Modeling Evangelism

by Marketing Services - Cedarville, OH

D.L. Moody once said, “Had it not been for the grace of God, there go I.” Kerry Nelson, a custodian at Cedarville University, would echo this sentiment. Burdened for those whose choices have landed them in jails or correctional facilities, Nelson is passionate about sharing the hope of the gospel and in so doing is an outstanding evangelist role model to the University family.

For approximately two years, Nelson—along with other men from Charity Baptist Church in Dayton—has been visiting the Adult Detention Center just west of Xenia. Every Tuesday night, Nelson and his group hold a service at the center. The service includes singing, possibly a testimony from an inmate who has received Christ, and preaching. The gospel is always shared, and an invitation is given for those in attendance to receive Christ as Savior. Nelson shares that through these services and the sharing of the gospel, the Lord is working on hearts!

Recently at the Adult Detention Center, 27 people came to the Tuesday evening service, and five men prayed to receive Jesus as their personal Savior. As they are able, some are even beginning to visit Charity Baptist Church, bringing their families with them.

Seeing men and women come to services with hearts open to the truth is what drives Nelson to go to the Adult Detention Center week after week. But, the ministry is not without its disappointments. Nelson shares that many times men say they will come to the services but never show up. Yet Nelson is committed to sharing the love of Christ with these men, understanding that God loves them and their families as much as He loves each of us.

While committing one night each week to go into facilities such as the Adult Detention Center is not feasible for every person, Nelson knows that every believer can get involved through prayer! That is why Nelson sends out regular e-mails to the Cedarville family, updating them on what has been happening and requesting their prayers. He knows that his ministry is only effective as believers pray. And he continues to encourage all of us to pray for this ministry and specifically the men at the Adult Detention Center whose lives so desperately need to be changed by the gospel. He shared, “Only time and eternity will ever reveal the work that ALL of us have done, whether it be praying, going, or just encouraging [me] to go on.”

To learn more about the ministry Nelson and his church have, contact him at