Ron Ellison grew up in a Christian family in Decatur, AL. Ron received Christ at the age of 7 and continued to seek God in all His ways. Ron desired to be a successful electrical engineer. He pursued a BSEE degree at Auburn University. During his junior year, his sister invited him to join her on a mission trip to Maui with four teenagers. Ron met Will Lohnes in California in 1966 when he left their mission car at Will’s parent’s home. God used this mission trip to get Ron involved in serving with young people and to experience how rewarding it could be to share his faith with children as well as their parents. After graduation he had 2 years of active duty in the US Army with the second year in Vietnam. God used that year to help Ron realize “life is but a vapor” (James 4:14) and he must make the most of each day. He got involved in serving at his local church and this experience convinced him that God was directing him to work fulltime with young people as well as adults, so that's what he pursued. A verse God gave Ron at that time was Psalm 37:4. “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” After he received a degree in Christian Ministries he spent 30 years in Christian Education and Church Ministry. During some of those years he worked at a Christian camp in North Carolina in the summers where he reconnected with Will Lohnes. Those were good years as they ministered together at this camp.
During his time of pursuing his second degree he met his first wife, Linda, and they married in 1971. God blessed them over the years with three sons, one a Navy pilot and two high school teachers. Linda was diagnosed with cancer in 1997. It was a difficult time for the family, but also a growing time in their lives as they trusted God to meet their needs. Seven years later she lost her life to cancer and passed away in 2004. In 2005, Ron went to California to visit his family. Ron got involved in working at Saddleback Church and met his present wife Kari in a small group Bible study. They were married in May 2009. In 2014 Ron and Kari moved back to South Carolina to his home there. They came back unaware of Hope Chapel, but knew God was leading them back to South Carolina even though all their family lived in California. What a blessing it has been for them to have found Hope Chapel and to reunite with Will Lohnes, a friend over 50 years, and to be a part of this ministry. Ron has served 2 years as an Elder at Hope Chapel with mission ministries oversight. He looks forward to spending the rest of his life serving at Hope Chapel, Lord willing. Ron and Kari both have the gift of exhortation which involves coming alongside and encouraging others. Hope Chapel has given them many opportunities to use this gift.