Pastor Russell Drake
Russell is a native of Anderson, SC and first generation Pentecostal whose call to the ministry began right here at Sanctuary of Praise. As a 17-year-old high school senior he began attending services at The First United Pentecostal Church of Anderson (as Sanctuary of Praise was formerly known). Prior to attending the church Bro. Drake was divinely connected with Bro. Wayne Lilly who along with his family took him under their wings. The Lilly’s began to teach Bro. Drake the Apostles doctrine and as a result on November 29, 1998 he was filled with the Holy Ghost and baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of his sins.
At this point, Bro. Drake began to explore the call of ministry that he had previously felt upon his life. His life of service in ministry began as a door greeter and an usher. Following this, he began to assist his youth pastor Rev. Shawn Kilpatrick, in a role that lasted for five years. Throughout these five years, his Senior Pastor, Michael Crocker, trained him in the ways of the ministry, allowing him to serve in various areas of the church.
It was also during this time that Bro. Drake was blessed with his helpmate and life partner, Tessa Stowe, whom he married on February 10, 2001. He and his wife continued assisting with various ministries in the local church as well as on a District Level as Sectional Youth Directors.
At the age of 23 Bro. Drake and his family were led to Living Water UPC, in Seneca, South Carolina where he was elected as Pastor of a church with 15 members which later grew to a congregation of over 60 members.
During 2006, Bro. Drake was voted in as Youth Secretary of the South Carolina District. In 2011, the Drakes accepted the call to return home to Anderson, South Carolina. Bro. Drake following God’s will, assumed the role of Pastor at Sanctuary of Praise, to serve under Senior Pastor, Edward Goddard.
In 2012, he was elected as District Youth President of South Carolina District where he served for seven years. In 2015 Bro. Drake was elected as Senior Pastor at Sanctuary of Praise and currently serves in that capacity.
He has started a new NAM in Iva South Carolina (SOP Iva Campus) where he also serves as Senior Pastor. In June of 2019 he was also elected a SC District Secretary. Both Pastor Drake and his wife feel and know they are in the perfect will of God, to help bring an even greater revival to the Anderson area and see this city explode with a powerful addition of souls to the Kingdom of God! The Drakes have been blessed with 3 children Ethyn, Emma and Ensley.
Meet our Pastor