During college Ryan explored many areas of ministry including music, youth and creative programming, but nothing fit him as well as working on the college campus. He was appointed by Missions Door in June of 2001 to work at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri, and he served there through 2004. While there, he helped lead the ministry through a transition from a small inwardly-focused ministry to a growing evangelistic ministry that had significant impact on the campus community.
In September of 2004 Ryan moved to Tucson, Arizona, to lay the groundwork for a new ministry plant. This ministry, called Damascus Road, grew out his passion to reach the whole campus community in a unique, creative way. A team of twelve friends who attended college together all moved to Tucson to be a part of this new initiative.
Presently Ryan serves as lead pastor at Damascus Road Tucson, is supervising two new campus church plants and dreams of developing dynamic communities of faith on college campuses throughout the nation, beginning at the University of Arizona.
Ryan grew up in a wonderful Christian home. He was exposed to the Bible and the message of Jesus early in his life but his faith became his own in college. During his freshman year at Truman State University, Ryan saw the movie Patch Adams. The main character was a doctor who not only cared for people’s illnesses but extended love and grace to the whole person.
In this film Ryan saw Jesus’ words in Luke 5:31 come alive: “Healthy people don’t need a doctor – sick people do. I have come to call sinners to turn from their sins, not to spend my time with those who think they are already good enough.” At this moment Ryan felt God calling him to love people in the same way.
Ryan’s parents, Rick and Patti, have provided a rich legacy of faith and ministry for him to follow. His brother Brad serves on the Steering Team of Damascus Road Tucson and keeps Ryan grounded. Brad and his lovely wife Lacey have two children, Zane and Layla. Ryan’s youngest brother Colin has also been involved in the ministry there.
This loving and supportive family has provided the context for Ryan to find his way to God and continue to serve Him.
In March of 2013 Ryan married Megan Traichal. She is an incredible blessing and wonderful ministry partner. Megan and Ryan met through Damascus Road where she serves as volunteer staff.