Ryan Denton – El Paso, TX
I’m currently the Pastor of a Baptist Church on the Navajo Indian reservation in NM. Beginning in 2017 I’ll be preaching full-time on the streets and in the prisons of El Paso, Las Cruces, and Juarez. I’m the Founder and Director of Christ in the Wild Ministries, which focuses on preaching Christ outside church walls, hence “in the wild.” www.christinthewild.com
At 22 I was saved by Jesus Christ. I’d been living with a woman out of wedlock. I was using marijuana and whiskey nightly. My cussing would’ve humbled any sailor. I spent some time in jail. Then God gave me a curiosity for the things of Him. I started to wonder about my soul. I started reading the Bible. I became convicted of sin. Within the month I moved out of my girlfriend’s house, telling her something strange was happening but I didn’t know what it was. One night I took a walk in rural New Mexico and looked at the stars and it was like I saw them for the first time in my life. The scales fell out of my eyes. The glory of God pummeled me. The reality of Christ’s death and resurrection clenched me. The Holy Spirit had sealed me. God’s presence became warmer and more tangible than any drug or woman I’d ever known. Eventually the outward sins had vanished, the boozing and the smoking and the whoring and the cussing, but I became aware of an even fiercer battle between sin and holiness that was taking place in my thoughts. This warfare continues today, as each day I labor to become more conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, and as each day my flesh attempts to resist me.
Shortly after this I graduated from UNM in Albuquerque with BA’s in Philosophy and English, then St. John’s College in Santa Fe with a Master’s degree in Philosophy. The repulsion and futility I’ve since felt towards secular academics and the world’s ambitions catapulted me into the sole pursuit of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, which I’ve done ever since, through the grace of our Lord.