The Tacoma Seafarers’ Center is a Christian non-profit organization serving the seafarers who call at the Port of Tacoma. We exist to minister to the seafarers spiritual, physical and emotional needs. Our ministry spreads the saving gospel of Jesus Christ globally through seafarers. We have a unique opportunity to fulfill the Lord’s Great Commission, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20


During World War II, American Merchant Seamen came under the influence of the military. Seamen, themselves, were given a new name, Merchant Marines. To a great extent, the Seamen’s Mission was incorporated into the Serviceman’s Center and the USO. This continued in and beyond the Korean War.

In an attempt in 1964 to separate Merchant Seamen from the military, the Seattle Seamen’s Center, relying on their own success, purchased the rights of the PORT HOME MISSION from the TACOMA SERVICE CENTER. The PORT HOME MISSION became the TACOMA SEAMEN’S CENTER, an agency of the American Lutheran Church and a branch of the Seattle Center.
Robert Marcello served as the Center’s Director from 1968-1978. During this time the Tacoma Seamen’s Center, became a member of the International Council of Seamen’s Agencies.
In October of 1976, Rev. Ray Eckhoff joined the staff as Chaplain and became Director in November of 1978.

The Port of Tacoma made land available for a Seamen’s Center in the Spring of 1979. Through the generosity of various foundations, churches and individuals “a home away from home” for seafarers became a reality.

Rev. G. Edward Johnson became the director and served from 1997 until retirement September 2001.

H. Gene Lawrence, became the director in September 2001 until November 2010.

Chaplain Paul Peterson became the director in January 2011 until present.

The Tacoma Seafarers’ Center is presently an inter-denominational mission .

We declare our belief in:

  • The trinity of God.
  • The creation of humanity by God.
  • The deity and humanity of Jesus Christ, who was crucified, dead and buried, was raised bodily from the dead, and ascended to heaven and will return again.
  • The Holy Spirit and His work in leading people to repentance and faith in Jesus; and in His ministry working within and through the believer to accomplish the Lord’s purposes.
  • The divine verbal inspiration, inerrancy and infallibility of the Holy Bible.
  • The universal sinfulness of humankind.
  • The atoning death of Jesus Christ providing the only way of justification and salvation for all who believe and receive Him.
  • The supreme mission of the Church, which is to glorify God and to make disciples of all peoples.

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