Paul Ryerson: Officers and prayers for peace

Published On: May 31, 20243.6 min read

 

Meet Paul Ryerson: Salvation Army Officer, pastor and world peace partner. He’s been connected with Clyde – World Peace Revival’s founder and biggest cheerleader – for several years and in the metro Atlanta community for even longer.

“I’m the commanding officer of the Salvation Army of Gwinnett County, along with my wife Analese. We oversee all operations for the Salvation Army here, including the nonprofit work. Since the Salvation Army is also a fully operational church, I’m also the executive pastor,” he said.

“We have three congregations that meet here every Sunday under the umbrella of the Salvation Army: Korean, Spanish and English services. There are a total of about 250 members that call this their home church.”

The Salvation Army is best known for its churches and thrift stores, but there’s a lot more than what meets the eye. Their main focuses address both spiritual and physical needs.

“Our bread and butter is homelessness prevention,” he said. “The main services we offer to our community in Gwinnett are housing, utility and grocery assistance, among others. Plus, we recently started a mobile feeding initiative.”

What some might not know is just how long the Salvation Army has been at their good work.

“We have a mobile unit primarily for emergency disasters – hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. – which we’ve done for over a hundred years! “The Salvation Army is actually the first organization in United States history to respond to a natural disaster as an organization,” he said.

Even if it isn’t a natural disaster relief-level of difficulty, feeding hungry families in a small community is a big job. Luckily, The Salvation Army doesn’t work alone. 

“We partner with the Gwinnett County Police Department – they suggest locations [to serve] because they know where the need is, and when we go out in the community, a couple of officers help us serve food,” he said. “We go into high crime, high poverty areas and serve off the truck.

“We’ve been going around Gwinnett County with them for about a year now. We started last July and are up to almost 7,000 meals served off the truck!

“People always ask, ‘What do you serve on the truck? Is it just like a sandwich or something?’ – but we actually serve full meals. Recently we served barbecue chicken with mashed potatoes, green beans and a cookie; it’s a full-blown, hot meal that comes off the truck.”

The underlying hope in the Salvation Army’s mission is for community members to find their needs met on a spiritual level. 

“Our ultimate goal is to meet legitimate physical needs, but also there’s a spiritual factor in what we do. Christ told us to be the hands and feet, and this is how we do that,” Paul said. 

“One thing I’ve noticed about the Salvation Army is that it reflects the woman at the well [in John 4 in the Bible]. She goes to the well every day because she has a physical need to be met, and the only place you can meet it is at the well. During that daily routine, she met Jesus, who was sitting next to the well that day. 

“I’ve realized that the Salvation Army is the well; It’s where people know they can have a physical need met. The hope is that while they’re coming to get a physical need, they experience something they’ll never thirst for again.”

This hope ties in well with the goal of World Peace Revival. Like the Salvation Army, World Peace Revival strives to see peace achieved through prayer. 

One other thing that ties the two missions together?

“World Peace Revival’s main mission is unity. Real unity is that we can all be individuals and still unify for a good common cause. The cross of Jesus has given us a chance to unify and be saved by grace,” he said. “To me, World Peace Revival is an act of unity; it has that component of humility – because there will be no unity unless we all humble ourselves.”

From disaster relief to food distributions to spiritual nourishment, Paul Ryerson and the Salvation Army of Gwinnett County work to be humble servants to brothers and sisters all over the community. We’re grateful for their impact and pray alongside them for God to do great things through their service!

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Paul Ryerson: Officers and prayers for peace

Published On: May 31, 20243.6 min read

 

Meet Paul Ryerson: Salvation Army Officer, pastor and world peace partner. He’s been connected with Clyde – World Peace Revival’s founder and biggest cheerleader – for several years and in the metro Atlanta community for even longer.

“I’m the commanding officer of the Salvation Army of Gwinnett County, along with my wife Analese. We oversee all operations for the Salvation Army here, including the nonprofit work. Since the Salvation Army is also a fully operational church, I’m also the executive pastor,” he said.

“We have three congregations that meet here every Sunday under the umbrella of the Salvation Army: Korean, Spanish and English services. There are a total of about 250 members that call this their home church.”

The Salvation Army is best known for its churches and thrift stores, but there’s a lot more than what meets the eye. Their main focuses address both spiritual and physical needs.

“Our bread and butter is homelessness prevention,” he said. “The main services we offer to our community in Gwinnett are housing, utility and grocery assistance, among others. Plus, we recently started a mobile feeding initiative.”

What some might not know is just how long the Salvation Army has been at their good work.

“We have a mobile unit primarily for emergency disasters – hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. – which we’ve done for over a hundred years! “The Salvation Army is actually the first organization in United States history to respond to a natural disaster as an organization,” he said.

Even if it isn’t a natural disaster relief-level of difficulty, feeding hungry families in a small community is a big job. Luckily, The Salvation Army doesn’t work alone. 

“We partner with the Gwinnett County Police Department – they suggest locations [to serve] because they know where the need is, and when we go out in the community, a couple of officers help us serve food,” he said. “We go into high crime, high poverty areas and serve off the truck.

“We’ve been going around Gwinnett County with them for about a year now. We started last July and are up to almost 7,000 meals served off the truck!

“People always ask, ‘What do you serve on the truck? Is it just like a sandwich or something?’ – but we actually serve full meals. Recently we served barbecue chicken with mashed potatoes, green beans and a cookie; it’s a full-blown, hot meal that comes off the truck.”

The underlying hope in the Salvation Army’s mission is for community members to find their needs met on a spiritual level. 

“Our ultimate goal is to meet legitimate physical needs, but also there’s a spiritual factor in what we do. Christ told us to be the hands and feet, and this is how we do that,” Paul said. 

“One thing I’ve noticed about the Salvation Army is that it reflects the woman at the well [in John 4 in the Bible]. She goes to the well every day because she has a physical need to be met, and the only place you can meet it is at the well. During that daily routine, she met Jesus, who was sitting next to the well that day. 

“I’ve realized that the Salvation Army is the well; It’s where people know they can have a physical need met. The hope is that while they’re coming to get a physical need, they experience something they’ll never thirst for again.”

This hope ties in well with the goal of World Peace Revival. Like the Salvation Army, World Peace Revival strives to see peace achieved through prayer. 

One other thing that ties the two missions together?

“World Peace Revival’s main mission is unity. Real unity is that we can all be individuals and still unify for a good common cause. The cross of Jesus has given us a chance to unify and be saved by grace,” he said. “To me, World Peace Revival is an act of unity; it has that component of humility – because there will be no unity unless we all humble ourselves.”

From disaster relief to food distributions to spiritual nourishment, Paul Ryerson and the Salvation Army of Gwinnett County work to be humble servants to brothers and sisters all over the community. We’re grateful for their impact and pray alongside them for God to do great things through their service!

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