Ellis came from a Jewish family whose grandparents had emigrated from Eastern Europe, he grew up through Hebrew School, and at the time, was excited at the thought of learning more about the Jewish people. However, as time passed, he became aware that his schooling was really only focused on preparing him for his Bar Mitzvah, while no one within his congregation, friends, or family explaining the purpose behind it
“THERE WAS NO UNDERSTAND OF A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. IT WAS JUST LEARNING THE RITUALS, LEARNING HEBREW, BUT NO CONNECTION WITH GOD AT ALL.” After graduating high school, Ellis went on to Penn State, where, over the course of five months, he and a friend from campus poured over portions of the Old Testament concerning the Messiah.
At first, Ellis couldn’t see the importance of it all, but eventually, he made the connection that Jesus fulfilled all the old prophecies, and that he was the Messiah.
“And at that moment, I embraced him, and I knew I had to trust him as my Messiah. I was reading about the one that I had come to know, whereas for my Bar Mitzvah, I did not have that personal relationship with God.”