As far back as he can remember Pastor Nelson Grist’s goal was to be a football coach. Originally from East Point, Ga, he went to North Carolina State on a football scholarship as a free safety and a punter and eventually ended up receiving a track scholarship instead as a 7 foot high jumper. A former assistant football coach at Point South Jr. High, Stockbridge High, McIntosh High and Landmark Christian, as well as a Head Track Coach, his career spanned 15 years.
In 2010, Pastor Grist volunteered at Faith Christian Academy as Head Coach leading the team to the State Championship and voted Griffin, Spalding Coach of the Year. Pastor Nelson as he is affectionately known, felt a call to trade in his coaching whistle in order to proclaim the gospel, transferring the same energy and excitement from the field to the worship service. Pastor Nelson holds a Bachelor of Science in Education, Bachelor of Arts in Bible, and a Master of Ministry.
There are a lot of similarities, Pastor Nelson said, when comparing coaching with pastoring. Our goal as a church is to work as a team to reach people for Christ and make them disciples; he added. Our goal as a team is to prepare individuals to work together to be successful as one unit.
Pastor Nelson was called to pastor in 2000 and served at First Baptist Orchard Hill from May 2008 to his retirement in June 2019. He knew retirement was not in his calling and he was called to Rocky Creek in August 2020. He also enjoys working at Club Fitness in Griffin.
Pastor Nelson is very adamant that you cannot be all God wants you to be unless you are Spiritually fit, Emotionally fit, and Physically fit and all 3 areas influences the health of the others. He and his wife Kim have been married for 39 years and have three sons. Along with being a wife and mother, Kim is also an award winning Christian, historical, fiction author.