The Rev. Dr. Russell Jones Levenson, Jr. was born in Birmingham, Alabama. He and Laura, his wife of 35 years, have three children, Jones, Luke and Evelyn who is married to Jake Vidrine, and one granddaughter, Genevieve Vidrine and one grandson, Austin James Vidrine. Dr. Levenson received his Bachelor of Arts cum laude from Birmingham-Southern College in 1984 where he was recognized with the college’s top presidential honor, the “President’s Student Service Award.” Dr. Levenson received a Master of Divinity degree from Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) in 1992 and completed his Doctor of Ministry at Beeson Divinity School in 1997.
While in seminary, he served at historic Christ Church in Olde Town, Alexandria, Virginia. Following his graduation from VTS, Dr. Levenson served as Assistant Chaplain at The University of the South, Sewanee, until he was called to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, in Birmingham, Alabama, where he served under the Rev. Dr. John Claypool for four years. Dr. Levenson was called to be the Rector of The Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Lafayette, Louisiana, in 1997. In 2002, he was called as the fifteenth rector of historic Christ Church Parish in Pensacola, Florida. In the fall of 2007, Dr. Levenson became the fourth Rector of St. Martin’s, now the Parish home to more than 9,500 baptized members.
In 2011, he was awarded Beeson Divinity School’s “Distinguished Alumnus” honor and in the fall of 2012 he accepted the “Dean’s Cross” from VTS. Dr Levenson has served on the Board of Advisors for St. Luke’s School of Theology, the Advisory Board for Beeson Divinity School, as well as the Board of The Living Church Foundation and Amazing Place. In 2015, he was inducted into the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem. Dr. Levenson serves as a Board Member for the Hope and Healing Center and Institute, (HHC/I). The HHC/I was founded by St. Martin’s in 2012, and has since become a separate 501(c)(3) entity offering mental, emotional and recovery services to more than 600 individuals each week – without cost or obligation.
He is the author of several articles in various magazines and religious journals, and four seasonal devotional books, Provoking Thoughts: A Lenten Companion, Preparing Room: An Advent Companion, Summer Times: A Summer Companion and Autumn Leaves: An Autumn Companion; and with his wife, has authored An Advent Wreath Devotional that is suitable for adults and families, as well as one version especially for children.