New Disability Ministry Coordinator Hired
By Rev. Ryan Nelson, Disability Ministry Coordinator | 10 Nov 2023
After much prayer and many interviews with many excellent candidates, Nazarene Discipleship International welcomes Rev. Ryan Nelson as our new disability ministry coordinator! This new five-year position, fully funded by a generous gift from the Lilly Endowment, will bless local Nazarene churches with resources and training for this greatly needed ministry to families and their children who struggle with disabilities.
It is our privilege to bring you this greeting from Ryan Nelson.
What an honor it is to serve the Lord and the Church of the Nazarene! My wife likes to tell people that I was born on a church pew, but in reality, I was born in a Methodist hospital. All joking aside, I was blessed to grow up in the Church of the Nazarene. I come from a multi-generation Nazarene family. I received the call to ministry at age 18 at Camp Arrowhead in Cleburne, Texas (West Texas District). It was at Camp Arrowhead that I had my salvation experience at age 7, in the old chapel, and my sanctification experience 10 years later at age 17. Camp Arrowhead holds a special place in my heart!
My wife, Serina, and I will have been lead co-pastors in the Church of the Nazarene for 10 years in 2024. We began our ministry journey as youth pastors, what feels like forever ago. We served as co-youth pastors for seven years at North Beacon Church of the Nazarene. Our last year of youth ministry was also a year of interim work after our pastor retired. Following the year of interim work, we were hired as lead co-pastors at North Beacon. In 2018, we were called to Church Street Church of the Nazarene in Carlsbad, New Mexico. We moved to Carlsbad on January 1, 2019, and God has been faithful! Our daughter, Marley, was also born in 2019.
Serina and I knew we would need to be bi-vocational when we started out in ministry. Both of us received degrees outside of ministry to help us find jobs. Serina received a degree in biotechnology, and I received my degree in special education. We have many years of bi-vocational experience. Serina is not only an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene but also a certified crime scene investigator – a job that she continues to do. I am also an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene. My background is in the field of education, where I worked for 11 years, specializing in special education. While I am not currently teaching, I do hold current teaching certificates for the state of Texas and the state of New Mexico.
I am excited to participate in what God is doing to reach individuals with disabilities. I pray that we are able to generate awareness, resources, and trainings to equip leaders and churches to reach this important population within our communities. I understand that not every leader or church can do everything, but it is my belief that we can all do something. I ask that you pray for the disability ministry team as we work to make the gospel more accessible for all.
In his service,
Rev. Ryan Nelson