The Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) has appointed the Rev. Kempton D. Baldridge to serve as its new Ministry on the River (MOR) chaplain, serving the Ohio River region, effective June 1.
Based from SCI’s Paducah, Ky. Center for Maritime Education, Chaplain Baldridge will serve mariners along the Ohio River plus river regions surrounding Nashville, St. Louis, and Memphis. In addition to his direct care for mariners and their shore-side counterparts, Chaplain Baldridge strengthens a network of River Friendly Churches who partner with SCI to provide ministry to mariners.
With more than 20 years of ordained experience, Chaplain Baldridge brings a wealth of ministry experience to river chaplaincy. An Active and Reserve U.S. Navy Chaplain, Baldridge completed many domestic and overseas assignments between 1988-1998, including Operation Desert Storm. Chaplain Baldridge also engaged in campus ministry at the University of Delaware from 1993-1999. Since 1999, he has served as rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Waterloo, Belgium.
As a young man, Chaplain Baldridge served his country in the U.S. Coast Guard as Petty Officer (QM3). He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in history at The Citadel in Charleston, S.C. and his Master of Divinity degree (M.Div.) from Yale Divinity School. In addition to his extensive military and academic chaplaincy training, Baldridge holds a certification in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM).
SCI’s MOR serves mariners along more than 2000 miles of inland waterways. The Rev. Mike Hammett, a former U.S. Air Force chaplain and ordained Methodist minister, serves as SCI’s chaplain along the lower Mississippi River, Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, and Houston ship channel. Ann Mills served on the MOR team, recently completing her ministry in January. The Rev. James R. Wilkinson has served more than a decade as MOR chaplain based in Louisville, KY. Chaplain Wilkinson, a retired US Army chaplain, will retire from SCI service on April 30, 2010.