Ryan, accompanied by Texas A&M Hall of Famer, former NFL player and current Falcons chaplain Jason Webster, participated in a Q-and-A session as well as a private VIP session at First Baptist Church of Douglasville where he signed autographs and posed for pictures with the participants.
Trent Gilley, vice president of the board of FCA Douglas County, said the group was “interested in getting a talented celebrity who could talk about life challenges and how faith can help.” Ultimately, they were able to arrange Ryan’s speech through FCA Atlanta area director Shane Williamson.
During the session conducted by Williamson, Ryan spoke about his favorite football memory from high school in Pennsylvania when his team beat a longtime rival during horrible weather, which he described as a “monsoon.”
“One of my worst statistical games was probably one of my best memories,” said Ryan.
Ryan also spoke about how he balances his new marriage and football, as well as how his religious faith and football relate to each other in his life.
“Football is very important to me, no question about it, but there are things that are more important than that and Sarah is one of those…Regardless of what was going on, it was family and faith first,” Ryan said.
“They’re just completely interwoven…The things that go on in your house, the things that go on in your faith, they affect the way that you show up and what you do when you’re at your job.”
Webster briefly talked about his role in the locker room, and his transition from player to chaplain.
“The first season, it was a different role for me and it wasn’t familiar…The weight of communicating the Word of God was just so heavy for me. Personally it was just heavy…I didn’t feel worthy or if this was something I could do on my own strength,” Webster said.
At the end of the evening, organizers gave away four Falcons’ jerseys and five footballs signed by Ryan.
According to Gilley, the event was successful from a fundraising standpoint and for raising awareness for this branch of the FCA. The group sponsors such activities as youth sports camps.
“It was absolutely stellar. We were thrilled with the turnout of the main event. We also had over 100 VIP participants and it was a great intimate event with Matt,” said Gilley.