About the Author & the Blog

My name is Russell McKinney. I am 55 years old and have served as an ordained pastor for 29 years. I am currently the pastor of Roan Mountain Baptist Church in Bakersville, NC. I’ve been married to my wife, Tonya, for 28 years. She has taught middle school math at Bowman Middle School in Bakersville, NC, for 30 years. We have two great kids – our sons Ryan (25) and Royce (21). Ryan is a Physical Education teacher at Gouge Elementary School in Bakersville, NC. Royce is a senior at Lees McRae College in Banner Elk, NC.

When I was a young man I placed my belief in Jesus Christ as my Savior and was “born again” (John 3:1-16). However, I didn’t fully sell out to Him with all my heart, mind, and body until I was in my early twenties. I try to be “salt” and “light” (Matthew 5:13-16) in whatever situation I find myself, and I try to do whatever I do “in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Colossians 3:17) and “to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). This blog is written with all that in mind, and I trust the Lord will use the multitude of posts on a wide variety of subjects as a help and blessing in your life.

I call the blog The Disciple’s Road for a couple of reasons. First, according to Christ’s words from Matthew 28:18-20, Christians are supposed to make “disciples.” Making disciples involves more than making coverts, church members, or fellow Christians. The word “disciple” means “learner.” Therefore, we Christians should be helping people to learn not only what it takes to become an authentic Christian but also what it takes to live rightly as a Christian in this messed up world of the 21st century.

Second, experience has taught me that walking with the Lord is like walking down a road. Christianity really shouldn’t be thought of as either a sprint or a long jump. When it comes to spiritual matters, sprinting and long jumping tend to produce what Hebrews 5:12-14 describes as “babes in Christ” (as opposed to fully mature “adults in Christ”). How much better it is to slowly and methodically walk with the Lord down life’s road and let Him purposefully mold you into the person He wants you to be and use you in the ways in which He wants to use you.

So, thanks for taking the time to do some walking on The Disciple’s Road. Please feel free to browse around the site. You can use the “Search” engine to help you find something. Or you can click on the “Top Posts” for the posts that have been read the most that day. Or you can find posts related to your subject of interest by using the drop-down “Categories” box. Or, lastly, you can click on one of the tags in the “Tag Cloud” and find all the posts that include that tag. Then again, if you aren’t really looking for anything in particular, you can just start browsing through the posts from the top down and see if anything rings your bell.

If you do find a post that piques your interest and you would like to leave a comment, you have that option. I will read the comment and respond to it if I feel it requires a response. Just know that WordPress features a screening process that allows me to see your comment before it gets officially posted onto the site. Furthermore, I have the option of choosing not to allow the comment. With that said, though, I don’t consider myself the comment police and rarely refuse to allow a comment, even one left by someone who disagrees with what I’ve written.

One last thing, if you like the blog you can follow it by clicking on either the WordPress “Follow The Disciples Road” option or the “Follow Blog Via Email” option on the right side of the page. By doing this you will be notified whenever I post something new. But there’s definitely no pressure for you to do that. Rest assured that I’m not the type to live and die with how many followers I have. So, again, thanks for checking out the site, and may God use it to help you become the Christian disciple He wants you to be.

26 Responses to About the Author & the Blog

  1. Patrick Harty says:

    Hi Pastor Mckinney
    Thanks for writing the “10 testings bestowed on God” that you mentioned. Tried to count them myself when starting from Exodus to Deuteronomy but would lose count or simply forget until reading numbers 14:22. Then trying to back track to Exodus was not easy. Of course it is never for me or for anyone else to disagree about what God counted as a test but although a christian would have to wonder on what he regarded as a test. Just wondering on a human level…
    Test 1. Was a test to God as he showed them the wonders of his works in Egypt. Leaving Egypt was a completely new experience for them with Pharaoh hot on their heels. God gives them the benefit of the doubt here for their lack of faith in this instance.
    Tests 2, 3, 6 and 9 were where the grumblings were understandable as it would be difficult to be out in the wilderness eating bland food all the time. Water was a need not a luxury so the people concerns were understandable. Trying to discern between concern and complaining is difficult in these cases. Should these have been regarded as tests? Maybe and maybe not.
    The disobeying of the collection of Bread, the golden calf and not being faithful to the Spies report were certainly the 3 testings of God for which he rightly punishes the people.
    Like to hear your response and once again thank you for the article,
    God bless,

    • russellmckinney says:

      Thanks, Patrick. I would love to be able to say that I sat down and came up with my list myself, but I have to give credit where credit is due. I simply used a list that John MacArthur offered in his study bible in his notes for Numbers 14:22. All he gave was a simple list of the passages, and I based the post around that list. Thanks so much for reading!

