Nelson married his wife, Cheryl, in 1981, and they now have four children and six grandchildren. For 13 years, Nelson worked as an Instructor and athletic director for Rincon Valley Christian School in Santa Rosa, California. He also ministered at Santa Rosa Bible Church as the high school youth pastor for four years. In 1992, the board of Frontier School of the Bible asked Nelson to become president of the school. He accepted, and he and Cheryl joined the faculty of Frontier School of the Bible.
Besides fulfilling the duties of the president, Nelson also teaches several classes, and he coordinates the student camping teams. These teams minister at Christian camps throughout the western United States during the summer.
Apart from his ministry at Frontier, Nelson also serves as the youth pastor of LaGrange Bible Church.