Danny Croce's Bio
I saw The Light in 1985, while serving a 2 year sentence at the Plymouth County Jail. Someone gave me a Bible and I read about Jesus of Nazareth. I was never so amazed when I read of the things that Jesus both said and did. Touching the blind and they see, the deaf and they hear, the lame and they walk. I fell in love with Jesus.
But, when Jesus started to talk about sin - Matt. 5:21,22,27,28, etc., I soon began to realize that I was in trouble. Especially, when I read that, “And these will be cast into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” When I saw Christ, as He is portrayed in Holy Scripture, I began to see myself. When I saw Perfection (Jesus), I saw how far short that I had missed the mark.
On the following Sunday, when the call for Chapel came from the Correctional Officer (C/O), I yelled out my cell number - “16!” I grabbed my Bible and went to the Chapel! After the Chapel service was over, I went up to Chaplain Bob Hanson and told him, “I’m in big trouble!” Bob asked what the matter was. I told him, “I’ve been reading this Book (the Bible) and I’ve been doing wrong for a long time. The outer darkness, weeping and gnashing of teeth - are we talkin’ about hell?!!” Bob then said, “Yes, we are. You need to be saved!”
As the C/O motioned with his head, for me to move on, Chaplain Bob said, “Wait a minute! When you get back to your cell, get on your knees and tell God that you know you are a sinner, and you believe that Jesus died for your sins and that God the Father raised Him back up again, and ask Jesus to come into your heart!”
I did what Bob said. I did it so many times I cannot count them. I knew that if I was judged according to my sins, I would surely go to hell. Jesus soon began to change my life. He took away the desire to smoke cigarettes. I had smoked for almost 20 years. Then we went to the marijuana, free-basing cocaine, drinking, gambling and swearing. The Lord took away the desire to do these things and replaced them with a desire to love and serve Him.
When I was released, I was told by Chaplain Bob, to find a good Bible-believing Church and to become involved. I did that too. After serving God in various ministries(teaching Sunday school at Boston Children’s Hospital, visiting the mentally and physically handicapped children and sharing Christ with them, starting the Christian Basketball Outreach League, and visiting jails and prisons to tell others about the Lord), I began to sense the Lord’s calling.
I was asked by Barry Nilson, the area director for Prison Fellowship, “What are you going to do in life, Danny?” I told Barry, “I don’t know. All I do know is that I want to serve the Lord.” Barry asked me if I had a college education and I told him, “No.” Barry then said, “Well, you are going to need one. I want you to pray about applying for the Charles W. Colson Scholarship. It is for ex-offenders, and you meet all the prerequisites.”
I thanked Barry and I did pray. I was accepted at Wheaton College for the following year.
In September of 1991, I began my freshman year at Wheaton College in Illinois. As my wife and I were praying about God’s leading and guidance for His will in our lives, in 1993, Chaplain Bob Hanson called us from Plymouth, MA., and said, “Danny, they have built a new jail here. It is three times as big as the old jail. The Sheriff wants me to come on full-time and I can not do it. I want you to pray about coming back here after you finish school and be the Chaplain.” My wife and I prayed and after four years of College, I graduated in 1995 with a B.A. in Bible/Theology.
I was ordained in July of 1995 and was able to begin serving as the full time Chaplain in the Plymouth County Correctional Facility (PCCF) on October 1, 1996. Chaplain Bob Hanson, who has served as Chaplain there for 22 years, has helped me, and continues to help in any and every situation. The name of our ministry is: New Hope Correctional Ministry!
My wife Kim and I have 5 children. Melissa, who is married and 4 children at home: Daniel 17, Thomas 15 1/2, Elizabeth 14, and Dara Jane 11. We also have taken in a handicapped man named Duane, who is 47 years, but only 3 years old mentally. Duane fell off a porch when he was 7 years old and has suffered some brain injury. With the help of some supporters, we were able to add-on a bedroom and bath for Duane in 2003! Duane has been living with us for 3 years now and he is a blessing to our family!