  2. Beau says:

    The blog in relation to Drew Brees is a hard read to me. Being a white male may disqualify me from understanding the problems many of color face but my skin color does not disqualify me from reasonable thought. Seems to me that charity and hope have been placed on the back burner and replaced by hatred and contempt towards your fellow man. The only solution to the current social problems lies not in public reform or laws but with the in dwelling of the Holy Spirit in ones heart, only then can the heart be truly changed thus placing charity and hope back on the front burners. Fellow Christians do not be disheartened with current events but instead view today’s events as an opportunity to tell of our wonderful Savior and Lord which keeps us centered and safe. “Fear not” and “Be not afraid “ I believe appears 365 times in the Bible…..what a wonderful thought to have for each day of the year.

    • russellmckinney says:

      Thanks, Beau. Yes, the only way to truly fix racism — ALL racism, I might add, no matter where it is found — is the transforming power of the salvation offered in Jesus Christ. That is how Jesus set about to change the world, and many historians have noted that it was the spread of Christianity throughout the Roman empire that ultimately curtailed slavery in the empire. Basically, when a person’s heart gets truly changed, he or she won’t have to be told to stop being a racist. That’s why America still has a racism problem and will continue to have one. Our national train has been running on a track that leads us away from God for a long time now.

      • George says:

        Yes, it is a matter of the laws of God being written in our hearts.

      • russellmckinney says:

        Absolutely! Outward racist acts can be dealt with to some degree by way of human laws and legislation. But as for the inner motivations that prompt the outward acts, only the Lord can change those.

  3. Beau says:

    You are on point….amen!

  4. jmisera says:

    Do you have your site in podcast mode so it can be listened too?

    • russellmckinney says:

      Sorry, no I don’t. My friend Malcolm Woody and I used to do a podcast called “Christian Verses.” If you are interested in hearing any of those, they are archived on this site under the Categories heading “Christian Verses” podcast.

  5. C. Cole says:

    Your readings are both interesting and confusing. My pastor from Newark, OH led me to your blogs, after my question re: a statement he made on Sunday that people (sinners) do not go directly to hell after death. That statement left me wondering where are the followers of Jesus after death? (I’ve lost 4 family members (3 siblings) in the last 4 years). Some Christians & some I don’t know where their hearts were. My youngest brother was taken from us this last August and I know he was a believer. The thought of him waiting somewhere before going to Heaven left me sad.
    Your blog has helped me know he is in Heaven, but also left me with sooooo more questions.
    Thanks for your blogs.

    C Cole

    • russellmckinney says:

      I’m glad the blog has helped you, but I’m sorry to hear that it’s also confused you and left you with many questions. Most of all, I don’t know what I’ve written that might cause your pastor, you, or anyone else to think that I don’t believe that lost people go directly to hell after death. Just to be clear, I surely DO believe they go directly to hell. As for your youngest brother, if he was a saved believer he’s not waiting anywhere. He’s in heaven with Christ.

  6. Laura says:

    Hello Pastor McKinney! I stumbled on your blog while trying to find the answer to a wordpress question. I couldn’t help but wonder where you were pastoring- my maiden name is McKinney and my parents are both from Spruce Pine. They live in Texas now and my husband and I are missionaries in Manila, Philippines. I’m sure somewhere back in our family tree we are related. 🙂 Regardless, it looks like we are spiritually related. May God bless you in your ministry to a part of the U.S. that is near and dear to my heart.

    • russellmckinney says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Laura. I pastor Roan Mountain Baptist Church, which is located in Bakersville, NC. That’s about ten miles from Spruce Pine in the same county, Mitchell. My wife Tonya and I grew up in Bakersville but now live in Spruce Pine.

