hope for churches in stress
board of directors
As a registered non-profit ministry, Barnabas Initiatives is governed by a Board of Directors. Five persons serve on the board. All are devoted Christ-followers. All are active in their local churches and in wider service and ministry.
Les Cool is the lead pastor of Grace Evangelical Congregational Church in Akron (Pa.) and the Kingdom Extension Associate of the Evangelical Congregational Church. In over 30 years of ministry, Les has been a youth pastor, church planter, and lead pastor. Les draws from his ministry training and experience in small group ministries, pulpit and classroom experience, church planting and health ministries, and a passion for God’s people as he walks with pastors, executives, and lay leaders to encourage and coach toward a better today and a more hopeful tomorrow. Les, along with his wife Carol, flesh out the gifts of mercy and hospitality, using both to develop relationships for Kingdom growth. Les serves as secretary of the board.
Ling Dinse is Assistant Professor in Counseling and Social work at Lancaster Bible College (Lancaster, Pa.). Ling was the congregational counselor at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ (BIC) Church for 17 years, serving the church and community. She is active as a speaker in the areas of racial reconciliation, marriage enrichment, parenting, social justice, and poverty. Originally from Hong Kong, Ling attended Houghton College and completed both her B.A. (1993) and MSW (1996) degrees at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Ling received her doctorate of social work (2018) degree at Millersville University, Millersville (Pa.). Ling and her husband, Dan, have two daughters, Erica and Elaina.
Ryan Frey is a pricing and financial analyst for Turkey Hill Dairy (Conestoga, Pa.). He graduated from Messiah College (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) with a degree in business administration with a minor in psychology. He is a member of Millersville (Pa.) Brethren in Christ Church. He is married to Kristine (Harvey) and is the father of two children, Cedar and Maia. In his free time he enjoys rock climbing and introducing others to the sport as an instructor at Spooky Nook Sports (Manheim, Pa). Ryan serves as accountant for Barnabas Initiatives.
Hank Johnson is Lead Pastor at Harrisburg BIC Church, an urban and multiethnic church. Hank has served at camps, community and youth centers, and the social work. He was born in Liberia and has lived in Sierra Leone, Abidjan, Palisades Park (N.J.), and Philadelphia (Pa.). Hank was graduated from Central High School in Philadelphia and Messiah College (Grantham, Pa.). He completed a M.Div. degree from Evangelical Theological Seminary (Myerstown, Pa.). Hank and his wife, Shell, have two daughters, Harper and Kennedy. Hank enjoys sports, fellowship with family and friends, traveling, and board games. Hank serves as president of the board of directors.
Pauline Peifer recently retired after a lifetime of service in the Brethren in Christ (BIC) Church. After graduating from Messiah College with a degree in nursing, she married W. Dale Allison. For the next 25 years they served as pastoral couple at churches in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Alberta. Following Dale's death, Pauline returned to nursing as a nursing home administrator. During this time, she assisted in starting a church in Millerstown (Pa.). She returned to full-time ministry as associate and executive pastor at Grantham (Pa.) Church. In a culminating assignment, Pauline served as the first woman bishop in the BIC Church. She and her husband Elvin Peifer were married in 2007. To be near their blended family (at good times), they live in Pennsylvania in the summer and migrate to California for the winter.
Drew Strayer is Pastor of Community Groups at Manor Church (BIC) in Lancaster, PA. He is a graduate of Anderson University (Anderson, Ind.) and obtained his MA in Organizational Leadership and Congregational Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg, Va.). He has used this background with churches, nonprofits, for-profit service organizations as well as county, state, and federal agencies. He thrives on the intersection of theory and practice where ideas are proven in real world contexts. Drew and his wife, Millyellen, have two school-age children. The family enjoys hiking, camping, reading, and gardening.