Ryan Ries: The turnaround

Ryan Ries grew as a pastor kid. His dad pastored a megachurch in Los Angeles with over 12,000 members. Ryan always had a desire to be creative in music. He was also drawn to the forbidden.  His brothers were in a band called The Key, and one of them dated Gwen Stefani. Ryan was influenced by the alternative lifestyle of his brothers and that of the skateboarding scene.


When he was 7 years old, he came across a pile of pornographic magazines in the field at his school and his desire for porn began. In high school, he got into drugs and was kicked out. When Ryan was introduced to the Rave scene he felt like he was in his element with the electronic music and the arts. He decided to go back to school for graphic design and began to produce his own events featuring punk rock, hip hop, and electronic shows, as well as movie premiers and music festivals.


Being involved in such a wild sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll culture, Ryan fell in love with a stripper and got her pregnant.  He eventually married her. She got pregnant twice, once with twins and she aborted all three of their children against Ryan’s wishes. The abortions, combined with her infidelity, crushed him.  Ryan was angry with God and said to Him, “I’m going to live my life and do what I want. I’m going to make money and use girls and do whatever I want to do.”

A short time later, Ryan got a job managing a professional skateboard team, C1RCA footwear, to produce music festivals for the company and work with some of the biggest names in the music industry. He traveled the world partying for ten years. After his last tour, while in Panama City, he overdosed. When he woke up, he knew there has to be more to life than this. While by himself in his hotel room, he cried out to God, “If you are real, prove yourself to me! Forgive me for my sins and fill me with your Holy Spirit.” He expected something supernatural to happen. It didn’t. So, he opened the nightstand drawer and found a Gideon Bible, taking it with him to read on the six-hour flight home to L.A. Upon landing,  Ryan was filled with peace for the first time in his life.  When he woke up the next day he kept hearing the song, “This is the day that the Lord has made,” playing in his head and he thought he might be going crazy. When he called his dad, he assured Ryan that the voice he was hearing was the Holy Spirit. At that moment, Ryan knew that God was real.

Ryan immersed himself into the things of God and was getting closer to the Lord. He had a desire to go to Israel and walk where Jesus did. He and Sonny Sandoval, lead singer of POD (Christian band), went together. During Ryan’s visit to the Garden of Gethsemane, he surrendered everything to the Lord praying, “God, what do you want to do with my life? Who am I? I’m not qualified for the ministry, but you can use my life to do whatever you want to do. If you want me to share my testimony, have someone contact me who is not in my inner circle.” The next day, Ryan was invited by Pastor Derek Neider to share his story at Calvary Chapel of Las Vegas. This led to Ryan co-founding The Whosoevers with Sonny and others.  They use live music, skateboarding, and street art to openly share the Gospel. God has opened the doors and they have reached over 50,000 students in schools worldwide.  Ryan also has a syndicated radio talk show, Live with Ryan Ries, out of L.A.


Ryan wanted a Christian relationship and wanted to do things right this time around. After five years of waiting on God, he met a girl named Crystal in church. She was managing Shaun White, the Olympic snowboarder, and skateboarder.  Crystal was religious but not born again. Ryan gave her a book about the Holy Spirit and while reading it, she gave her life to Christ. They started going to church together and grew closer. They eventually got married but struggled with infertility for two years. Discouraged and ready to adopt, they prayed to God for help to get pregnant that month. Not only did they get pregnant, but they had triplets—two identical twins, and one fraternal twin. After losing three children to abortion, God not only forgave Ryan but brought restoration by giving him three more children.