September 1, 2011

New pastor blows in from Windy City

By Michael Johnson, Editor

It took some big changes in Russ Whitaker’s life for him to get into the ministry field after 20 years in sales. Surprisingly, it took very little to get him to lift roots from West Chicago and move to Wilton. Whitaker moved to Wilton as the new pastor of the Mission Evangelical Free Church in mid-July. He came to the conclusion that Wilton could be the right fit after arriving in Bismarck on May 1, and witnessing snow moving across the prairie horizontally. Most might pack up and say “thanks for the gesture” at that point, but Whitaker knew he was being called to make the move. Whitaker was originally schooled in Illinois in political science and business. He was a sales rep and then product specialist for 20 years before an illness that changed his life. He was diagnosed with eye cancer and had one of his eyes removed. It was in that time where he came to see what kind of person he wanted to be. So he chose what he felt was a more fulfilling job as a pastor.
“I was always a people person,” Whitaker said.

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