SAVANNAH, GA – November 27, 2019 – Chaplain and Executive Director of Maritime Bethel at Savannah (MBS), Andy Krey, was recently awarded the Maritime Person of the Year by The International Propeller Club of the United States in New Orleans.
In addition to this international recognition, Chaplain Krey was also named 2019 Propeller Club Member of the Year by the Port of Savannah Propeller Club and 2019 Maritime Person of the Year by Southeast Regional Propeller Clubs.
This November marks the 50th year of Chaplain Krey’s embarking upon his sea-going adventures and his dedication to the people of the sea. In 1969, he climbed the gangway of an American flag super oil tanker in Melville, RI to join the crew. Over the years as a merchant mariner and a Navy officer, Chaplain Krey made his way to scores of Maritime Bethels around the world.
When visiting a Boston Union Hall to catch another billet on a tanker, the local Port Chaplain offered Andy a position at the Boston Seaman’s Bethel. So when not working at sea, Krey visited ships’ crews as he and his volunteers do at the 17 Savannah ship terminals. Eventually, he was asked to go to theological graduate school to work with them full time. Krey, already armed with a Northeastern University B.A. degree, was accepted into the four year clergy training at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, PA, and was ordained in 1976. He works hard at trying to recruit and mentor others who can share the vision of serving as foreign missionaries without traveling to far-away lands.
“I am sincerely humbled and honored to have been named Maritime Person of the Year and be internationally recognized for my service to seafarers,” said Krey. “This recognition isn’t only a reflection of my dedication to this line of work, but is also an acknowledgment to the reputation of Savannah’s port workers and volunteers of MBS who I have the pleasure of working with every day.”
Before the Lutheran church transferred Chaplain Krey to the growing port of Savannah in 2007, he served as the Director of Chaplaincy for the Ports of New York, New Jersey, and Southern New England. Because finances are scarce, Chaplain Krey serves as the lead volunteer for a very dedicated group of volunteers aiding seafarers out of their Maritime Bethel location generously provided by the I.L.A. 2046 at 193 Main Street, Garden City. The MBS has been notified by the I.L.A. that they need to find another base for their three live-in volunteers and their fleet of vans. The Board of Directors is working overtime to find another affordable ministry home base.
Chaplain Krey is also a chaplain of the Port of Savannah Propeller Club and the Savannah Area Military Officers Association, and Visitation Pastor at Bethel Lutheran Church in Springfield, Georgia. Krey is a past president of the Rotary Club of Savannah West which meets at the Hyatt Hotel on Bay Street every Wednesday. More often than not, he can tell a story about all the gigantic ships passing the lunch room window in the ship channel.
Krey was born in Brooklyn, NY to a German immigrant family. Krey is the 13th child of 16 of which the living ten siblings are his most loyal supporters. He and his wife Sally of 46 years are proud of their daughter, son, and four grandchildren who are the main reason for his retirement in early 2020 when he and Sally will move closer to family in North Carolina.
The Maritime Bethel at Savannah provides personal and practical support to seafarers who come into our port on ships from all over the world. This nonprofit is a faith-based organization providing advocacy, spiritual, physical, and emotional support.
To learn more about the Maritime Bethel at Savannah, please visit www.maritimebethelatsavannah.org.
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