Minister Helen Ellis was born and raised in Newark, NJ. She attended Rutgers University in Newark. She's been married to husband Andrew for 23 years, and is the mother of 4 wonderful children. She conducted Christian ministry to women in jails and prisons presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ for more than 17 years in New Jersey and Connecticut. In addition, she has trained and equipped many women for this work. She has penned numerous articles published in the Christian online women’s magazine, “Ruby for women”. Her blog, firstname.lastname@example.org shares ‘gold nuggets’ from saints of old to edify and encourage Christians in their walk with God. Her novel, “The touch of the Master’s hand” will be available for release in the coming months. She and her husband currently reside in Orange County, California.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Newark, NJ, in the inner city. My family was poor, but as a child I didn't know that. We always had food, clothes and a roof over our heads. It wasn't until I went to college that I realized that everyone didn't live the way we did. I loved to read as a child, but I didn't recognize myself in most of the books I read. I wanted to relate to others through the lens of a person of color living in this society. I think that understanding diverse cultures and valuing that diversity is essential toward building a country where all people feel that they have a place at the table.
When did you first start writing?
I began writing as a young child, writing stories and short poems. I was probably 5 or 6 when I wrote my first story that was shared with my classmates. I can still remember how nervous I was standing to read with all eyes on me. I loved words and reading was my favorite pastime. Even at that young age, I knew that words had power: power to inspire, power to provide calm and power to propel to action.
In light of skyrocketing numbers of women incarcerated in the US, I explore ministering the gospel in the mission field of prisons. Based on more than 15 years of ministry in prisons, I share the nuts and bolts of conducting prison ministry to women. The gospel of Jesus Christ and the word of God, can address the deepest needs of human beings for significance, love and acceptance.