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My Story of Redemption: Jessie Nickell

Series Intro: Christ Fellowship has just begun a new series on Sunday mornings walking through the book of Exodus. The story of Exodus is a beautiful story of redemption where God redeems a people from the pit of slavery and redeems them to a life of worship and mission. Over the next few months, we wanted to have members of Christ Fellowship share their story of redemption. We pray that you find these stories encouraging as you aim to live a life redeemed for worship.

1. Tell us briefly about yourself. 

I was once Jessie Morgan, but recently got married to Joel Nickell and now I am proudly Jessie Nickell. Joel and I both work for CFC and BCM through the NAMB Church Planting Internship. I graduated from WKU with an Elementary Education degree in May 2014.

2. How did you first come to trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? 

I started following Jesus when I was 9 years old. I had gone up to the front of the church thinking we were leaving after a VBS session in which our Pastor had clearly presented the Gospel through John 3:16-18. I was clearly mistaken when I made it to the front to see that instead I had accidentally walked up in declaration of wanting to make a commitment to Christ. I tried to quickly run away but my pastor would not let me. Instead, he held firm and said, "You may not want to be a Christian now, but why don’t you come to class to learn more about Jesus and baptism so that you can really give your life to Christ."

In October of 1999, I gave my life to the Christ I knew as a nine year old which was a Jesus who died on a cross to save me from my sins, he rose from the dead to not only conquer sin but also death. I was driven to action as much as a 9 year old could be by actively learning about missions in my church and serving our community. But as I grew, I sinned and repented and truly learned what it meant to be a wretched sinner saved by grace. Therefore, Jesus is Lord of my life, He affect everything not just some things. He isn't my friend or my teacher or my aqcauintace, He is Lord and I follow Him.

3. How has being a member of Christ Fellowship helped you grow in your love for Jesus?

Christ Fellowship loves Jesus and therefore, it makes you want to love Jesus too. And i think the more important thing is the great deal of humility CFC must have because of its church plant position and only being established for 5 years. There is a great awareness within the group of pastors and the church family that we are only happening because God saw fit for us to happen. Therefore, we are grateful and dependent for the love of Jesus and the power of God to sustain us.

4. How has being a member of Christ Fellowship increased your love for the church?

Being a member of Christ Fellowship is like being a part of a really close-knit family that is trying to grow but stay real. Therefore, my love for the church has grown because I have seen the great need to be genuine, consistent, and real in my time with church family members. In our covenant, it speaks of a desire to care for our families within the body and instills a desire to see CFC as a family/body that as Paul says cannot function without the specific gifts and functions of each body part. We are a family. We are a body. At the center of our family, our body, the pastors have made it very clear, that Christ is keeping us alive, nothing else, nothing more.

5. How has being a member of Christ Fellowship help you live on mission for Christ?

Christ Fellowship was planted to reach out to the housing authority community and the neighborhoods near those areas. You soon find out after being in Christ Fellowship that the only way you can serve within the church is in ways that will hopefully meet the needs of people in the community in order to build Gospel centered relationships.

Christ Fellowship has also taken a very organized, educational, and strategic approach on reaching materially poor people in the community by doing a Bible study called When Helping Hurts. This study and book helped me immensely to understand how I need to change my Western world mindset of helping those more materially needy than myself without forgetting that Jesus should reign in all of it.

When I turned 12 after hearing a missionary couple speak of their work in post Cold War Russia, I knew my life should be all for the Lord in telling the Nations of who He is and why He matters. However, I always thought I would do that when I left the country. Christ Fellowship has helped me embrace my cross knowing that I was called to lay down my life for the Gospel wherever even if that means moving into a housing authority neighborhood of Bowling Green, KY.