The Center for International Seamen and Truckers began 14 years ago as a Christian ministry to seafarers and truckers.
The Rev. Charles Corey Jr. began the ministry in his blue Astro Van, but the ministry spread and the center was built in 1991 on the west pier of the State Port at Gulfport.
His one-man ministry grew to his becoming a paid employee with more than 150 volunteers a month from different faiths to staff the 3,000-square-foot center.
Corey said Hurricane Katrina reduced the building to the pilings the center was built on.
"But we were blessed because we collected our insurance," he said.
For the time being, the Seamen and Truckers Center will be housed on the second floor of the U.S. Post Office at the foot of U.S. 49 in Gulfport. It has a three-year lease on 650 square feet of space to continue the ministry. As for a future home, Corey said he's not certain.
"We'll be outside the port," he said, "but we're going to take our time to decide where we need to be."
- KATE MAGANDY