Russell and Deborah Payne have accepted the call to serve Southeastern District as co-district executives beginning June 1. They will make their home and establish the new Southeastern District Office in Sulphur Springs, Tenn.
Russell Payne is an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren with 30 years of experience as pastor of Coulson Church of the Brethren in Hillsville, Va. (1982-86 and 1994 to the present). He also has served as associate pastor and pastor of congregations in Tennessee and Indiana. He is a 1980 graduate of Steed College with a degree in business, a 1984 graduate of Graham Bible College, and has completed the three-year reading course of the Christian Growth Institute in Virlina District.
Deborah Payne has many years of experience in office and organizational management, most recently as executive director of Hope House of the Good Shepherd Inc. in Galax, Va. Previously she was business manager for Joy Ranch Inc. in Woodlawn, Va., and worked in the Parent Involvement/Teacher Resource Center of Carroll County Public Schools in Hillsville. She is a 1999 graduate of Wytheville Community College with a degree in education, and a 2003 graduate of Bluefield College with a degree in organizational management and development.
The Paynes’ volunteer leadership in the denomination has included Russell’s service as moderator of Virlina District, as a speaker for the Southeastern District Conference, and as a revival speaker in a number of locations. Deborah has served on the District Board and Witness Commission in Virlina District, and has been a young adult retreat leader, camp counselor, youth advisor, and has provided pulpit supply. She is a lay speaker in Virlina District, having completed the three-year reading course.