PASTORS LENNY AND RYAN
God has blessed Impact Family Worship Center with two devoted servants, Pastor Lenny and Ryan. They would like to share their testimony with you.
Pastor Lenny was raised in Granite City, Illinois by his mother and father and has a younger sister, Brandy, who you will often see around the church. His first church experiences were through yearly vacation bible schools that he attended thanks to relatives and family friends. At the age of 17, Pastor Lenny gave his heart to Jesus and continued to be heavily involved in a variety of Pentecostal churches such as UCPI, Foursquare, Assembly of God and Bethel Chapel.
Ryan was raised in Louisiana, Missouri by his mother and father and he has one older sister. He spent his entire childhood attending Trinity Lutheran Church (LCMS) where his family was very active. He was very active in the Ongoing Ambassadors for Christ (O.A.F.C.), which was a youth witnessing training ministry of the LCMS. While in his early 20's, he attended a small Southern Baptist church in Jefferson County, Missouri.
In December 2001, God created a way for these two men to meet. Believe it or not, they report it was love at first sight! They quickly knew that they were each other's life partner, soul mate; lobster if you will... They began a life together and have walked hand in hand since. The couple wanted to formalize and strengthen their commitment to each other thus becoming united in a covenant marriage on May 20, 2006. When Civil Unions were legalized in Illinois, they renewed their vows and had their Civil Union ceremony on June 10, 2011. When marriage was finally legalized in Illinois, they had their civil union converted to a marriage.
Their family is made up of seven children; Karmyne (19), Andre (17), Armond (15), Kameron (11), Marseanne (10), Kieran (9), Jayden (7) and two grandchilden; Audree (3) and baby Austin. As you can imagine with seven children and two grandchildren, their lives are pretty adventurous!
Life wasn't always this simple and their journey to each other included previous marriages. Pastor Lenny married a woman with three children in 1999 and fathered Karmyne in 2000. In late 2000 and the early part of 2001, Pastor Lenny began dealing with the understanding that he was gay. After disclosing this to his wife, they decided to separate and later divorce. This situation caused him to be disenfranchised from the local assemblies he attended. Unwelcome, hurt and conflicted by what he had been taught in church and who he was Pastor Lenny stopped attending church. Ryan also married a woman with a three year old son in 1999 whose father was a Southern Baptist minister. Their marriage later ended in divorce. As often happens in these situations, Ryan also quit attending church.
After their divorces, both Pastor Lenny and Ryan took time to reflect on and deal with the years that they struggled trying to make themselves into what the world wanted them to be. They decided to stop playing God and allow Him to be in control, so they finally allowed themselves to be what God created them to be. With Jesus being such an important part of their lives, they longed to go to a church where they could be accepted as they were, two gay Christian men. They attended a couple of gay accepting church services, but didn't quite feel at home.
In 2004, their prayers were answered! God opened the door for them to go to a church that believed and taught that Jesus does not make mistakes, that salvation is not contingent on gender, race, age or sexual-orientation and the only thing that separates us from the father is not accepting the Lord Jesus Christ. John 3:17, "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved." The two men jumped in with excitement. They have since served and studied under two ministries from 2004-2009 as God prepared them for the calling that was placed on their lives.
In May 2009, Jesus asked them to step out along with two women to birth a ministry that He placed on all of their hearts; which was Light of Love Fellowship in St. Louis, Missouri. In 2013, Jesus called Pastor Lenny back to his home town of Granite City to create a new ministry geared more towards families and reconciliation with Jesus. That is when Impact Family Worship Center (Impact365) was birthed.
It is their prayer that this testimony of their lives shows the realness of who these two men are and their undying love to serve others as the Father has called them to do so.
Pastor Lenny's Background: