|Pastor Richard Nelson was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. He is one of eight
children born to James and Barbara Nelson. Pastor Nelson graduated from John
Marshall High School, attended Malcolm X College, and Moody Bible Institute. He
earned a Master of Theological Studies and a Doctor of Ministry Degree from
McCormick Theological Seminary.
He confessed Christ as his personal Savior in 1969. He accepted his call into the Gospel
Ministry in 1975, and was ordained at the Garden of Prayer Baptist Church in 1982. In
June 1984, he became the Pastor of the Greater Open Door Baptist Church where he
continues to preach the Gospel and provide stable leadership.
As pastor, he has birthed twelve preachers into the ministry, trained seven new deacons,
reorganized the church office procedures, restructured the Christian Education
Department, instituted the Junior Church Ministry, and introduced a Math & Science
Program in collaboration with Presbyterian St. Luke's Hospital. Most recently, the
formation of our multifaceted Youth Ministry was introduced.
Pastor Nelson is highly requested to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He has shared
his gifts in London, England, Istanbul, Turkey and Kingston, Jamaica and just about
every state in the union. He continues to conduct week-long revivals, retreats, and
has been the featured speaker for Presbyterian St. Luke's Hospital, Cook County Jail, and
the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center. In addition to his preaching ministry,
he is a respected teacher, pastoral counselor, and spiritual leader.
As a result of his involvement and commitment, Pastor Nelson has received numerous
awards and recognitions. To name a few, he is the recipient of the Rev. Dr. Shelvin
Jerome Hall Leadership Award, One Church One Child Foster Care Award, The Seventh
Congressional District of Illinois Leadership Award, Baptist General State Convention
Achievement Award, and the Lawndale Builders Award.
He currently serves the following organizations:
- State of Illinois B One Family One Child
- City of Chicago Fireman's Advisory Board
- Institutional Review Board, Mt. Sinai Hospital
- St. Anthony Hospital – Mission and Community Review Board
- Treasurer, New Westside Federation
- African American Leadership Partnership
- National Baptist B Congress of Christian Education
- Baptist General State Convention
- Breaking Ground Ministries
Pastor Nelson has been married to Alice Cassell for over 30 years. They have three
sons, Richard Jr., David and Johnathan, one daughter, Delena.
A Psalm 34:1-3 continues to be his theme: I will bless the Lord at all times, his praise
shall continually be in my mouth, my soul shall make its boast in the Lord the humble
shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt his name