ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Ryan Martin, Class of 2006

Godly leaders in all aspects of life, such as the church, workplace and government, are essential for a healthy functioning society. But nowhere are true leaders more important than in the home.

SBS Alumnus Ryan Martin, Class of 2006, takes his role as father and leader of his home very seriously. He treasures the commands of Deuteronomy 6:5-7, which emphasizes the importance of prioritizing our love for the Lord, and impressing His commands on the hearts of our children.

“The role as spiritual leader of my family is my greatest responsibility and one that requires constant prayer and reflection,” he said.

He admits it’s his most challenging role in life and one he believes takes a heart of humility and grace every day.

Ryan Martin Family
The Martin family.

“I pray that example looks something like Christ and points to Him as much as possible,” he continued. “The challenge, of course, is constantly being humbled when I fail on a daily basis.”

Ryan met his wife, Katherine (nee Parr), Class of 2007, while at StoneBridge, and the couple have three children: Nolan, 6; Zoey, 3; and Tessa, 1. Nolan is currently in kindergarten at StoneBridge. The family lives in Chesapeake and attends Nansemond River Baptist Church in Suffolk.

During his years at StoneBridge, from 5th-12th grade, Ryan enjoyed many aspects of student life. Sports, his senior trip, and the Upper School retreat are still at the top of that list. But he said the relationships he formed impacted him the most and set the tone for the rest of his life.

“I was fortunate to have my brother and five other classmates who were all present during the formative years of middle and high school. I still keep in touch with them and we try to meet in person once a year,” Ryan said. “Those relationships were integral in building the foundation of my faith and I sought similar relationships while in college and after graduation.”

After graduating in 2006, Ryan earned a bachelors and master’s in business administration from Campbell University. He is now a financial advisor and mostly works from home. He values opportunities to share his faith with clients when a conversation allows.

“Living the Christian faith is a personal choice but not one that should be done alone,” he said. “Building faith-filled relationships for strength and accountability are essential for the daily walk. StoneBridge gave me that understanding and appreciation.”

Those faith-filled friendships were an indispensable support for his success in all areas of his life, he said.  

“Relationships are the most valuable thing in life. God created us for relationship with Him. It makes sense that our relationships with family and friends would be the next most important thing,” he said.

He advises current SBS students – especially those about to graduate – to keep investing in those close relationships. The accountability and support they offer pay enormous dividends in the long run.

“It’s difficult to maintain close relationships when you no longer see them every day,” he explained. “Invest time in phone/video calls with your parents. Invest in the faith-filled relationships you make in college. Ultimately, the strongest relationship you build will be with a spouse.”

As a financial advisor, he understands the principles of good stewardship. But the most valuable resource available is the time he has to invest in those around him.

“The relationships from high school and college may fade with time and distance,” says Ryan, “but I’m grateful for those that have lasted. It takes effort, but I can’t think of a better use of time.”