Russell Woods Church of Christ began as an idea of late Brother Ellis J. Bonner in the early 1960's. At the time, only five African American churches of Christ existed in the city of Detroit; Joseph Campau which met on the eastside, Westside, Conant Gardens which met on the northeast side, Ford Avenue which met near the Highland Park/Detroit boundary line and Cameron Avenue, which met about midtown. Taking into consideration the population shifts of African Americans in the late 1950's the northwest side of Detroit seemed ideal for an evangelistic mission. In 1962, under the guidance of Brother Alonzo Carter and the late Brethren Coy Burgess, Grandville Holt and Scott French, Brother Bonner assembled the first gathering of the Russell Woods congregation. About fifteen or twenty members met at the Fisher Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) located at the corner of West Grand Boulevard and Dexter Avenue.