival Center in Washington D.C. While a member there, she served as an usher, church secretary, choir member, and church custodian. She later joined The United Church of God in Christ under Pastor Harvey L. Lewis, Sr. serving as an usher, choir member, and youth Sunday school teacher. It was there that she caught the attention of a young minister, Jonathan Russ. She accepted her call as a missionary in 1979. On May 10, 1980, Evangelist Gladys Bratten and Minister Jonathan Russ were united in holy matrimony. Elder Joe N. Russ, father of Minister Russ, officiated over the ceremony. Minister Russ was in the US Air Force, so the newlyweds were transferred to Langley Air Force Base (AFB), Hampton, Virginia. Their travels included Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota and Royal Air Force, Lakenheth, England. At each of their assignments, Evangelist Russ was a blessing to the churches and community. She also worked as a certified home daycare provider bringing comfort and peace of mind to many families. Elder Jonathan Russ left the US Air Force when God called him to go to Lockhart, Texas, to assist his father. Evangelist Russ has been the First Lady of the Martin Memorial C.O.G.I.C for twelve years.
Evangelist Gladys Russ leaves to cherish her memory Jonathan Russ, her loving husband of thirty-eight years (Lockhart, TX); son Malike Nathan Russ (Lockhart, TX); a precious mother-in-law, Roberta Russ (Austin, TX); five sisters, Brenda Pearson (Clinton, NC), Joann Usher (Laurel, MD), Dean Bratten (MD), Tutt Bratten (MD), and Saundra Melchor (VA); one brother, Donnie Bratten (MD); sisters-in-law, Gloria Howze (Harrisburg, PA), Rev Joni M. Russ (San Antonio, TX), and Sonya Bratten (MD); brothers-in-law, Jody A. Russ, I (San Antonio, TX), Jonathan D. Russ, Sr., (Shejuana) ( (Lockhart, TX), and Bobby Pearson (Clinton, NC); and a host of nieces, nephews, spiritual mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters.