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Posted: January 22, 2010 12:00 a.m.

Through the storm

Minister of Music Ryan Hugley’s bout with pneumonia solidified his faith

Submitted photo/

Minister Ryan Hugley is a self-described young man with an old heart. He received his spiritual calling at a young age.

"I was called to be a minister of music," he said.

He takes pride in the "old school church" he comes from, and, while he said he doesn't knock new ideas of modern churches, his faith leads him to serve God the way he was raised.

"I believe in the standard of the traditional, old church, he said. "I still believe in proper church attire and choir robes."

According to Hugley, those standards of holiness are lost in many places. Still, with just one visit to Covington, he was able to find a church home in Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, where those ideals are upheld and an opportunity for him to minister through music was provided.

It happened a little more than two years ago when Hugley, who is originally from Atlanta, was asked to conduct a music workshop at Macedonia. The workshop went so well he received a phone call afterward requesting his employment with the church's choir.

Hugley said it's been a blessing to be a part of the church.

"I've enjoyed it so much, I joined," Hugley said, adding that most people work for church but don't become a member.

Since then, he said he's been involved in a lot of special events. He also works hand in hand with the pastor, Carlton D. Mathis, especially during communion and water baptisms.

"He's very humble, mild, meek, God-settled, God-focused, a people person," Mathis said about Hugley. "His personality draws you."

With such a bond formed between Hugley and Mathis and such a love shared for their church, it's no surprise that the congregation stepped up when the minister's mild bronchitis-turned-pneumonia kept him hospitalized for two months near the end of 2009.

A one-day ministry event titled The Job Effect was organized in Hugley's honor on January 10, not long after he was discharged.

According to Mathis, the event was something like a convention with about 300 to 400 people in attendance. It was a combination of preaching and music. Several Covington churches and also an affiliate church from Mobile, Ala., came to honor Hugley and hear the pastor's message, which was called He Broke Me to Bless Me.

"(The) program was a blessing," said Hugley, who found out at the last minute he had to be there. "People were blessing and giving gifts."

Pastor Mathis said the idea for The Job Effect came to him as he was praying for Hugley.

"I thought about all that comes with it (being sick and hospitalized for so long) and was thinking about others who've gone through a lot," he said. "I had been reading about Job, who has a similar story."

From there he was able to form a message anyone could apply to their own life, and Hugley was a prime example.

"There is an end to everything we go through," Mathis said. "We were praying and believing God for a double blessing."

According to Mathis, it was such a tremendous event where people were truly blessed that even days after, he was still receiving positive feedback.

In much better health these days, Hugley continues being involved with Macedonia. He also stays active with his community choir, Voices of Triumph, and his outreach ministry, Triumphant Move, which involves outreach bible study and helping the homeless.

He said he's looking forward to a greater year and better things to come.

"I believe after going through the storm, better things are to come, a second chance," Hugley said.
Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church is located at 2051 Henderson Mill Road. For more information, call (770) 786-1253.


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