Mount Pleasant’s ex-police chief quits chaplaincy

Sewell

Former Mount Pleasant Police Chief Harry Sewell said he still plans to pursue his calling to become an ordained minister despite his recent resignation from the Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy.

Sewell, 52, said he left the chaplaincy after less than three months because the job “wasn’t a good match” for him.

“I just don’t think it was a good marriage, but I have nothing negative at all to say about the chaplaincy,” he said Monday morning.

Senior Chaplain Rob Dewey said Sewell submitted his resignation on Friday, indicating that, among other things, he wants to spend more time with his family. Dewey said the move was unexpected.

“I’m surprised, and I will miss him,” Dewey said. “It’s definitely a sadness for the chaplaincy. He was a great chaplain, and this was his decision.”

Sewell said he didn’t want to discuss his reasons for leaving in detail, but he indicated that the job was very time-consuming and he does want to spend more time with family.

“My priorities are God, family and then work,” he said.

Sewell said he has every intention of carrying on with his retirement plan to pursue service in Christian ministry.

“There is a difference between a job and a calling,” he said. “I’m not walking away from my calling.”

Sewell, a veteran lawman with a strong faith background, left Mount Pleasant on New Year’s Eve after a 22-year career with the town’s police force. Sewell, who led the department since 2007, said it was time “to serve my Lord, Jesus Christ.”

Sewell went right to work at the chaplaincy, taking over for former Chaplain Eddie Driggers, who now is North Charleston’s police chief.

The chaplaincy, based in North Charleston, is a faith-based organization that ministers to crime victims, police and emergency workers in distress throughout the Lowcountry.

Sewell served as the senior deputy chaplain, working closely with Dewey. The group, formed in 1990, also has 19 volunteer chaplains.

Soon after joining the group, Sewell told The Post and Courier that the job seemed a natural fit. He knew firsthand the type of grisly, tragic and unnerving events police, firefighters and paramedics encounter in the course of their jobs. Sewell said he felt honored — blessed, even — to provide comfort to those folks, as well as crime victims struggling to cope with loss and adversity.

Dewey said a search will begin soon to find a replacement for Sewell.