Prison Ministry Ordination
My name is Elliott Nichols and I live in the United States. I have been blessed to be married to my beautiful wife Rosemary for 32 years. Together we have raised three children and have six grandchildren and one great-grandchild. I am called to a prison ministry ordination.
I retired from the military after twenty years of service. I have been on a lot of missions overseas, and have had many duties for the Navy. Since my retirement, God has led me into Prison Ministry. Now I am assigned to another mission. My full-time duty is to be in the service of and be an active, productive Soldier for the Lord on the battlefield of Prison Ministry.
I had a desire to be more prepared spiritually and intellectually to support those in prison. Christian Leaders Institute (CLI) has been highly integral in assisting me in my prison ministry ordination. The fact that I could have access to this superior quality Christian education for free is priceless. The quality of instructors and curriculum has been equal to any other prestigious theological school or seminary in the nation. The online curriculum has allowed me to complete this course in my own time even with a busy schedule.
I go into one prison and two jails in the San Diego, California area of the United States. When I go into the prison and jails, I get to see what God can do with a soul that desires and needs to be saved. They need someone to have enough love and compassion to walk with them as God works on them. I get to see what the Devil thought he had…be taken back. Jesus said in Mathew 25:36 that we should visit those who are imprisoned. We want to let them know that they are still loved and can be redeemed just like we can. Let them know that Jesus died and shed his blood for them. It is a humbling honor and privilege to be a witness to what the Lord can do with a broken soul.
Being ordained as a Chaplain is the culmination of my desire to be used by the Lord to go where I never thought I would go and to serve where I never thought I would serve. I initially thought I would bring those lost inmates Jesus. I found out quickly that Jesus is already there, has always been there, and He was preparing us mentally and spiritually to show up and do his work in that part of the vineyard. As I embark on my calling of being an Ordained Chaplain I am thoroughly cognizant of the awesome responsibility this entails. While knowing and understanding the seriousness of this responsibility of being ordained I unequivocally know it is God’s calling for me…and I am too scared not to answer the call.
The truth is I have been called to prison ministry ordination not because that is something I thought about doing. Not because I am so great and I needed to go to the prison to demonstrate that to others, brag about it and receive accolades. There are no cameras or phones recording my message in prison. No selfies are taken. As in most cases and with most people, it took a trial and tribulation that devastated me and overwhelmed my family and myself for the Lord to get my attention. Now I was not in charge. I did not have enough military rank, worldly or supernatural power. I was overwhelmed and driven to my knees. I had to call on the one who I was introduced to when I was young going to my grandmother’s church. I had to call on the name of JESUS to ask for help.
It took the incarceration of a family member to get me to call on the Lord like I never had before. The Lord told me in my spirit that He would watch out for my loved one but He called on me to do more for Him. Jesus paid it all and now he desired my payment of obedience. I can’t give Him anything else because He owns it all already. He made me aware of the fact that right in my area someone else has a son, a father, a grandson, a nephew, an uncle that is incarcerated just like my family. In alignment with Matthew 25:36 He wanted me to go see them. He wanted me to look them in the eye and say, “Jesus Loves You and there is nothing you could ever do to change that!” He wants me to encourage them like I would my own son. My favorite saying to them is, “Prayed Up, Head Up. Don’t walk around here like you don’t know Jesus!” It is the same thing I tell my son.
I am blessed immensely by the fact that my wife goes to the prison with me. Being involved in prison ministry has been cathartic for my wife and me. They look at her and see the compassion of a mother, sister, and aunt. When people ask me what going into the prison is like I say it is humbling. God is working miracles and changing hearts and minds in prison. He is building an army in prison and I am privileged to witness it.
In summary, this prison ministry ordination and indeed the whole CLI experience has provided me the requisite knowledge and foundation in the gospel of Jesus Christ. It enables me to be an excellent teacher, leader, and disciple maker in prison and where ever I go.
I humbly ask the CLI staff, students and anyone else reading my story to pray with me and for me. Pray that I take the gifts God has blessed me with and do his will and not mine. Pray that I always let him guide me. Pray that I always let his light shine in and through me. Pray that I always show love, always show compassion, always show forgiveness to others. Especially to those who are incarcerated and deemed unworthy of love by the outside world. My sincere blessings to you and yours.
Learn about Ordained Minister Study Programs at Christian Leaders Alliance.