Indiana Congressman Dan Burton

On Russ Blowers

September 24, 1996

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HON. DAN BURTON in the House of Representatives


Mr. BURTON of Indiana:

. Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize one of the best men I have had the privilege to know.

His life reflects his life's work: Preaching the message of Jesus.

Dr. Russell F. Blowers has served his congregation at East 91st Street Christian Church in Indianapolis for 45 years.

As Russ retires I am filled with mixed emotions. While I am happy that he will be able to have time for new ventures, he will be sorely missed in the weeks, months, and years to come. Under his committed leadership, Dr. Blowers has seen church membership grow from 85 people on his first Sunday, to nearly 4,000, making it one of Indiana's largest congregations.

East 91st Street Church has provided a myriad of ways for its members to serve, grow spiritually, and evangelize. Russ attributes this amazing growth to having stayed true to the Christian scriptures. By God's grace, Russ has remained faithful to the gospel by preaching the lordship of Jesus Christ, the power of the Holy Spirit, the essential plan of salvation through the Cross and resurrection, and the inerrant nature of the divinely inspired Word of God.

Russ Blowers has preached about issues that transcend politics and reflect unchangeable Biblical truths, such as opposition to abortion and that homosexuality is against God's will.

Russ has counseled Senator Richard Lugar, former Vice President Dan Quayle, Representative Andy Jacobs, and myself, a member of the church since 1981. Andy Jacobs has said, `I think Russ's legacy will be that he showed us all the potential of the human heart. He showed us what a considerable contribution one person can make by simply seeking to love and be loved in return.' I wholeheartedly agree with my colleague.

Russ Blowers has lived out the words he has preached. He is Christ-like.

Russ was born in Zanesville, OH, in 1924. He is a World War II veteran, having served with the 343d Fighter Squadron, 55th Fighter Group of the 8th Air Force in England and Germany. After his return from the 8th Air Force, Russ entered Ohio University as a journalism-advertising major and met his future wife, Marian. She introduced Russ to Christianity. `She didn't beat me over the head with the Bible.' he says. `She just lived the life and answered my dumb questions about the Bible. I fell in love with her first and then with my Lord.' After graduation from Ohio University, Russ received a Master of Divinity from Christian Theological Seminary and Milligan College later conferred on him with the Doctor of Divinity.

Dr. Russ Blowers became pastor of East 49th Street Christian Church in 1951. As the church grew, the congregation changed its name when it moved to 6049 East 91st Street.

Russ Blowers preached his final sermon on September 8, 1996. He sums up his ministry by reflecting, `Above all, as I close this phase of my ministry, I give God the glory for whatever has been accomplished. He has been faithful to me beyond my deserving, and my most precious honor is being one of His children, one of His servants.'

Russ has also been involved in ministry beyond his local congregation. He has preached in 11 nations and has hosted nine tour groups to Europe and the Middle East. He hosted `The Chapel Door' live on WISH-TV daily for 12 years. Russ has also been a contributing columnist for `The Lookout Magazine' as well as the church's newsletter `The 91st Edition.'

Russ and Marian have two sons: Philip, Marion County deputy prosecuting attorney; and Paul, associate professor of church history at Emmanuel School of Religion. Their accomplished sons will confirm that this Pastor who loved the congregation of East 91st Street is the same genuine article at home with his family as he is in the pulpit. The Blowers also have four grandchildren: Shannon, Alison, Leslie, and Colin.

Russ has not only been a great pastor, he has also been my good friend and confidant through the years. May the Lord continue to bless Russ and Marian very generously in the years to come, in the way that they have been a blessing to others.

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