For a full year the ACV community prayed for God’s leading in searching for a new music minister for the Village Church. Those prayers were answered, as Traci Nissley accepted the call to this position of ministry; her first Sunday was June 4.
Traci has a history with ACV. Her mother is Dowling Park resident and Village Church member Nancy Cornell. Traci’s grandparents Alvin Lee and Mary Bishop also lived in Dowling Park. Traci has fond memories of visiting her grandparents and “all of the other grandparents” who lived around them. The Bishops managed ACV’s Twice Nice Shop in the 70s and 80s, and Traci remembers hanging out at the Village Square, buying blocks of cheese at the Cracker Barrel (now the Village Grocer) and eating at the Merry Morsel Café (now the Village Café).
Traci grew up in Georgia and fell in love with music at an early age. Before she was tall enough to play the organ, she would wedge herself between the bench and the organ with one leg while she played the pedals with her other. The organ teacher didn’t normally teach children, but when she saw how determined Traci was to play, she agreed. Traci was eight years old when she began organ lessons. Her teacher switched her to piano at age 11 so she could learn technique. She became a church accompanist at age 13. She can now play 27 instruments, including beginner bagpipes, and she can play the French horn and accompany herself on the piano at the same time.
Traci attended Toccoa Falls College, from which she graduated with a degree in church music. While there, she was involved in soccer, choir, and band, which landed her on the college bus quite often. The college’s bus driver, Kevin Nissley, took special notice of Traci, and the two dated while Traci was in school. Kevin was a Toccoa graduate and he also worked as the college’s sound technician. Traci graduated in December 1998, and she and Kevin married six months later.
The Nissleys remained in Toccoa another five years, during which their first son, Eli, was born. In 2005, the family moved to Wake Forest, NC, so Traci could attend Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, where she earned her master’s in church music. While there, their second son, Benson, was born. From there, the family moved to the Outer Banks of North Carolina where Traci became the music director of Mt. Olivet UMC on Roanoke Island. It was there that daughter Sierra was born in 2009.
Following seven years of service at Mt. Olivet, the family moved to Georgia where Kevin worked as a sound engineer for AAVC at Stone Mountain State Park. In 2014, AAVC transferred Kevin to Tampa, Florida, and the family moved to Tarpon Springs, where Traci took a music director position at First United Methodist Church. It is from there that the family felt called to Dowling Park.
Traci believes God used their family in each church they’ve worked in during times of transition. They’ve been praying for a long time for God to place them in a settled environment, so they’re very happy to be at Advent Christian Village.
We are pleased to welcome Traci and her family to Dowling Park and look forward to many years of ministry together.