Jun 22, 2010
by the Rev. David M. Rider, President & Executive Director
I had the pleasure of spending part of last week with the newest Ministry on the River chaplain, the Rev. Kempton Baldridge, who began work with the Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) on June 1. Working from Paducah, KY, Chaplain Baldridge serves the entire Ohio River region, along with rivers surrounding Nashville, St. Louis, and Memphis.
With close connections to the US Coast Guard, Chaplain Baldridge has already met with Paducah’s Captain of the Port. He begins meeting with river transportation companies in the area, while making visits to towboats that populate the Paducah waterways. He also branches out to make his first two road trips, which include Louisville, KY and a golf outing in Greenville, MS.
Chaplain Baldridge, like lower Mississippi River Chaplain Mike Hammett, will spend approximately 60% of his time providing direct pastoral service to river mariners and their shoreside counterparts. He will focus his remaining attention on connecting River Friendly Churches, faith communities that help SCI through prayer, service, gift collection and distribution, and financial support.
Although his personal furniture has not yet arrived from Belgium (from where he and his family moved earlier this month), Chaplain Baldridge has a flotation vest, steel-toed shoes, hard hat, and Transportation Worker Identity Credential (TWIC) card—tools to support his daily ministry.
Chaplain Baldridge can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone via Paducah Center for Maritime Education (270-575-1005) or cell phone (270-210-5626).