In addition to holding down a full time job, Ted Nellis is a licensed minister, author, speaker and ministry leader. He is also a husband, father and grandfather with a past as colorful as a Fall landscape.
“Ted is a trophy of God’s grace.” Pastor Ken Miles
Ted Nellis was baptized at the age of forty and felt compelled to be active in his faith almost immediately. He spent his first Christmas as a Christian helping to prepare and serve a turkey dinner for troubled and homeless teens at a shelter in Kitchener, Ont. Ted began working with marginalized individuals on a regular basis as a volunteer, shift leader, shift supervisor and part time employee of Ray of Hope in Kitchener, Ont. for several years.
Throughout most of his forties Ted, along with his wife Janet, ministered in the areas of outreach and evangelism in the Kitchener, Waterloo area. Ted was the director of Urban Missionaries and Isaiah 58 Ministries, both small, non-profit organizations which ministered to homeless individuals as well as gang members, drug addicts, prostitutes, teenage moms, etc., in a number of practical ways.
Food and clothing were provided and distributed weekly to those in need as well as bibles and other scriptural material. Turkeys were provided for single moms at Thanksgiving and Christmas and care packages filled with toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, etc. were provided throughout the year. On one occasion, care packages were given to all of the men in the Teen Challenge program in Lambeth, Ont. at Christmas. Ted has worked with and counseled several individuals who were going through the Teen Challenge program and helped to re-locate and find employment for a couple of the graduates of Teen Challenge.
Evangelism, as well, has been an area of keen interest to Ted from his earliest days as a Christian. Ted feels that every Christian should make evangelism, learning how to share one’s faith, a top priority and an area of deliberate, intentional study. Ted is a graduate of Ray Comfort’s School of Biblical Evangelism and has been applying it’s principles in his own evangelistic endeavors, both in one to one sharing of the gospel and in open air preaching for the past ten years.
Ted hosted his own live radio show for a year on a local Christian radio station, FaithFM 94.3 in Kitchener and often shared with his listeners his own experiences of sharing his faith with strangers, including almost being arrested by an undercover policewoman whom Ted thought was a prostitute! Ted has taken part in several evangelism “boot camps” and seminars, including one with Ray Comfort and actor Kirk Cameron and highly recommends them for any Christian who desires to learn how to share their faith biblically, the way Jesus did.
Over the years Ted has been invited to share his testimony dozens of times in churches, on radio, and most recently, in high school and always welcomes the opportunity to do so. Whether speaking to a general audience, youth, or to a men’s group, Ted can easily engage and relate to all audiences, young and old, saved and unsaved, faith and non-faith based, due in part to his wide and varied life experiences.Ted has lived life on “both sides of the track,” so to speak and brings a lot to the table when sharing about his life.
Ted owned and operated a successful janitorial business for twenty-five years. He is also a convicted bank robber, pool room hustler and street kid. Ted knows the struggle of living life with a hangover and did so for two decades. He quit drinking “cold turkey” when he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and has been wonderfully sober for the past fourteen years. Feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, self-worth issues, depression and guilt haunted Ted for years and he understands, first-hand, the paralyzing, debilitating grip such negative emotions can have on an individual.
Ted stepped down from ministry leadership in his late forties in order to have a season of quiet time with his wife, Janet and to seek God for further direction in his life. It was in his quiet time with God that Ted’s autobiography, “Journey to Redemption,” began to take shape and after much prayer and consideration, the task of writing the book began, very slowly, but began nonetheless. It was while working on his book that Ted discovered a genuine love for writing and a new ministry, as an author, was born.
Although possessing only a grade eight education, Ted speaks, writes and articulates as one with a much higher level of learning. A very serious bible student, Ted considers his time spent reading and studying scripture on a daily basis to be the most important part of his day. Ted has never attended bible college, yet holds credentials with O.D.E.C. Ministerial, Open Door Evangelistic Church and today is a licensed lay minister.
Ted’s passion and love for his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is contagious. He can be found either reading about Jesus, writing about Jesus or sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with those around him. Ted Nellis currently lives in Kitchener, Ontario with his wife Janet. They have five grown children and two grandchildren.