Rev. Dorothy Jane Ola was born September 13th to Hattie Mae Thomas in Providence, Rhode Island. Rev. Ola has been blessed with a wonderful family. She is the eldest of three siblings Mary Thomas and the late William (Joe) Watts; two wonderful Sons, Robert and Stephen, Daughter-In Law, Lynn, four Grandchildren, Robert, Kristen, Kayla and Joell and two Great-grandchildren, Zi’shonn and Julianna.
Rev. Ola is currently employed by the State of Rhode Island. She has worked for 35 years for the Department of Health, in the Licensing Office, where she enjoys working with and helping people who are preparing to enter various professions.
Rev. Ola became a member Bethel A.M.E. Church Providence in 1990. She received God’s call to the ministry in 2006 and entered the New England Conference A.M.E. Ministerial Institute in 2007. Rev. Ola was ordained Local Elder April 2014 at the 163rd Session of the New England Annual Conference. She attributes the A.M.E. Institute in affording her the opportunity not only enhance her learning of the church and God’s Word; but the chance to meet so many caring people that “seeded” into her life. Rev. Ola reflects in saying, “They have no idea how much they helped her and were truly a blessing from God!”
Every day on her ministerial journey Rev. Ola praises God for not only…all HE has done in her life, but also in the lives of her family and the Bethel Providence Church family. Rev. Ola has intentionally focused her ministry to be impactful in church and community. She is the Providence Area Chair of Evangelism, Chairperson of the Lucille Wooden Scholarship Committee, and Sunday School Primary Teacher. She has also held the position of Sunday School Superintendent, member of the Steward Board, the Organized Lay and Bethel Providence Senior Choir. In the community Rev. Ola is a Hospice Volunteer, a committee member on Governor Gina M. Raimondo’s Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force, Instrumental within the Faith Partners Organization, that focus on keeping children safe and off the streets. Lastly, Rev. Ola has been an important advocate in partnering Bethel A.M.E. Church Providence with The Everett Company Stage and School. This school of the arts creates innovative approaches to address bullying. This has allowed our YPD’ers to have open dialogue about bullying, as well as participate in role playing to understand the effects of bad behavior.
Rev. Ola’s passion is her love in being a vessel of God used to help others. Her favorite scripture is Matthew 11:28-30 which states, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Reverend Christy R. Nelson
Reverend Dorothy J. Ola
Favorite song: My Hope is Built
Born in New Bedford Massachusetts, Reverend Christy R. Nelson is the third eldest of 9 children born to the late Malkard Evans and Mary E. Evans. She has two adult Children, Chontell Nelson Washington and Elliott Nelson. She has two granddaughters, AlexisMarie and Cincere, and two grandsons, Kionno and CharlesJason, who bring joy to her life.
As an active member of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Providence, Rhode Island for over 30 years she has served as a Steward, Superintendent of the Church School, Director of the Board of Christian Education, Rebecca Johnston Women’s Missionary Society, YPD Director, Organized Lay Organization, Pastor’s Aide and New England Conference Women’s Missionary Worship Director.
Reverend Nelson is a graduate of Hope High School in Providence, Rhode Island, International Harvest Destiny Bible School in Somerset, Massachusetts and the New England Conference Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. She was ordained a Local Elder on April 22, 2012 by Bishop Richard Franklin Norris at Charles Street African Methodist Episcopal in Boston, Massachusetts.
Understanding her calling-- The Ministry of Helps, she remains loyal and available to her Pastor and church to minister and serve in the journey of winning souls for Jesus Christ.
Endeavoring to always keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace and walking humbly before God, Reverend Nelson has dedicated her life to His service.
Community service has always been a major part of life for Reverend Nelson. She has volunteered with other women of God at the Providence Center, encouraging and giving hope to women who thought there was no hope. She is a member of the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society and also a volunteer at the Urban League of Providence, Rhode Island, and always a faithful supporter of the John Hope Settlement House and the Codding Court/ West Side Community.
God continues to use her in ministry by officiating funerals and baptisms as well as allowing her to preach the gospel and teach Youth Bible Study where children come to learn, retain and enjoy their experiences at Bethel-Providence.
Philippians 3:12-14 is one of her many favorite scriptures:
“ Not that I have obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and Sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.