Busy doing the Lord’s work
HOUSTON — The Fifth Ward Church of Christ lets its…
DeMeco Ryans is back with the Texans after playing as the NFL team’s middle linebacker from 2006 to 2011. It was during that time he first placed membership with the Fifth Ward Church of Christ, which had its beginnings amid the 1930s tent revivals of the notable Black evangelist Marshall Keeble.
At first, the church members didn’t realize who he was, said Fifth Ward minister Gary Smith.
“One of our members came to me one day, he said, ‘You know DeMeco Ryans, a rookie that plays with the Texans, he’s attending here?’” Smith recalled. “So he introduced me to him the next week, and he’s so humble, you know, and of course he didn’t want any fanfare about it.”
It stuck out to him that Ryans would come to worship on Sunday evening even after playing a big NFL game that day.
Ryans later played for the Philadelphia Eagles and served as an assistant coach for the San Fransisco 49ers. The Texans is his first head coaching position, what he called his “dream job” in a statement, adding that his family “is thrilled to be back in H-Town.”
Smith said Ryans — along with his wife, Jamila, two sons and daughter — have been around some in the meantime and never withdrew membership from Fifth Ward. Ryans has also continued to serve on the board of the Discovery Youth Foundation, a summer enrichment program for teens started by Smith and his wife, Karen.
But now, the congregation is excited to have him back long-term.
“They were just so elated,” said Smith, who attended the recent news conference officially announcing Ryan’s hiring.
“He’s very humble, so he’s not going to want too much attention. … But he’s proud that he’s a member of the Church of Christ.”
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