Family: Wife Lesli, Kids: Ella, Elijah, Ezra, Emerson, Emery
John Brown University: B.S. Family Studies
Years @ MBC: 1976-1995 (runny-nosed punk, “church kid”);
Joined Pastoral Staff – August, 2011
Favorite Food: Your basic four food groups: beef, chicken, fried stuff, and sushi
Hobbies/Interests: Watching my kids grow, Being the man of my wife’s dreams, trips to anywhere!
Guilty Pleasure: Getting teenagers to do crazy things that make me laugh.
Random Life Trivia: My Parents were the first couple to be married by Dave Wyrtzen after the founding of MBC way back in 1973. I was voted Mr. MHS by my classmates way back in 1995. I can grow an amazing beard!
“All the nations You have made will come and worship before You, O Lord; they will bring glory to Your name. For You are great and do marvelous deeds; You alone are God” – Psalm 86:9-10
Ryan Clark was born and raised in Emporia, Kansas. He is the youngest of 4 brothers and the son of Allan and Rita Clark. “While I grew up attending Catholic school, I never really understood who Christ was and what it meant to know Him until I met Dena. She helped me to understand that knowing Christ isn’t a ritual or discipline, but a relationship”. Ryan met Dena (Cornwell) at the age of 18. They were married at 19 and started their family at 22. Together, they are raising 4 children; Jordan, Joselynn, Gunner and Gracelynn.
Ryan studied music and education at Emporia State University. He has performed and taught music over the years in a number of capacities. While music had always a passion, the necessity to support his family swayed his career in another direction that ultimately landed him as an engineering manager with a large manufacturing company. As is the way God works, this career is what guided Ryan from Kansas to Texas, and to MBC.
“For me, the role of a Worship Leader is to create an atmosphere that allows the congregation to strip off the burdens of everyday life on earth and enter a state where they can truly open their eyes and ears to receive God’s message through the sermon and the music. It should be fun, devout, and deep all at the appropriate times. And we, as musicians, should do our absolute best each and every time as it is for our church family, and most importantly, for the glory of God.”
Ryan joined the MBC staff in December of 2013. He has performed with the MBC Worship Team since 2011, serving with the previous Worship Pastor, Corby LaCroix in roles such as; acoustic and electric guitar, bass, mandolin, dobro, keyboards and vocals. “I learned many things from Corby. He is a very talented guy and a great Worship Leader. I was sad to see him go, but grateful for the opportunity that followed”.
Prior to his move to Texas, Ryan shared in the role of worship leader at the Cornerstone Church in Fredonia, Kansas. “When we first attended Cornerstone, we were singing to tracks or a cappella, but there was a strong desire within the congregation for a praise team to lead them in worship. My good friend, Feyn Baker, and I pulled together a group where he would sing and play drums and I would sing, play guitar and the pedal bass. It was rough, but so warmly welcomed by the church”. Eventually, more singers and instrumentalists were added until there was a cohesive group. Today, Feyn leads the worship team at Cornerstone and they are thriving with a wonderfully talented and Christ-focused team.
In 2009, Ryan wrote and recorded an album produced by his close friend, Clint Gilbert. “One day, Clint called and said he was thinking about building a studio in his shop building and asked me if I wanted to record. Of course I said yes! It was our first serious go at recording, so hindsight, there are a whole lot of things we’d have both done differently. But I’m so grateful to Clint for providing the opportunity for me to record an album. During that time, his support and giving was almost endless. I consider myself very lucky to call Clint a close friend”.
As Ryan continues to develop himself and his team at MBC, he is excited for the future: “We have done so many great things already. I have a wonderful team but am always looking for more talented people who are willing to serve. My only want is to serve this congregation to the best of my abilities and let God work through me however He desires”.