Russell Grigg was born in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1927. He received his schooling and university education in that country. He studied chemistry at Victoria University College, Wellington (now known as Victoria University of Wellington), graduating in 1948. He then worked for a number of years as an industrial chemist and then as a manager in the paint manufacturing industry in Wellington and Christchurch.
After theological studies at the New Zealand Bible Training Institute (later known as the Bible College of New Zealand, and now as Laidlaw College), he joined the Overseas Missionary Fellowship in 1959. He served for 12 years, heading up OMF’s publishing program in Jakarta, Indonesia. Here he met and married Miss Merle Cornelius, another member of OMF, from Adelaide, Australia. Merle went to be with the Lord in January 2009. Russell has three adult children and nine grandchildren.
In 1971, the family settled in Adelaide and Russell worked for 10 years with Rigby Ltd., an Australian publishing company, rising to be one of the Senior Editors. Here he wrote two books, Australian Trains and Death in the Family: What to Do, both published by Rigby Ltd.
In 1982, Russell rejoined OMF and served on the home staff for eight years. He was State Director for South Australia.
During the 1980s, Russell became aware of a new magazine called Creation Ex Nihilo that was published by Creation Science Foundation (now Creation Ministries International) in Brisbane. The first few editions had been written by an Adelaide doctor, Carl Wieland, and turned out by him on the photocopier in his surgery. When Carl called a few friends together to form a local committee in Adelaide, Russell went along. With his science background, and several years experience in arranging meetings for missionary speakers, showing films, and selling books in local churches, he felt he might have something to contribute.
In the next few years, the Creation Science Foundation grew into a large organization, with headquarters, offices and bookroom at Acacia Ridge in Brisbane, and support groups in each State. The latter arranged meetings for CSF’s highly qualified speakers in churches throughout Australia, as well as debates and other public meetings in universities, Bible Colleges, and schools.
In 1988, when Dr Duane Gish came from the USA to speak in Australia, Russell and Peter Sparrow, the Adelaide CSF representative (of Creation Bus fame), tried to arrange a debate with one of the university biology professors or lecturers. However, no one at either Adelaide University or Flinders University was willing to accept the challenge. Clearly the evolutionists in these universities did not want Dr Gish to be heard by the students on either campus.
What to do? Russell came up with the idea of organizing a ‘Clayton’s Debate’ (the debate you have when you are not having a debate) in which Dr Gish would be the sole speaker. In the first hour, he would present ‘The Scientific Evidence for Creation’, and then for another hour he would give and refute ‘The Alleged Evidence for Evolution’ based on the arguments that scores of evolutionary scientists, including such well-known personalities as Dr Isaac Asimov and Dr Stanley Miller, had used in over 200 debates with him in USA, Canada, England, India, New Zealand, and other countries.
A meeting was advertised along these lines. Posters and leaflets were prepared, with a range of different cartoons on each to catch people’s attention. Members of Students for Christ enthusiastically supported the idea and put up the posters all round the campus, as well as keeping a daily supply of hundreds of pamphlets explaining the circumstances on the counter and tables in the cafeteria for students to read while they were eating their lunch. When the time came, a large number of people comfortably filled the lecture room, which was probably more than would have attended had a more orthodox debate been held!
Since 1990, Russell has lived in Brisbane, where he is a staff member of Creation Ministries International. He writes scientific and theological articles for Creation magazine, edits articles and books written by others, and reviews books and videos on creation topics submitted to CMI from overseas.
M.Sc. (Hons.) — Chemistry