A weeklong celebration for the leaders of Faith Temple Holiness Church concludes today. Bishop Corth Nelson Sr., who was ordained as a bishop in 2007, is the founder and presiding prelate bishop over Faith Temple Holiness Church Ministry in Liberty and Long counties. His wife, Pastor Geraldine Nelson, is the co-founder and general mother/pastor.
Geraldine Nelson serves pastor of Faith Temple in Walthourville, and Corth Nelson is the pastor of Faith Temple Holiness Church in the Sandhill community. Faith Temple in Walthourville first was established as a mission in 1972, and Faith Temple in Sandhill first was organized as a mission in 1980.
“We are really two churches in one location,” Geraldine Nelson said.
Corth Nelson has been in the ministry for more than 40 years, and his wife has served in ministry since 1982. She became the pastor of Faith Temple Holiness in 2008.
“I love background work and was not interested in being out front, but the day came when I had to come forth,” Geraldine Nelson said. “I love to see people happy. When they are happy, I am happy. If I can help them, it makes me feel good, and I have a heart for the people. The people at Faith Temple are loving, caring, understanding and good people. They have a lot of care for us.
“When I am able to impart the truth of God’s word into the hearts of the people, I can see the results. I teach members about love and unity and how to treat people and visitors to the church.”
The pastor and her congregation are happy to welcome newcomers. “When visitors come to Faith Temple, they get joy from the choir and praise team. We have an awesome praise team and choir and our our music ministry department draws a lot of people. Just about everybody in the family can sing,” she said.
Geraldine Nelson said her husband’s ability to bring the news of God to others is renowned throughout the community.
“Bishop Nelson is one of the greatest teachers I know. Everybody enjoys his teaching. He speaks the truth seriously, yet in a manner that people enjoy. The people have honor and respect for him,” she said. “One of Bishop Nelson’s main focuses is unity, and he uses Psalm 133, ‘Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity,’ as his main scripture.”
The Nelsons’ vision is to do more outreach. Their motto is, “The church with a purpose and destined to prosper.”
“There have been several tragedies in the Sandhill community. When anything happens, my son (Pastor Corth Nelson Jr.) does whatever he can to reach the young people. His heart is for the community and he has held prayer vigils and other outreach efforts,” Geraldine Nelson said.
The couple gives credit to Bishop Moses Lewis, presiding bishop of the Church of Christ Holiness unto the Lord, and Bishop Ernest Kelly for serving as spiritual leaders in their lives. Corth Nelson also recognizes his wife’s role in the ministry and, likewise, Geraldine Nelson acknowledges her husband’s influence on her ministry.
Corth Nelson’s advice to pastors and ministers is taken from 2 Chronicles 26:5: “As long as you seek the Lord, God will cause you to prosper.”
In the words of 1 Corinthians 15:58, Pastor Nelson advises people to be “steadfast, unmovable and always abounding in the work of the Lord.”
The Nelsons attended American Bible College in Florida and the Milton Solomon Bennett Bible School.
In September, the Nelsons will celebrate their 46th anniversary. They have four children, 19 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Three of their children also are ministers.
“I love to cook and feed people, and people enjoy my sweet potato bread. I enjoy sewing but don’t have time,” said Geraldine Nelson, who also admits she loves to shop and make her husband look good.
Faith Temple Holiness Church is at 5170 W. Oglethorpe Highway in Walthourville.