Sector Key West

Sector Key West


Sector Key West Chaplain

Lieutenant John E. Bettis, III, CHC, USN


Chaplain Bettis was born in Greer, South Carolina (SC) and grew up in Columbia, SC. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Newberry College in 2000.  In 2007 he received a strong call from God to serve and care for people in the Sea Services.  He received his Master of Divinity (M.Div.) Degree in Chaplaincy from Columbia International University Seminary in Columbia, SC, in 2017.  Chaplain Bettis was a non-Denominational pastor for Harvest Church in Lexington, SC, when he was commissioned as a U.S. Navy chaplain on 28 January 2020.

During seminary Chaplain Bettis was chosen to be the first student from the M.Div. Program to be the chaplain of the cross country and track teams at Columbia International University undergraduate school.  After graduation Bettis was selected to be a resident chaplain at Richland Hospital in Columbia, SC.  As a resident chaplain Bettis completed three units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE).  His areas of ministry and leadership include level one trauma unit, surgical trauma unit, intensive care unit, baby delivery, orthopedics, nursing home care, and emergency department.  Upon completion of CPE Chaplain Bettis moved up to full time hospital chaplain at G. Werber Bryan Psychiatric Hospital, a State Government hospital with 127 beds that vary from acute cases to more serious long-term care.  Throughout Bettis’s time as a hospital chaplain, he also served as a chaplain in the South Carolina Army National Guard for the 51st BN Military Police.  Chaplain Bettis was ordained in May of 2017 and began leading, training, and equipping the high school students at Harvest Church, where he eventually served as an associate pastor.  From this position Chaplain Bettis joined the Navy to provide spiritual hope and guidance for military personnel, facilitate for military personnel needs, care for all service members and their families, and advise the command on religious and human matters of the unit.  In May of 2020 Chaplain Bettis received his first set of orders to Amphibious Construction Battalion One (ACB-1).  As the command chaplain, he stood up the Command Religious Program (CRP) at ACB-1.  Currently Chaplain Bettis and his family are serving the men and women of USCG Sector Key West.  They reside in base housing on Trumbo Point.    

Chaplain Bettis married Laura Wilson on September 20, 2008.  They have two boys, Grayson (6) and Salem (4), a precious girl named Evelyn (2), and newborn Dorothy Rea joined the family on April 4, 2024.