Ingram Barge Co. has contributed $1 million to The Seamen’s Church Institute in support of its Ministry on the River campaign.

Founded in 1946 and headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., Ingram Barge — with a fleet of over 140 towboats, 4,000 barges, and 2,000 workers — is among the largest inland waterway commodity transportation companies in the U.S.

The company’s gift symbolizes Ingram’s confidence and commitment to one of the Seamen’s Church Institute’s core initiatives, Ministry on the River, focusing on mariner support and crisis response along the length of America’s inland river system and Intracoastal waterways, the company said.

“Nothing is more important at Ingram Barge than the well-being of our associates,” John D. Roberts, president and CEO of Ingram Marine Group, said in a statement announcing the gift. “And the Seamen’s Church Institute and the campaign to grow the Ministry on the River drives right to that foundation. When our associates need help, support, and care, our Seaman’s Church chaplains are there to provide just that. For us to participate in the growth of this wonderful support for our industry is an honor.”

The Seamen’s Church Institute is North America’s largest mariner and seafarer welfare organization. Founded in 1834 in New York City, SCI began working along the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico in 1997. SCI’s Ministry on the River currently employs two full-time river chaplains along the Upper and Lower Mississippi (with a third chaplain arriving soon in Houston) and an expansive network of chaplain associates along the entire river system to quickly meet the humanitarian, spiritual, and crisis needs of boat crews and individual mariners wherever they are in their journey.

Ingram’s gift will support the expansion of SCI’s Ministry on the River, helping build a broader and more responsive network to serve mariners in the inland waterway transportation industry.

“Ingram Barge Company has been a tremendous supporter of SCI’s Ministry on the River program since its inception,” noted the Rev. Mark Nestlehutt, SCI president and executive director. “As SCI endeavors to raise $5 million to complete our Ministry on the River campaign, this transformative gift helps ensure that all mariners benefit from the services provided by SCI’s river chaplains. It will help expand our ability to respond more effectively to crises throughout the inland river system and Intracoastal waterway. This gift is yet another tangible example of Ingram’s solid commitment and concern for the welfare of U.S. mariners.”

SCI’s presence along the Gulf and inland waterways also features its Center for Maritime Education with two state-of-the-art facilities in Houston and Paducah, Ky., providing simulator training, e-learning, and research data to mariners and river transport companies. As well, stationed in New Orleans, The Center for Mariner Advocacy provides legal support and vigorously campaigns for mariner and seafarer rights.


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