Rev. Ryan Barnett grew up in Friendswood, Texas. After graduating high school, he moved to Austin where he attended The University of Texas. During his time there, he worked in politics as a fundraiser, organizer, and eventually a legislative aide in the Texas Senate. He graduated with a major in government, a minor in history, and a conviction that the hope of the world is found in the church-house, not the statehouse.
Ryan then worked for several years as a youth director and became a frequent speaker at conference youth events. Discerning a call to ordained ministry, he then moved to Wilmore, Kentucky where he earned his Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary. Upon graduation, Ryan was appointed to be an associate pastor at University UMC in San Antonio, Texas.
Ryan spent seven years serving at “The U,” primarily as the Teaching Pastor. He oversaw the church’s largest single building project, a $14 million expansion. During his tenure he joined 1500 people to the church, 500 of whom were on a first-time profession of faith. At the time of his departure, “The U” was the 15th largest church in the UMC.
In 2010, Ryan married Kim Brooks Barnett of McAllen, Texas. Kim had graduated from Baylor University where she spent three years serving as the popular mascot, Bruiser. She went on to obtain her Masters in Physician Assistant Studies, and she currently practices both emergency medicine and women's health.
The Barnetts spent the spring of 2011 living and serving in Rwanda, Africa and returned to Ryan’s second appointment as senior pastor of St. John’s UMC in Corpus Christi. While at St. John’s, the church grew dramatically and Ryan began work on an MBA from Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi. He would go on to complete the degree in 2016.
In January 2015, Ryan was appointed senior pastor of First UMC, Kerrville. Shortly after their arrival, the Barnetts had a son, Davis. During his time in Kerrville, Ryan has served on the Executive Committee of the Rio Texas Board of Ordained Ministry and chairs the Residency in Ministry program. Ryan also sits on the Kerr County Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors. His church recently funded and constructed an entire home for the group.
Ryan is a founder and member of the Board of Directors for Rwanda Shines, a 501c3 non-profit that has built schools, churches, and is under construction on a hospital in Rwanda. He is a active in supporting the Methodist Church in Costa Rica. Work there includes church planting, seminary training, youth development, and a new medical mission.
Ryans favorite pastime is chasing his toddler son but tries to find time to garden, play a little golf, and take his wife out on dates.