Rev. Ryan and Emily McDermott serve the Lord through The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) as career missionaries in West and Central Africa, based in Togo, working in deaf ministry. In this role, Ryan works with partner churches throughout the region to recognize and develop opportunities to reach the deaf with the Gospel. He also identifies and trains leaders, both pastors and laypeople, for working in deaf ministry. As needed, Ryan teaches courses in deaf ministry and theology at The Centre Luthérien d’Etudes Théologiques (CLET), or Lutheran Center for Theological Studies, in Dapaong, Togo.

Ryan was born in Los Angeles. His home congregation is Messiah Lutheran Church, La Crescent, Minn. He graduated from Concordia University, St. Paul, St. Paul, Minn., with a bachelor’s degree in theology and world languages. He received his Master of Divinity from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind. Before becoming a missionary, Ryan served as a pastor at St. Peter Lutheran Church, Elma, Iowa. He enjoys reading, cooking and studying languages and cultures.

Emily was born in La Crosse, Wis., and her home congregation is also Messiah Lutheran Church, La Crescent, Minn. She attended the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. Emily’s hobbies include knitting and reading. Ryan and Emily enjoy spending time with their four children – Rhys, Evangeline, Joshua and Kaj.


Pray for Ryan and Emily as they serve in West and Central Africa. Pray God gives them strength and peace as they transition to life in new surroundings, learning the culture and the language. Pray God gives Ryan and Emily wisdom and patience as they help their children adjust. Pray that the Holy Spirit leads and guides them to do the ministry work set before them with joy in the Gospel. Pray the hearts of people are moved to pray for and to financially support the McDermott family so they can participate in the Kingdom work with this family. Let us give thanks that Ryan and Emily answered God’s call to serve in West and Central Africa.

Special Dates

  • Birthdays:
    • Ryan – March 2
    • Emily – July 29
    • Rhys – July 13
    • Evangeline – Dec. 20
    • Joshua – Oct. 10
    • Kaj – May 26
  • Wedding Anniversary: Aug. 4
  • Home District: Minnesota South


Learn more here.