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FAITH THAT WORKS: Pastor Michael & Dr. Barbara Nelson

Anchored in Him and Serving with Love

“We answered the call to the ministry 30 years ago, and never looked back,” Pastor Michael states. “The Lord called us to pastoral ministry, and we said, ‘yes’ to the call.”

VBD Magazine sat down with Pastor Michael and Dr. Barbara to discuss the work being done by their ministries, the keys to a successful marriage, and how to resolve conflict in a marriage. It was wonderful to get golden nuggets from this dynamic couple who are a blessing to so many.


In many congregations, husbands and wives work together in ministry, and this holds true for Pastor Michael and Dr. Barbara.

“We love working together and one of the activities that we really enjoy doing is ministry,” Dr. Barbara tells us. “We have several ministries—prison, marriage, and restoration, to name some.”

The couple serves people from all walks of life, but are passionate about those who are homeless, incarcerated, hospitalized, and survivors of domestic violence. “They have a special place in our hearts,” Pastor Michael mentions.

Pastor Michael and Dr. Barbara’s calling has become a way of life, so they have been laboring to bring their mission to fruition.

SIFRR sails under the banner, “What you make happen for others is a benefit for us all!” The mission of SIFRR is to serve the community through mentorship programs, job training, job referrals, and assistance with food, clothing, and housing. SIFRR was presented with the Religious Service award during the Texas Governor’s 2017 Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award program.

“We got to where we are today by trusting in the Lord, applying the Word of God in our lives, and just being instruments of the Lord,” Dr. Barbara states. “This has led many individuals to accept the Lord as their personal Savior. The Word says, He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. God will keep His Word. He has truly rewarded us to get to where we are today.”

The Lord entrusted Pastor Michael and Dr. Barbara with the SORD Church to make disciples by equipping them with Word of God and aligning them with an accountability plan for the Glory of God. Also, the SORD Church provides marriage seminars for couples via Zoom and now in-person.

In addition, they operate Standing In Faith - Restoration & Re-entry which is dedicated to helping lost and struggling people find their path. This non-profit is a resource for in-house computer and resume training, connecting for job and life skills training, halfway houses, transitional housing, pantries, work source solutions, and assistance with clothing.

Throughout the pandemic, the couple have had to modify the way they operate their ministries by using online meetings and limiting in-person interactions. However, under their strong leadership and guidance, their ministries have continued to contribute to the well-being of the underserved.


Pastor Michael and Dr. Barbara have been married for 32+ years. Their number one piece of advice for a successful marriage is for couples to “communicate with each other.” They were also willing to give helpful and practical pointers for couples preparing for marriage:

  • Have conversations about household responsibilities like cooking, house cleaning, washing laundry, taking out the trash, and so on.

  • Talk about your work schedule and see how best you can manage your time.

  • Decide who is the best person to handle your finances.


Religion qualifies as one of the important topics to discuss before marriage. As Christians, we know that applying biblical principles to marriage will give us a strong foundation. To get off on the right foot, discuss your religious beliefs on marriage and the role that religion will play in your marriage.

Here is Pastor Michael and Dr. Barbara’s biblical view of marriage:

We believe marriage is an institution designed by God. We believe the Bible teaches that the covenant of marriage is sacred and lifelong. The Bible makes it clear that marriage is a legally binding public declaration of commitment between one man and one woman, never between the same sex.

We believe God established a wife to a husband and a husband to a wife, and they are to receive one another as God’s unique and personal provision to help meet their mutual needs.

We believe God has charged each husband to fulfill the responsibility of being the ‘head’ (servant leader) of his wife.

We believe a husband is to seek after and highly regard his wife’s opinion and counsel and treat her as the equal partner she is in Christ.”


To deal with conflict in a relationship, here are the couple’s suggestions:

  • Pray about the conflict.

  • Set a specific time to discuss the conflict.

  • Go into the discussion with a positive attitude and an open mind, to seek a solution.

  • If the conflict cannot be resolved between the two of you, then seek a God-fearing mediator.


The anthology project, Blessed Not Broken; The Power of Transformation, created the avenue for Dr. Barbara to become an author.

“I was inspired by the Word of God on forgiveness. I was carrying a load for years. With my husband’s help, directing me to the Word of God on forgiveness, that allowed me to tell my story in the anthology. I have never been the same since. To God be the glory for all that He has done.”


Dr. Barbara Nelson is a wife, mother, grandmother, God-mother, and spiritual mother. She is the Founder of Standing In Faith – Restoration & Re-Entry. She also Co-Pastors The SORD Church alongside her husband, Pastor Michael. She has been serving in ministry and community outreach for over 30 years. With her ongoing quest to give, she has been able to promote significant, positive change in communities and individuals through advocacy, empowered by compassion. She takes pride in engaging in a civically based approach to community building as she is committed to a life-long service based on personal and professional experiences.

In addition to her educational achievements, Dr. Barbara is a licensed and ordained pastor. She has been honored on several platforms for her corporate leadership and her leadership in Standing in Faith – Restoration & Re-Entry. She was honored at the National and Independent Gospel Music Association ‘Ladies of Virtue Tea’ with the collaboration with The Rhythm of Gospel Music Awards for outstanding work in communities, churches, and social organizations.

Dr. Nelson has also been featured as a contributor for the monthly prayer for Epitome Magazine. She has made Television Community Announcement appearances on the Great Day Houston Program, Houston Community College HTV Networks and made Radio Community Announcement Appearances on Houston KKHT FM 100.7 Radio, Tuesday’s CALLED TO INSPIRE with Dr. Sylvia and Houston Media Source and GOT V.O.I.C.E - Victorious Outcomes in Christ Empowerment Broadcast. Dr. Nelson has also been selected as one of the Top Most Inspiring Women which will be featured in the upcoming CALLED 2 INSPIRE International Magazine’s Inaugural Edition.

Following her chapter, “From Rape to Restoration,’ in the anthology project, Blessed Not Broken; The Power of Transformation, Dr. Nelson will be releasing a new book soon. Stay Tuned!

Pastor Michael Nelson is an honored graduate of Commonwealth College of Funeral Services. He has served in the funeral industry for over 30 years.

He is married to his lovely wife Dr. Barbara Nelson for 32 years. They have 2 children, 2 grandchildren, and are Godparents of 5. Pastor Michael has a heart of compassion for those whose loved ones have gone on before us, the homeless and those who have been incarcerated. He has formed an Overcomer’s Coalition for men released from prison. The Overcomer’s Coalition currently members are arms in helping others that have been incarcerated - that only those that have set in their shoes can comfortably give the Godly and sound advice needed. It has truly been a blessing for the men to get together. The Overcomer’s Coalition support group is truly a blessing for the men to come together and see each other online. Just to see the men’s eyes light up when they can now see someone that they have spent time within the prison system. To God Be the Glory for ALL that He has done! The Coalition serves those nationwide.

Pastor Michael is a Co-Founder of Standing In Faith Ministries, Inc. along with his wife. This is a ministry of restoration with a mission to restore individuals back to God, the community, and ultimately to the nation. In addition, he and his wife Co-Pastors The Soldiers Outwardly Restoring Discipleship (SORD) Church.

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