The Leadership


Herschel A. (Chip) Elliott is Chairman of the Board of Directors. He is married to Marcia and they have 4 children and 4 grandchildren. His undergraduate (University of Tennessee) and graduate (University of Delaware) degrees are in engineering and he is currently professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Penn State.

He has been a board member since the inception of County Corrections Gospel Mission, has been active in his church in many roles including deacon and pulpit-supply provider, and has taught a Bible study at Rockview State Correctional Institution since 1988. His favorite verse, Jeremiah 15:16 “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts”, reflects his love for the Bible and his belief that we must internalize the precious Word if we are to live and serve in ministry in a manner that pleases and glorifies God.

John Lawrence Crans was born in Medina, New York and moved to Coatesville in 1959 when his father, Reverend Ray Crans, was appointed the Director of Christian Education at First Baptist Church of Coatesville. He married Susan Henry in 1971 and they have three sons, all now involved in ministry.

Jack graduated from the Coatesville Area Senior High in 1968 and attended Houghton College in New York. He graduated from the Philadelphia College of Bible in 1972 with a degree in Bible Social Work. He also holds a Master’s degree in Divinity from Eastern Seminary in St David’s. He was appointed Chaplain of the Chester County Prison in 1973 and is Founder and Executive Director of County Corrections Gospel Mission. He served as pastor of the Hephzibah Baptist Church in Coatesville and was responsible for starting the Coatesville street ministry, City Gate Mission. He is also Chaplain of the Pennsylvania State Police and serves as Honorary Chaplain of the Chester County Fraternal Order of Police.

Jack Crans received several awards for his work, one being the Social Work Award from the Philadelphia College of Bible.

Leland Dittman joined the Advisory Board of County Corrections Gospel Mission in 1989. He married Lenore, in 1961, after discharge from the Marine Corps. They have two children and five grandchildren. He did his undergraduate studies at Liberty Baptist College, which is now Liberty University. He also attended the Institute of Biblical Studies. He received his Masters degree from Luther Rice Seminary in Jacksonville, Fl and his Doctor of Ministry from Antietam Biblical Seminary and Graduate School in Hagerstown, MD.

Leland planted his first church in Cedar Brook, NJ, which grew from a core group of 12 to over 450 in two years. He has also served as Senior Pastor in churches in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and New York. In 2006, Dr. Jerry Falwell asked him to move to Lynchburg, VA and to become the first fulltime director of Liberty Baptist Fellowship, a church planting arm of Liberty University and Thomas Road Baptist Church. Since becoming the director, the fellowship has grown from 100 churches to over 1000. Liberty Baptist Fellowship plants 30-40 churches a year and endorses Chaplains in the military. Leland served as Chaplain for the Pennsylvania County Jail in Chatham, Virginia.

Joseph (Joe) Eckman Sr. was the founder and executive director of the Eckman Family Dentistry in Kennett Square, PA. He passed away on November 29, 2013 after living a full and productive life. His upbeat personality and enthusiasm will be sorely missed at meetings of the Board of Directors. Read an obituary.

Donald C. Hayes was born and raised in Washington, DC. He was educated through the District of Columbia public school system, graduating in 1976. After graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force as a military police and received his honorable discharge in 1980. He and his wife, Gloria, have two children, Kianna and Quentin.

Donald has a good testimony among those who are outside, having been employed with the Alexandria Police Department since 1981, and he currently serves as Lieutenant and Chaplain for the Department. During his tenure, he received numerous awards, including Officer of the Year.

Don received Christ and the call to ministry in 1991. He was licensed to preach in August 1992 and he was ordained in December 1996. In 1997, God led him to plant a church in Alexandria, Virginia, the Church of the Bible. Donald was the overseer of this church until 2001. While serving as Pastor, he completed two short-term missionary trips to Nigeria where he was used by God to preach and disciple the leaders of the country on how to lead the lost to Christ. On April 2, 2006, Donald was appointed as Pastor of the Oakland Baptist Church. Since then he also established the Oakland Baptist Church Bible Institute.

Donald has shown himself to be a capable teacher. Nonetheless, he continues to be teachable and is a strong advocate for education and training. Most recently, he has received a Master’s Degree in Management and Leadership from Johns Hopkins University. He continues his educational training at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, where he is pursuing a Master of Divinity Degree.

Donald has a heart to serve people out of love for Christ, and the scriptures he lives by are Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” and 1 Corinthians 9:22b “I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”

Robert Peppelman  is the founder, visionary, CEO and majority shareholder of RJP Consulting Group and has been involved in Construction Management and Development Management for more than 30 years. He graduated from West Chester East High School in 1980 and from West Chester University in 1985.

Bob says: “As a Christian, I have always understood that my role in the business world is not to be served, but to serve others. So, when my wife, Joy, and I founded RJP in 2003, we wanted to take the 20 years of experience I had gained in multi-site development and serve the marketplace. We approach every project through Biblically based business ideals coupled with proven industry methods”.

Del D. Walinga is a graduate of the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy. He has served with both Police and Sheriffs agencies in all areas of assignment and is a retired Chief Deputy and Jail Commander. Certifications include Chaplain (IAPC) and Ministry Leadership Development (LDN). Awards include the Governors Volunteer Award and Honorable Service Citation for Bravery. Del is an instructor and team director with Pointman Leadership Institute. He is a past national board member for the Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers.

Del is married to Jackie, a surgical nurse. They have three grown children, two daughters, Erin and her husband Josh, Kari, and a son Bret. Specific verses that Del believes describe the God ordained role of police and corrections officers as ministers of the gospel, as well as how the “working the net” of ministries should be viewed, are Isaiah 60: 1-3 “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising” and Isaiah 60: 22 “A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in his time”.

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County Corrections Gospel Mission exists to biblically and effectively address the spiritual crisis as reflected through the urgencies and heart-cries of the Criminal Justice System.