Board Member since 2006
Senior Pastor, Church at Covenant Park, Ellicott City, MD
Trustee, New Orleans Theological Seminary, 2001-2012
Team Chaplain, University of Pittsburgh Panther Football, 1984-1996
Mid-America Theological Seminary, M.Div., 1980
Mississippi College, Religion, B.A., 1976
(410) 750-1815 ext. 207
Behind The Door:
Dan Crow is the founding Chairman of the Board of Directors of Open Door America.
“I love Open Door America because it provides the perfect vehicle for me to live out my life message: Restoring Life to God’s Purposes.”
Dan is a veteran pastor and communicator for churches, businesses and sports teams. His teaching and preaching are marked by biblical commitment, practical relevance, and inspirational encouragement. Dan’s message has been sharpened by his15-year tenure in urban Pittsburgh and the past 16 years in the Baltimore-Washington corridor where he lives in Ellicott City, Maryland.
A major focus of Dan’s teaching challenges listeners to embrace a larger perspective that moves them beyond their comfort zones to express Jesus’ love in tangible form to the urban poor, homeless and disadvantaged. He has led his congregation, The Church at Covenant Park of Ellicott City, Maryland to embrace the call to be a “suburban church that makes an urban difference.” Their example has prompted numerous suburban churches to join in making a difference in the lives of those ensnared in intergenerational and episodic poverty.
Dan first met Bill Simpson in 2005 as they worked together on an after-school project for an impoverished Baltimore neighborhood and a friendship grew into a partnership and Open Door Baltimore was created. Bill’s expertise in multipronged programs addressing breakdowns in social structure was a magnet for Dan’s desire to see real-life practical improvement that transforms lives.
Since 2005, Bill and Dan have led Open Door Baltimore / Open Door America deeper and deeper into the toughest neighborhoods in Baltimore, and closer and closer to finding lasting answers to society’s most entrenched poverty issues. Together, they led ODA’s staff and highly-qualified volunteers to develop the “Individual Life Plan (ILP)” ©, an evaluative and prescriptive tool used to interpret and respond to client life issues.
From the success of the ILP, major steps were taken to secure partnerships with America’s business sector as it explored urban development and restoration. It was not long before business leaders encouraged what Dan had hoped for from the beginning: the ability to replicate ODA’s success in other cities.
Dan has been married to Becky for 40 years and they are the proud parents of 5 sons who have joined the business marketplace as CPA’s, accountants, bankers, and food distribution managers. Dan is an avid reader and music sampler, sports fan and motivational speaker for team sports, and a mediocre but persistent golfer.
From Our Blog
2018 Poverty and the Urgency of Prisoner Reentry and Life Restoration
Since 2005 Open Door America has worked to unlock the secret codes of intergenerational poverty in America’s inner cities. Now in year thirteen, our story has greater meaning and urgency than ever before. Having come on line just nine years after metamorphic welfare reform in 1996, we were an immediate beneficiary of the raised social awareness generated by the faith-based initiative movement of the early 2000's. By the end of our first decade, however, a sharp decline in nationwide community development investment, especially in the key area of federal housing, shifted our thinking away from traditional block-by-block redevelopment strategies to individualized programming targeting heads of households, young fathers, and in particular, ex-offenders and current offenders who hold sway in the poorest neighborhoods. Today, 22 years into the nation’s endless rancorous debate over poverty and government spending, we operate in a political and cultural environment where the very existence of entrenched poverty is now openly and counter-factually questioned in Washington. We believe the lessons learned from our improbable survivor's journey and the promising potential of our current efforts to retrieve first-time offenders and restore vetted recidivists are essential to this discussion and critical to America's social and economic future.