Ron Muse and the Philadelphia Prison System

By J. Fred Kauffman

Ronald Muse is an MCC Local Service Worker in North Philadelphia. He leads Bible studies, organizes worship services, and counsels prisoners as a chaplain in the Philadelphia Prison System.

Muse grew up in a rough part of North Philly and got into using and selling drugs. On a drug corner one day he heard a voice, “I have a purpose for you.” The voice persisted, and eventually he concluded that it was God’s call and committed himself to Christ.

Sensing a call to work in the prisons, in 2007 he reconnected with Juan Marrero, an acquaintance from his days on the street. Now a pastor, Marrero had become Executive Director of Crossroads Community Center. He asked Muse to lead their prison ministry, and MCC agreed to support him as a Local Service Worker. Crossroads is a 40-year-old ministry of nearby Second Mennonite and is one of MCC Philadelphia’s primary partners.

Confronted with tough situations and long days, Muse is thriving. He interacts with prisoners as a peer who knows their context. Tough and no-nonsense, he believes in them, pressures them, challenges them, and reassures them: “You have God-given potential which Christ can awaken to create something new.”

Muse sees the injustice and racism in the U.S. criminal justice system on a daily basis, but is passionate about working with prisoners caught in it to help them discover God’s transforming power in their lives.

J. Fred Kauffman is Philadelphia Program Coordinator for MCC East Coast.


  1. Keith Collins

    Ron help to release the satan from my heart because there was no room for him any longer. God was still there with open arms and Ron helpedto see that even thou I was incoserated god was still there waitin for me to repent for my sins so we could continue on the path of rightousness. Thank you soo much Ron Burgundy Muse. Im now out and is definately seeking him, not only for myself, but for my familly. It sometimes takes a special person to touch a special heart.

  2. LaTasha K. Green

    It is because of his faithfulness to Christ that I continue to “GO IN”…..I met Ron at The Cannery in Philadelphia. I told him that when I got out, I was coming to his church….the first Sunday after my release, I did just that.
    Now Ron is the pastor of his own church….something he said wasn’t going to happen….BUT GOD!!!!
    It’s 7 years later, and I’m still learning from my teacher, who’s also one of my pastor’s along side with Pastor Juan Marrero….I can honestly say, I am blessed to have them BOTH as my Pastor’s, and also my friends.

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