Susan Crans married Jack Crans, founder of County Corrections Gospel Mission, on May 7, 1971 and has been active in full-time ministry ever since. She served in all developing seasons of Chester County Prison’s Chaplaincy, the birthing of City Gate Mission, carried the many responsibilities of pastor’s wife at Hephzibah Baptist Church, the administration of County Corrections Gospel Mission and in initiating “first burdens” for ministry to Coatesville’s children in weekly Bible Clubs. She mothered the care and refurbishing of the Camp at Old Mill in 1992 and led in the disciplining of women related to the heart-cries of Coatesville’s at risk families. Sue continues to serve in faithful labors in fiscal administration, hosting countless visitors, leaders and friends, all while maintaining a rigorous balance of cooking, cleaning, and teaching. Her favorite Scripture is: Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
Josh Crans graduated from Philadelphia Biblical University with a Bachelor of Social Work degree and Bible in 2003. After graduating, he worked at Community Youth and Women’s Alliance in Coatesville, PA, as a Teen Prevention Specialist while serving part-time with County Corrections Gospel Mission. He was employed in 2006 with the responsibility for Youth Outreach. This includes active involvement in Kid’sClub and Summer Camps.
Josh served on a plethora of initiatives including Chester County Communities Coalition, Chester County Planning Commission Steering Committee and the Coatesville Youth Initiative, all to better serve the Coatesville community. He is a weekly volunteer at the Bridge Academy and Community Center and his family has a history of over 30 years of ministry in the City of Coatesville. He is blessed with several talents, including writing and performing Christian rap.
Heinrich Botes was born and educated in South Africa. After completing a degree in social work at the University of Port Elizabeth, he completed 2 years of compulsory military service. He started his career in health promotion and community development in the Department of Health in 1985. Heinrich was the Director of HIV/AIDS Programs in the Eastern Cape Province in 1996 when he and his wife decided to become full-time missionaries. Heinrich and his family lived and served on the Kwasizabantu Mission Station in rural Kwazulu Natal. During this time he was also Coordinator of HIV/AIDS Programs at Doctors for Life, an organization of 1800 Christian medical doctors. He focused mainly on developing care for terminal patients in under-developed and under-resourced areas of southern Africa. His works to prevent HIV infection was done in schools, churches and
Valerie Mayo was born and raised in Coatesville, Pennsylvania. She trained and worked as a Radiologic Technologist for over 20 years. God opened doors for ministry at County Corrections Gospel Mission in 2006 where Val is responsible for Facilities and Administration. This hostess function includes scheduling, preparing for, and receiving groups using the Camp at Old Mill facility. Valerie is involved in the weekly Moms Club and Kids Club events as well as at the Bridge Academy in Coatesville, where she assists with Young Moms Club and Night Homework Club. “These moms and kids we minister to are my friends and neighbors.”
Leon Brubaker was born and raised in Southeastern Pennsylvania. As a hands-on person, Leon originally supported his family as a cabinet-maker, but early in his marriage he and his wife decided to give themselves to the work of Christian ministry. In 1989 they began their work with Helps International Ministries. This ministry remains their sending mission organization. In January 2008 they were partnered with County Corrections Gospel Mission. In their time here, Leon not only had many opportunities to help with the maintenance of the grounds and facilities but also to minister to the incarcerated and their families.
Mary Brubaker was raised in a church that was very mission’s minded. After graduating from Bob Jones University with a major in Mathematics, Mary taught high school math at Harford Christian School in Maryland. A summer missions trip to Bolivia with Teen Missions was an important ministry experience. Their home church, Grace Baptist Church of Millersville, commissioned them to full-time missionary work in 1989 with Helps International Ministries. This ministry sent them to serve at different ministries in New York City, Connecticut, England, Iowa, New Zealand, and eventually at County Corrections Gospel Mission. Mary volunteers with Kid’s Club, Mom’s Club, summer camp activities, and also Homework Club at the Bridge Academy and Community Center.
Jim Bontrager, Recipient of the 2012 Wilbert A. Cunningham Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement Chaplaincy, was recently accepted by the Board of Directors of County Corrections Gospel Mission as an associate. Jim presently serves as Senior Chaplain with the Elkhart Police Department in Elkhart, IN. He married Susie more than 26 years ago and they have 9 children. Jim is a veteran chaplain, working with law enforcement for the past 18 years. He holds his Senior credentials with the International Conference of Police Chaplains. Jim is the founder and director of an annual Officer Appreciation Day currently serving 18 agencies throughout the Northern Indiana / Southern Michigan region and beyond. He is author of the law enforcement curriculum for the movie Courageous that is currently being used across the United States as well as in the Philippines, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.
Jim understands the frustrations that chaplains experience to connect in a meaningful way with their officers and consequently designed a course, Making the Difficult Transition from Chaplain in Title to Trusted Confidant and Friend. This course aims to help young or inexperienced chaplains to gain access into the law enforcement culture. This remains one of the most difficult tasks any chaplain faces. In this course Jim teaches how to more effectively meet officer’s needs whilst also becoming a valued and respected member of a law enforcement team. Contact us for more information about the above-mentioned course.
Stephen J. Pacinelli, serves with Family Reentry Initiative, a program established by County Corrections Gospel Mission to help inmates at the Chester County Prison prepare for successful reentry into society. Special emphasize is placed on promoting effective fathering through pre and post-release mentoring and by applying some elements of Awana LifeLine’s Malachi Dads program. Steve was licensed as a minister by Hephzibah Baptist Church, East Fallowfield, Pennsylvania. Read Steve’s testimony here.
County Corrections Gospel Mission grew since its inception and the ministry implemented programs that can only make a lasting impact on its target audience with the involvement of many workers. Volunteers make up the majority of this work-force and they are the proverbial unsung heroes who donate countless hours of skilled and unskilled labor without receiving any reward in return. The statistics of hours donated by volunteers during previous fiscal years substantiate this statement: 4736 in 2011 and 5416 in 2012.
This volunteering is often organized and scheduled in a group context or simply done by an individual who responded to the ministry’s needs. This labor is applied in a wide variety of areas including maintenance of the facilities, administration, preparing and serving food, mentoring inmates and youth, counseling and preaching. Explore opportunities to volunteer at County Corrections Gospel Mission here and contact us for more information.