SCI Ministry on the River

s-church-instituteICMA member the Seamen’s Church Institute of New York & New Jersey (SCI) provides pastoral care on the Ohio and Lower Mississippi River systems.

Established in 1998, the Ministry on the River programme operates 365 days a year. A network of clergy and lay volunteers offers boat visits, counselling, fellowship and the distribution of gifts for Christmas and Easter.

Mississippi River, source: Wikicommons
Mississippi River, source: Wikicommons

Tugboat on the Mississippi, source: Wikicommons
Tugboat on the Mississippi, source: Wikicommons

The first full-time river chaplain was Rev James (Jim) R. Wilkinson who retires this month. For 11 years, Rev Wilkinson has served the inland waterways community in times of distress, such as deaths of crew, and in times of joy such as the blessing of new vessels.

The latest recruit is Rev Kempton D. Baldridge who has been appointed to serve the Ohio River region. Rev Baldridge has over 20 years experience of ministry. He has been a US Navy chaplain and is currently rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Waterloo, Belgium.

ICMA wishes Rev Wilkinson a happy retirement and welcomes Rev Baldridge onboard.

Click here to read more about river chaplaincy on the SCI website