Others went out to the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty seas - Psalm 107:23
Others went out to the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty seas- Psalm 107:23

Mission & History


The Charleston Port and Seafarers’ Society is a Christian organization, which exists for the purpose of welcoming and serving the needs of those men and women who make their livelihood in the port or at sea, without regard for nationality, race, ethnicity, politics or religion.



1820 - Citizens of Charleston began a movement for the promotion of the Gospel among seamen.


1821 – Incorporation of the Charleston Port Society whose mission was to raise money to purchase a building for use as a “Mariners’ Church” within the City of Charleston and a church building was erected at 50 Church Street, however, the building was destroyed in the Great Charleston Earthquake of 1886.


1866 – Harriott Pinckney, bequeathed land at the corner of East Bay and Market Streets for “a church building for the worship of God requesting that “the seats of such church shall be appropriated to the free use of seamen frequenting the port of Charleston.”


1916 – The Church of the Redeemer Chapel and The Harriott Pinckney Home for Seamen was erected and the trustees of the Charleston Port Society and the Church of the Redeemer combined funds for support and maintenance.  Both the home and chapel operated for almost 50 years.


1950’s – When the time in port changed from several days to only 6-12 hours, the dock location changed making it difficult for seafarers to get to the chapel .  As a result, the trustees were forced to sell the buildings.


October 2001 – A group of citizens formed the Charleston Port & Seafarers’ Society (ChaPSS) as a non-profit 501C3 ecumenical Christian organization.   Since then a Center has opened at the Wando, North Charleston and Columbus Street Terminals. .

The Charleston Port and Seafarers' Society is a Christian charitable organization that exists for the purpose of welcoming and serving the needs of those men and women who make their livelihood in the port or at sea without regards to nationalithy, race, ethnicity, politics or religion.


Each year, more than 65,000 seafarers arrive on hundreds of vessels to the Charleston Port. Most crews consist of persons from diverse third-world countries and from many cultures. Three to four nationalities are common for one vessel, with a crew of around 25 seafarers. Many are lonely, away from home and their families for up to a year at a time. The need and opportunity for ministry to these brothers and sisters is tremendous.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Call at (843) 856-7046

Email:  chapssmail@gmail.com

Send A Letter To:


Charleston Port & Seafarers' Society

PO Box 2442

Mt. Pleasant, SC 29465

Please Support Our Partner Organizations: Charleston Motor Carriers Association; Charleston Women in International Trade; http://www.cwitsc.org/ Custom House Brokers & Freight Forwarders; http://cbffac.com/ Maritime Association of Charleston; http://www.maritimesc.org/ Propeller Club of Charleston; http://www.propellerclubchs.com/

Connect with us on Facebook & Twitter to learn about upcoming projects and volunteer opportunities.

Print Print | Sitemap
© Charleston Port & Seafarers' Society