The Start of Edge
Edge Venture was founded after Mark Russell and Mike Dickson attended similar men’s experiential weekends out of state and found them to be profoundly spiritually impactful for both of them. They both had a vision from God to bring this level of transformational change that they experienced to men in their area churches and communities. With the help of other experienced pastors and men familiar with Men’s Christian experiential work, Mark and Mike planned a full weekend, designed for men desiring to grow deeper in their relationship with God, their families, and others.
Their vision was to provide a Holy Spirit-led men’s weekend experience that would go much deeper than just head knowledge. This would allow men to confront their brokenness, and reach down into their innermost being, where the grace of God and the redemption of the cross would be at the very center of the weekend. The growth of this ministry has spread well beyond Michigan, reaching men from eighteen different states and seven other countries. Iowa is currently conducting two Edge Venture experiential weekends a year.
To date, Edge Venture has had 2,265 men attend this life-changing weekend. Lord willing, the numbers will continue to grow, positively impacting churches, men’s lives, families, and the next generation..
Edge Board Members
Jeff was part of the original staff of the first weekend and has been a part of the Edge ministry ever since. He has been married for 40 years and lives with his wife in Canton, MI. He has one daughter who is a breast cancer survivor and one granddaughter.
Jeff grew up in an abusive home where he became withdrawn and depressed. With no guidance from home his life took a turn for several years. After receiving Christ as his Lord and Savior he began to work on himself. He met Mike Dickson, one of the co-founders at a church recovery group. “Mike saw my potential and continued to work with me, he saw something in me that no one else did,” Jeff said. He now uses his brokenness to help other men find their healing.
Keith has been a part of the Edge ministry since attending Edge 2 in April 2008 and became a member of the Board in 2019. He is married to Rosalind (Rusty) and lives in South Lyon, MI in what he describes as his dream home.
He is very proud of, and loves, his 3 children (and son-in-law and daughter-in-law) and step-son and adores his grandson. Keith grew up in a divorced home, had little involvement with his father, and lost his mother to cancer; these and other factors growing up deeply impacted his life.
He is passionate about furthering the Edge ministry as he credits God’s work during his weekend as the beginning of his path to healing and power and with all his heart he desires this same for other men, so they can live as authentic men of God, husbands, fathers, brothers, and friends.
After spending many years living an inconsistent lifestyle that did not honor God, Jeff attended Edge 33 in late 2015. Through Jeff''s Edge experience, he fought his giant and learned that he could put away the mask that he had hidden behind for decades. Jeff's Edge experience was a catalyst in finding a consistent walk with the Lord by understanding that he was fully known by God, and yet loved and accepted by Him. Since that first experience, Jeff has staffed numerous Edge Venture weekends and continues to be blessed by this ministry as a board member with a special focus on outreach and strategy. Jeff and his wife of 41 years (Jamie) live in Saginaw Township, Michigan. Jeff and Jamie are blessed with two grown and married children and are grandparents to 7.
Mark Russell, Co-Founder
Mark accepted the Lord as a young teen. He was brought up in a Christian home, but stumbled along in his walk. After a couple of life changing events, Mark attended an experiential weekend where he was able to identify and work through hurts and issues in his life.
As a result of these breakthroughs, he followed his calling for working with men and passion for God. He has worked with men’s groups in several capacities, including small group mentoring, leading and staffing men’s experiential weekends all over the US, and conducting men’s Christian workshops. Mark has been married for over forty years, has two adult children and has made Novi, MI his home town for over twenty years.
Michael Dickson, Co-Founder
Mike surrendered his life to Jesus in 1999. After living his first few years as a born-again Christian, lukewarm in his walk with The LORD, Mike began to actively seek God’s healing and spiritual growth. He participated in and led several Christian small groups and retreats and was an active servant-leader of men’s’ ministry in his home church — Solid Rock Bible Church, Plymouth, MI.
Mike went to be with the Lord on January 3, 2013 but left behind a legacy of changed lives, including his wife, Deb, his son Ryan, and his daughter Hannah.