About the Board

Castaway Ministries Board represents those we serve.

dad-photo-for-bio-croppedRick Karchner is the youngest of three children. Born in 1951, he has always enjoyed the outdoors.

While running for Bradford Township Supervisor, he met his wife Carole. The family’s spiritual rock Clarence Owens famously stated, ‘If you want to date my daughter, you will attend Sunday service.’ Rick accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior in March of 1974 and married Carole in 1975.

Since Township Supervisor, Rick has been Quality Control Manager for Bradford Coal Company (now Bradford Energy) and Dispatch Manager for Roaring Run Trucking.

Over the years, Rick has served the Lord in a wide variety of roles such as elder, treasurer and teacher. In 2014, Rick read up and got into character as “Daniel” for Super Vacation Bible School- an unforgettable honor for him.

Today he serves as a deacon at First Baptist Church Curwensville.

Experience as the praying parent of a prodigal is only part of the value Rick brings to the Castaway Ministries board. A discerning man of his word, Rick is detail oriented and finishes what he starts.

Fun fact:  Although a faithful supporter of missions, Rick loves his country and has no desire to travel outside of the United States.


jclay-croppedJoanne D. Clay  is one of five children. She comes from a large family of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and seven generations of cousins.

Her family was very active in a Baptist church. Joanne came to know Christ at a young age. About eight years old, she and her childhood friend accepted Jesus and gave their hearts to Him together. Basically it was out of fear of dying and going to hell.

Joanne has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature for Secondary Education from the University of Pittsburgh. She also earned a Master’s degree in the Art of Teaching for English Education from Chatham College.  By trade, Joanne is an English teacher. But when God’s agenda is different from her agenda, she has learned to let go and let God- that He will take you places you would never imagine for the advancement of His kingdom.

She is a mother of three wonderful children and grandmother to a fabulous four year old. About five years ago, her oldest child came out to her – in an email. Feeling heart-broken, confused and lost, she cried for a whole weekend!  All Joanne knew to do was to read her Bible and pray. She needed to hear from God.  She needed his guidance so desperately.  God answered, told her what to say and what to do.  She was at peace and grateful.

While on this Christ-walk, she is living, learning, loving and laughing.  She has been blessed and appreciates her blessings.

Along the way, she met Matt while the two volunteered with a Christian organization in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Friends since then, the Lord has blessed with good fellowship.

So, here she is, ready to serve.

 Fun fact:  When she was a little girl, Joanne wanted to be a ballerina.


Jennifer Bell bio photo.425 vert.jpg

Jennifer Bell was born and raised in central Pennsylvania, and currently resides there with her husband of nearly 20 years, Adam, and their children Jonah and Annaleigh. After earning her Master of Health Science degree, she has been a practicing physician assistant, currently working as a college professor and practicing in the area of family medicine. In this role, she has led groups of students on international medically related service trips to Morocco and Jamaica. Currently, Jennifer and her family share their music ministry with various churches regionally through worship and original music.

Fun fact: She has mini horses and fainting goats!


peggy-durant-bio-photo-croppedPeggy Durant is the oldest of seven children, born in 1948 in New York City while her parents were attending National Bible Institute.  Most of her growing up years were spent in rural central Pennsylvania.  Her youngest sibling was born in 1963.

Following high school, Peggy attended Philadelphia College of Bible (now Cairn University) majoring in Bible, minoring in Social Work and graduating in 1970.  While in PCB she met her future husband, Tim Durant and they married in 1970 while he was in the U.S. Navy.  Peggy began her career in social work as a Foster Care case worker first in Norfolk, Virginia and then in Fairfax County, Virginia and finally for three years as a Child Protective Services case worker (investigating reports of child abuse and neglect) for the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  During those three years, Tim was a student. graduating in 1975 from Temple University Law School with his J.D. degree.

Following the birth of their first child, Thad, the Durants moved to central Pennsylvania where Tim started his solo law practice and Peggy focused on raising the children.  Peggy and Tim now have three grown children – two sons and a daughter:  Thad is a chef, restaurateur with his wife, Kimberly (formerly Gibson);  Lydia, married to Simon Gentry, is graduating from veterinary college in May, 2017 and Lucas, married to Catherine (formerly Ford), is an Anglican priest with the Church of England, now serving as assistant vicar in Bedfordshire, UK.

From social worker, to stay-at-home mom to her present-day occupations; as office manager at Tim’s law practice; proprietor of a bed & breakfast and multiple vacation and residential rentals; life has been very busy.  Since starting the bed and breakfast in 1992 Peggy and Tim have hosted thousands of guests from every corner of the world.  The Durants prayed and asked God to send the people He wanted to be guests.  In response, God blessed the Durants with many opportunities for witness, fellowship and encouragement to and from travelers who just “happen” to make a reservation.  Tim and Peggy have worked together and been self-employed for the last 41 years of their marriage and looking back, they wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

Peggy was fortunate to be raised in a Christian home.  One of her earliest memories is her mom conducting “Good News Club” meetings for neighborhood children.  Peggy accepted Christ as her personal savior at the age of seven after attending a revival service.  She raised her hand when the preacher said anyone wanting to be saved should indicate that by raising their hand.  Apparently she was too little to be noticed so after the service Peggy went to the front of the church where the plan of salvation was clearly explained and based upon her profession of faith, she became a child of God and a new creation that day.  The Durants have been attending and active in their church for many years.

Castaway Ministries is thankful to Tim for offering pro bono legal services.

Fun Fact: Tim and Peggy live in the 1894 Victorian home which they moved into on their oldest son’s first birthday, April 7, 1976.    Lydia and Lucas were born in this house, all of which make it very difficult to contemplate ever leaving!

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