Ryan grew up in Pittsburgh PA, in a family largely made up of Roman Catholics. His mother began attending a Bible teaching, evangelical church when Ryan was a teenager. That is where he first heard the gospel and came to saving faith in Christ. The primary verse that God used in his heart was 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away, behold the new has come.”
Very soon after his conversion, Ryan felt the tug toward serving in ministry. This led him to enroll at Columbia International University. Before moving to South Carolina, he married the love of his life, Emily in 2002.
Ryan and Emily spent the early years of their marriage growing in their faith together as members of Three Rivers. After graduation from CIU, they sought the encouragement and counsel of the elders, which led them to Louisville KY, where Ryan completed his MDiv from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2011. The seminary training was very valuable in preparing Ryan, yet it was his involvement in their local church, Ninth and O Baptist, that continued to grow his interest in shepherding God’s people.
Over the past seven years, Ryan has cultivated pastoral ministry in the soil of rural northwest Iowa at Cornerstone Baptist Church, serving as lead pastor. His time there has impressed on him the importance of a Christ-centered ministry philosophy, drawn from Colossians 1:28: “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.” He is very eager to serve on the leadership team at TRB and see God work the life-changing power of the gospel in people.
The Perz family returns having multiplied a bit since they left. They are now a family of six, with four wonderful children, Elijah (12), Leah (10), Abbey (8), and Karis (5). In addition, they are devoted to their overly energetic dog, Rocco.
When he is not serving the church, Ryan enjoys spending time with his wife and kids, doing fun and memorable things. For his own recreation, you will usually find him with either a golf club or guitar in his hands, or simply enjoying a good book over a well-brewed cup of coffee.