BISHOP NATHAN RUSENGO AMOOTI
Raised in the rural jungles of western Uganda, Nathan Amooti was the son of a cattle keeper. His father dies at an early age, leaving Nathan to be raised primarily by his mother and older sister.
As a young boy, Nathan was introduced to the Christian faith by missionaries and was profoundly affected by the experience. He matriculated through a prestigious boys school and earned a theology degree from Bible college and was awarded a Master's degree from Fuller Seminary in California.
In 1994, a 100 day genocide devastated Nathan's ancestral home of Rwanda. With over 1 million dead and 2/3rds of all citizens in refugee camps the entire infrastructure had been destroyed. Nathan was one of many Rwandan nationals who responded to his country's call to come home and help raise their home from the ashes.
His leadership and skill in project development led to Nathan's promotion to the Assistant to the Archbishop of Rwanda. In this capacity, he oversaw the building of schools, health clinics, micro-businesses for widows and churches. Eventually Nathan would leave this post to plant a new church and found The Star School in 2008.
In 2012, his ability to successfully transform entire communities earned Nathan the honor being selected by the Anglican Church of Rwanda to serve as the Bishop of the Cyangugu Diocese located in southwestern Rwanda – one of the most under served, underdeveloped areas in the country. Today, Bishop Nathan is working with local and international partners to deliver food, education, health services, sustainable employment, and the Gospel to the people of his diocese.
REVEREND RYAN BARNETT
Rev. Ryan Barnett is a proud 7th generation Texan. He graduated from Friendswood High School in his hometown of Friendswood, Texas. Ryan earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary.
Following his graduation in 2004, he was appointed to University United Methodist Church in San Antonio. He served as Teaching Pastor at "The U" for seven years during which time the church grew dramatically. Ryan personally received over 1,500 new people into the church, 500 of whom joined through a first time profession of faith. He also provided clergy leadership for the church's most successful capital campaign and largest single construction project – the North Campus.
While at University UMC, Ryan was introduced to Bishop Nathan Amooti while on a mission trip in Rwanda. The two became fast friends whose bond has grown to true brotherhood over the years. The two mushumbas (shephe) share a passion for the local church, preaching Christ, and building the Kingdom.
In 2011 Ryan was appointed to serve as senior pastor of St. John's UMC in Corpus Christi. Ryan has subsequently moved to Kerrville, Texas in 2015 where he serves as the Senior Minister of the First United Methodist Church of Kerrville.
Throughout the years, he and Bishop Nathan have continued to grow their ministry.
Michael Weiss was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. He is a Magna Cum Laude graduate from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, where he received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and Real Estate. Additionally, he attended the Oxford University where he studied International Real Estate Finance and the European Common Market.
In July of 1993, Michael joined 4M Properties, Inc., as Vice President and in 1998 was promoted to President. Michael also serves as President of their brokerage entity 4M Realty Company.
Michael served as a member of the School Board of Antonian High School. He served as an Executive Director of the San Antonio Board of Realtors and served as the Chairman of The Board of Governors of the Commercial Investment Division nor Realtors Commercial Alliance as well as a Director of the Texas Association of Realtors. He currently serves as a Board Chairman for Adopt A Needy Family, a 501c3 not for profit organization. Adopt A Needy Family was formed in 1999 by a caring individual Father James Hubert who was Michael's religious teacher in grade school at Mount Sacred Heart.
Michael was fortunate to meet Nathan after a sermon he preached at University United Methodist Church. Michael's son Eric played soccer at Clark High School with a Rwandan refugee and had a personal connection to the stories told by Nathan that day. They were able to introduce Nathan to the San Antonio Rwandan refugee and the friendship and love for Nathan, his family and his passion for Christ and others, flourishes today.