Mt. Pleasant police chief "called to serve" with Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) - Mount Pleasant's outgoing police chief will soon take over the role of deputy senior chaplain of Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy.

In a news conference Tuesday, Chief Harry Sewell told ABC News 4 he felt God called him to serve his community in a different way.

"This ministry is what I call a raw ministry," Sewell said. "It's right on the front end, and it's where Jesus calls us to be in the deep crevasses that come."

The organization is founded on Judeo-Christian values. Chaplains provide support and ministry for first responders in 47 different Lowcountry agencies.

"They're getting in the tragic situations and the crises," Sewell said. "It's a presence of ministry and it's bringing God's light in these dark times to people not only for the victims but also for our first responders. Sometimes people don't realize what our first responders see. They see things we should not see; our chaplains see things they should not be seeing. Somebody's got to by there and it's a calling that comes in that. I was truly called into this ministry."

Sewell served for 22 years as part of the police force. He was named Mount Pleasant Police Department chief in 2007, after a three-year stint as acting chief of the department. He also had worked for the South Carolina State Ports Authority.

Sewell officially retires on Dec. 31 and will begin his new role with Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy Jan. 1. Mount Pleasant town officials have said they believe they already have the talent in house to replace Sewell though they have not named a new chief.

Eddie Driggers had been deputy senior chaplain. He recently was named police chief in North Charleston after Chief Jon Zumalt announced his retirement in October.