  7. Ron Owens says:

    Pastor McKinney, I’m grateful to have found your blog site for several reasons among them being that you live in Spruce Pine, NC. This takes me back many years (my wife and I are in our 80s) to when we ministered on several occasions at First Presbyterian during the days when many of the churches were pulling out of the PCUSA to form the PCA. Though we were Baptists they welcomed our choice of music and we ended up ministering a great deal in the new denomination. One of the other reasons I’m glad to have found your blog has to do with its name, The Disciples Road. This triggered a recall of a song we wrote years ago called The Journey

    Life is really but a journey made of days, weeks, months and years.
    Sometimes cloudy, sometimes cheery, happy moments, sometimes tears.
    But for those who trust in Jesus; matters not what brings the day,
    For He’s promised to be with us as we walk along the way.

    Like the travelers to Emmaus, so engrossed in how we feel;
    Thinking only of our problems we don’t recognize the real
    Living Christ who’s there beside us, every moment, every day.
    Faithful Shepherd there to guide us as we walk along the way.

    We are on a worship journey that begins with our “new birth.”
    It’s a journey that continues every day we’re here on earth.
    It’s a journey that will climax when we enter heaven’s gate,
    There with every tongue and nation we will join in perfect praise.

    When you think you’ve lost your bearing, and despair of getting home;
    Don’t forget, with Christ beside you, you will never walk alone.

    Press on, dear brother!

    Ron and Patricia Owens

    • russellmckinney says:

      Thank you so much, Ron. It’s good to hear from someone who knows where Mitchell county is (lol). And you’re right, we never walk alone.

  8. Leslie Guyton says:

    Hi Pastor … I just want to leave a comment about your blog posts. They are so insightful and greatly appreciated in the times we are living. It’s hard to stay focused with what’s going on in the world and we can be easily distracted. Taking our minds back to the Bible and teachings of Jesus through your posts helps me get back to center with God. And on days where there are no posts, going through your library helps too.

    So I just wanted to say thank you for the ministry you are providing through your posts. They are greatly appreciated. I wanted to send you a word of encouragement for your hard work, because sometimes even pastors need encouraging too!

    • russellmckinney says:

      Thank you so much, Leslie. Your kind comment has made my day. Yes, everybody needs encouragement from time to time.

  9. Dean Honeycutt says:

    Russell I really enjoyed reading your blog. very informative. I did not know you had one and it appears it has helped a lot of people.
    Pastor Dean Honeycutt

  10. Julie Anderson says:

    Hi Pastor McKinney,

    Thank you for all this great biblical info. It clarifies a lot.

    I have always believed in the rapture. It is September, 2021 and I’m beginning to suspect that our Christian Reformed Church denomination may be correct in that we go through the trubulation and into the millenial age without a rapture.

    What do you think?

    Thank you,

    Julie Anderson

    • russellmckinney says:

      Julie, if you haven’t read my post “7 Bible Reasons For a Pre-Tribulation Rapture,” let me encourage you to do so. In that post, I lay out my scriptural case why the Rapture will take place before the tribulation period. (By the way, much of the same material is covered in another post: “Will Christians Go Through the Tribulation Period?”) One reason I’ll mention right here is that there are plenty of New Testament passages that plainly teach that the early Christians were looking for Jesus Christ rather than the Antichrist.

      Coming at the issue another way, if 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 is describing a Rapture that is simultaneous with Christ’s Second Coming at the end of the tribulation period, it makes no sense that He would “catch up” the bodies of believers only to bring them immediately back down to the earth. Talk about a U-turn!

  11. Sheila Copeland says:

    Hi Pastor Mckinney
    I have Fibromyalgia and Lyme disease and belong to an online support group called Inspire. May I have permission to repost some of your devotionals in entirety on the site. I find there are so many hurting people on there who are in need of encouragement and hope that can only be found in the Lord.

  12. childofadonai7 says:

    Pastor McKinney, Thank you for providing a rich source of biblical truth! My mother taught me about Constantine, the pagan rituals and ties to the Christian Holidays at nine years old. It was eye opening. Most of my life I worshipped in a Protestant congregation. I have since come to study Torah with the Messianic Jewish community and understand the birth of Yeshua (Jesus our Messiah) likely happened around Feast of First Fruits. Again, thank you for your contributions here on your blog to many subjects, providing scripture or historic writings to support what you share. Kindest regards to you and your family.

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