By Olivia Bunter
Founding Senior Director of Flame Ministries International (FMI) and commissioned Catholic evangelist Eddie Russell died on 16 May 2019 aged 75.
Emeritus Archbishop Barry Hickey celebrated a requiem Mass alongside Auxiliary Bishop Donald Sproxton, Fr Mark Baumgarten, Fr Doug Harris, and Fr Ted Miller on Friday 31 May at St Mary’s Cathedral.
In Emeritus Archbishop Hickey’s homily, Eddie’s devotion to the church through the power of his teaching within the informative lay institution, FMl, were attributed to his humility and dedication to faith.
Mr Russell committed 30 years of his life to FMI, and was called upon to travel and spread the word through preaching, teaching and conducting seminars with fellow FMI members nationally and internationally.
During his ministry, he was reported to have performed remarkable healings, some of which were mentioned in his authorial works.
However, health concerns led to Eddie undertaking heart surgery that involved five bypasses, repairs to both carotid arteries, and major surgery to his neck.
But through his health trials, he continued to serve God through his work and led the 2019 Annual Flame Congress “They Shall Be Baptised with Fire” in January.
In January 1990, the then-Archbishop of Perth, William J Foley, gave his blessing to a biblical seminar based on that prophesy titled “Set My People On Fire”.
The seminar was conducted locally, until its first overseas presentation by Eddie and the Flame team in the UK in 1994. Flame conducts the seminar and other bible-based programmes and seminars to the present day.
Later, Emeritus Archbishop Hickey commissioned the senior directors of FMI, including Eddie Russell, as Catholic Evangelists which was later confirmed during an institution ceremony.
An accomplished author, Eddie Russell published his first book in 1997, which has since been translated and published in five different languages – 12 Steps to Divine Healing has been described as showing the reader how to receive from God what He has divinely promised in His Word.
At the notification of Eddie’s death, Bishop Sproxton penned a letter to FMI, reflecting on the impact of Eddie’s work on the wider community.
“Eddie has had such a profound impact on many people through the ministry that he exercised,” Bishop Sproxton wrote.
“His own story was a testament in itself to the power of the Risen Christ to raise us all to new life again and again throughout our lives.”