Wall welcomes Pastor Masartis
Pastor Russell Masartis is new to the Wall United Methodist Church. Russell and his wife, Donna, moved to Wall in July, 2015.
Pastor Russell and Donna were both born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with Russell graduating from the California University in Pennsylvania with degrees if Psychology and Elementary Education. He went on to graduate from Salem School of Theology with degrees in Theology and Pastoral Ministry.
"Yes, there is a California University in Pennsylvania," admitted Pastor Russell who became a pastor in 1967. He has served churches in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Wisconsin and South Dakota.
For the past ten years, Pastor Russell and Donna were directors of the Tree of Life Ministry on the Rosebud Reservation, a relief agency of the United Methodist Church. There, they organized a food pantry, a free hot-meal program, a Thrift Shop and clothing distribution center, and led volunteers in making free home repairs to 40 to 50 impoverished families every year. Russell gets his background in construction from his father who was a chief electrician, and taught all his children the basics of caring for their own homes.
As directors for the Tree of Life Ministry, they also recruited and led over 1,000 volunteers each year, in ministering cross-culturally. These volunteers came from many different states, some travelling all the way from Florida, New Hampshire, California and Pennsylvania. The Masartis' were kept very busy.
"How many pastors can say that they had a fleet of pickups, trailers, forklifts, backhoes, and a tractor?", noted Pastor Russell
The Masartis' are excited to be in Wall and back into ministry service. They serve both the Wall and Wasta United Methodist churches.