Skills and Specialty:
1989 - present: Certified by the North Carolina State Bar as a Specialist in North Carolina Family Law;
2001: Certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy as a Board Certified Civil Trial Advocate;
1999: Completed course in Motor Vehicle Collision Reconstruction, Texas Engineering Extension Service, Texas A & M University.
I was born in Gastonia, North Carolina in 1950 to Herbert Reece Kelso (1928-2008), and Becky Hope Kelso. I was their only child. As a child, I spent a lot of time driving midget race cars and working in my dad's garage, particularly on Volkswagens. In fact, while in high school, my dad and I built a Volkswagen that we took from a junk yard. It had red metal flake paint and a sun roof. It was my pride and joy and got me back and forth to college. While in high school, I played football for four years and was selected for North Carolina Boys State. My parents encouraged me to go to college, so in 1969 I entered Erskine College in Due West, South Carolina. After obtaining a degree in history, I attended the University of South Carolina School of Law and obtained a law degree in 1975. I returned to Gastonia, North Carolina to practice law. In the early part of my career, I practiced real estate law, helping couples to purchase homes. In 1978, I opened my own office and became more of a courtroom attorney. I tried civil cases and criminal cases. In all, I have tried more than 100 jury trials in my career. Although I had always attended church, in 2000 I became involved in a Disciple Bible Study Class at River Hills Community Church. During my second year in the Bible study, I answered God's call to enter seminary in 2003. At first, I felt I would become a pastor, but later, it became apparent to me that God had another plan for me. So, after graduating from seminary in 2006 with masters degrees in divinity and Christian counseling, I returned to the practice of law. I joined the Christian Legal Society, and since returning to law practice, I have tried to conduct my practice as a ministry to the people that we serve. In June 2009, I founded the Christian Family Law Association, Inc., a nonprofit organization of attorneys and legal service providers who make the decision to view their family law practices as a ministry. See, www.christianfamilylawassociation.org. Our goal is to equip family law attorneys to view their family law practices as a ministry. My wife, Debra, also went to seminary and obtained a masters degree in theological studies. She works with me in the practice of law, as a paralegal, and with the Christian Family Law Association. Together, we have five children and five grandchildren.