Ryan was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and grew up all over western Canada. Throughout his teen years, he pursued political causes to make him feel righteous and then drugs and sex to make him feel happy. Thankfully, when he was 21 he found his righteousness was a joke and his happiness had turned sour. Through the simple and intelligent witness of his step-mom, he came to trust Jesus Christ late in the evening just before Good Friday in 1995. Shortly after his conversion, he studied at Prairie Bible College in Three Hills Alberta, and then at Tyndale College in Toronto, Ontario. In Toronto, Ryan worked in an inner-city church under the leadership of Dr. Stephen Beck. He also met the lovely Christy Joy Teal who became Christy Joy Fullerton shortly after their graduation from college. The next eight years were a whirlwind and included drilling for oil, pastoring a church in a town with a population of 311, having four children (Jordana, Luke, James, and Christopher), starting seminary, stopping seminary, and becoming (somewhere in there) the Lead Pastor of Immanuel.