Tyger River Correctional began as two completely separate prisons: Dutchman Correctional (Upper Yard) and Cross Anchor Correctional (Lower Yard). Dutchman was completed in 1980, and Cross Anchor was completed in 1983. The Yards are completely separated by security fencing. No Chapel was provided for either the Dutchman or Cross Anchor institutions. In subsequent years, the two yards were consolidated and renamed Tyger River Correctional Institution, although the Yards continue to be completely separate.
During construction, a storage shed was built in the Upper Yard to facilitate construction. When construction was completed, the inmates requested the storage shed not be demolished and requested the Warden allow it to be used as a Chapel. The inmates in the Upper Yard worshiped in the shed until it was expanded in 1997 to add office space for the Chaplain and a larger worship area. This work was completed by the joint effort of volunteers and inmates. No Chapel has ever been constructed in the Lower Yard.
Because of financial constraints, chapel construction was not emphasized within the South Carolina Department of Corrections until Jon Ozmint was appointed Director of the Department of Corrections. Mr. Ozmint served as Director from 2002 until 2010. During his tenure, chapels were built at three prisons through private funding.