Friday, October 5, 2012

At My Church, the First Shall Be Next!

Notice 8/17/14:  I am aware from following the Google Analytics data for this blog that there are people online searching for information regarding the self-confessed relapse of Dr. Skip Ryan.  Since Dr. Ryan himself has published a personal letter to Redeemer Seminary, from which he has resigned, I'm providing a link to that letter here so you can hear this from him.


This coming Sunday, my church is installing its newest pastor.

Who was also my church's first pastor.

Since its founding in 1991, Dr. Joseph "Skip" Ryan served Park Cities Presbyterian in Dallas as its very first senior minister before resigning in disgrace in 2006.  He was hooked on prescription narcotics, and spent several months at an out-of-state drug rehabilitation center.  His road to recovery has been challenging on a number of fronts, not the least of which being questions swirling around his opportunities for future ministry in the body of Christ, the church.

Needless to say, God has performed a work of transformation in not only Dr. Ryan, but his wife, both of whom have remained at Park Cities Presbyterian throughout this multi-year ordeal, and have emerged with a testimony of God's grace that is shaping a profound new emphasis on how they're serving God and His people.

Earlier this year, I wrote on this blog about the announcement at church regarding Dr. Ryan's reinstatement as a part-time associate pastor over our flock, and this Sunday, his official installation in that post will signal a new era of ministry in his life, our church, and even the broader evangelical community, as more and more people become exposed to God's work in his faith, his health, his marriage, and his career.

Instead of writing an essay about them, I'm providing a link to a video my church has made.  In it, both Dr. Ryan and his wife, Barbara, a force of spiritual ministry in her own right, discuss their journey and their "story of rescue," as we like to frame the Gospel of Salvation at Park Cities Presbyterian.

I had the privilege of sharing dinner with them at a mutual friend's birthday party last month, but I realize many of my dear readers will never meet Skip and Barbara this side of Heaven.  Nevertheless, the new life they now live in Christ may just help you see what Christ can do in yours!

PS - On that link to the video you'll find a couple of other links to audio from a seminar the Ryan's led at our church in which they more deeply explored things that God has been teaching them during this transformative time.


  1. I knew Skip from his first church in Charlottesville, VA, where I came to know Christ in 1979. Since then, I have come to know many paths to experiencing God's Light and the love and compassion of Jesus. I've also learned that God's Light is often distorted as it passes through human consciousness causing pain and confusion. But that's exactly what forces us to check our alignment and grow. Skip was given a powerful gift in his preaching to bring an awareness of God to thousands of people. What frail human body and mind wouldn't struggle with that? So many of us fall under much less pressure and responsibility. The important thing is that we are all One in Christ and Skip's successes and failures are yours and mine, and vice versa. To know Christ is to live in compassion for our individual and collective struggles.

    I'm not sure why/how I found this website except maybe as a means of sending a message of peace and blessings to Skip and his family. Skip, please know that I have tremendous gratitude for your role in helping lay the spiritual foundation for my life regardless of bumps in the road. In God's Love, Julie Odell

  2. Julie, I forwarded your message to Barbara Ryan for you!


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