Nelson Silva came to the US in 1999 from Venezuela to further his studies in business and ministry. He decided instead to focus on completing an MA degree in youth ministry after experiencing the joy of serving the young in the context of a new culture. In 2003, Nelson became a bi-vocational youth worker, both as a volunteer youth pastor and as a bilingual Home and School Advisor in the public school system in Indianapolis, Indiana. While in the public school system, he counseled inner city youth, their parents, and served a liaison between 17 schools and immigrant families providing cultural support to families and school personnel. Nelson also collaborated in the creation of after school programs to target inner city youth development and discipleship. During this time, Nelson and April married becoming partners in ministry. April served as a bilingual assistant for newcomers to the United States in one of the Indianapolis high schools. Simultaneously, the couple were instrumental in the creation of Hispanic youth ministry in the state of Indiana as well as in the Indianapolis leading church.
In 2013, Nelson completed a Doctor of Ministry in Youth, Families, and Culture which allowed him to delve deeper into inner-city ministry in the context of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s mission in public schools. As a Doctor of Ministry candidate, he created the Development, Discipleship, and Mission in Community (DDMC) model in collaboration with Brown Chapel Missions, the combined mission projects of two English speaking churches, and Indianapolis Public Schools. The DDMC model was applied as an after school program in 2010, which provided mission to the churches involved and social capital to the students and volunteers.
As a result of the after school ministry, Indiana Conference asked Nelson to plant a church near the ministry area and later to serve as a district pastor in Marion, Indiana. Nelson currently serves as the Associate Youth Director for Young Adults, Public Campuses, and Hispanic Youth Ministries in the Kentucky-Tennessee Conference. He enjoys running, hiking, reading, and playing the guitar and cuatro.