Sally Michael joined Bethlehem Baptist Church in 1980 and began serving as a pastor’s wife when her husband David joined the staff in 1986. Over the years, Sally’s advice, wisdom, and counsel on parenting has benefited Bethlehem, culminating in her call in 1996 as Minister for Parenting and Children’s Discipleship. In 2005, the children’s and youth department merged and became the Family Discipleship Department where Sally served as Minister for Children for 16 years.
Sally’s ministry has been marked by a passion for developing God-centered resources for the spiritual development of children in the home and at church. These resources have been published by Children Desiring God and P&R Publishing. Presently, she is continuing her writing and is involved in ministry at College Park Church in Indianapolis, Indiana where her husband is the Pastor for Next Generations
Sally’s childhood years were spent in Virginia, Rhode Island, and Ecuador. She met David at Nyack College where she graduated in 1976 with a B.S. in Christian Education. Sally and David have two adult daughters. Amy is married and a mother of three children (Anna, Katie and Joshua). She and her husband, Gary, live in Louisville, Kentucky where he is finishing a Ph.D. in church history. Kristi is a midwife living in Indianapolis.
A word that accurately describes Jill Nelson is teacher. However, it was never her goal to be a teacher—or a curriculum writer. Jill was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN, and attended the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin-Superior, studying biology. During college, she married Bruce Nelson, the brother of a childhood friend. Her focus soon changed from a medical career to parenting with the arrival of their daughter, Sarah. Their son, Jacob, was born five years later. Jill began homeschooling in 1987, and continued in the role of teacher-mom until Jacob graduated from high school in 2005. During this time she grew to be a creative and effective teacher for her own children as well as for other children through a local homeschool co-op.
The Nelson family began attending Bethlehem Baptist Church in 1984, and Bruce and Jill were quickly recruited to serve in children’s ministries. Jill's desire to see children know, love and treasure God has led her to teach Sunday School for over 20 years. She developed a passion for God-centered children's curriculum, and grew concerned about the lack of good materials available for children’s ministry. In 1996, Jill teamed up with Sally Michael to start writing Sunday school curriculum for Bethlehem Baptist Church. Soon after that, the curriculum was published and made available to other individuals and churches through the ministry of Children Desiring God.
Bruce and Jill have two adult children. Sarah is married to Matt and is mother to David, with their second blessing due summer 2013. Jacob is engaged to Amanda and is busy planning a summer 2013 wedding. He is attending Minnesota State Community & Technical College, and is currently serving in the Army Reserves.