John Hatcher, 60-year Missionary to Brazil, Meets His Savior Face-to-Face

“…’Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.’”  -Matthew 25:23

John Albert Hatcher, died on May 14, 2022, at his son’s home in Clermont, Florida, where he lived comfortably for the past eight years under the loving care of Paul and Wanda Hatcher, his eldest son and daughter-in-law.  

John was born in 1925 in Alexandria, Kentucky, to Albert and Beatrix Hatcher. He was the second of four children, reared in a God-fearing home on a dairy farm. He trusted the Lord Jesus at age nine after hearing the Gospel story of the three crosses, which he later made into a visual pamphlet, translated into three languages, and shared with hundreds of people in his latter years. 

Upon finishing high school at Campbell County H.S., amidst World War II, he signed up as a volunteer for the U.S. Merchant Marines. He served proudly for four years, including action on D + 1 day at Normandy, France. After the war he enrolled in Georgetown Baptist College, Georgetown, Kentucky, where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree. He went on to earn a Master’s in Theology at Lexington Baptist College and a Doctorate in Theology at Luther Rice Seminary.  

In his first year at Georgetown College he met his wonderful wife, Alta McKeehan, and they were married for 69 years. Throughout their college years they worked together in home missions in Kentucky. After graduating, he pastored in Shelbyville and Beattyville, Kentucky, and finally in Alton, Illinois before they followed God’s call to be life-long missionaries to Brazil, sponsored by Baptist Faith Missions.  

He arrived in Brazil in 1955 with Alta and their children, and dedicated the first 19 years to church planting in the Amazon Valley, working in the city of Manaus and in villages along the Amazon River. During those years John founded Batista das Americas School and the Manaus Baptist Theological Seminary, and was involved in starting several churches. His many skills and talents were put to God’s use: piloting his boat, building churches and school buildings, making pews and desks, educating and training young pastors, translating theology books, printing Christian literature and song books, evangelizing and teaching by radio, using puppets, ventriloquism and magic to reach people for Christ. John played the saxophone and clarinet and loved Christian music.  

In 1976 John and Alta felt led to move to the city of Garça, São Paulo, in southern Brazil. There he started ten churches in ten cities where there were no Baptist churches, along with a bus ministry and Bible Institute through which the churches were serviced with leadership.  

In 1989 John moved 200 miles further south to Urai, Parana, Brazil. In the next years he repeated the church planting and leadership training, resulting in seven thriving churches in that region, each with its building paid for.  

John Hatcher was known for his unwavering faith in God, incredible discipline and work ethic. As his late mission director, Hafford Overbey put it: John Hatcher works!  

All of John and Alta’s children are actively involved in church work, serving the Lord as pastors and missionaries.  

Only Heaven will tell the extent of John Hatcher’s influence in spreading the Gospel to the nation of Brazil. He is loved and will be missed by thousands. He fought the good fight, finished his course, kept the faith.  

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Alta McKeehan Hatcher, his daughter, Lynn McGary, his unborn son, buried on the banks of the Nhamunda River in the Amazon, and his brother, Charles Hatcher. He is survived by two sisters Neree Woods and Jessie Sills, his loving children, Ranaah Paul Hatcher (Wanda) of Clermont, Florida, John Mark Hatcher (Judy) of Toulouse, France, David Judson Hatcher (Pennie) of Manaus, Brazil, Kathy Amazonas Barros (Odali) of Iranduba, Brazil, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  


Arrangements

Visitation | Tuesday, May 24, 2022 | 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Becker Funeral Home | 806 W. Minneola Ave. | Clermont, Florida 34711 | Directions

Funeral Service | Tuesday, May 24, 2022 | 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Becker Funeral Home | 806 W. Minneola Ave. | Clermont, Florida 34711 | Directions

Graveside Service with Military Honors | Wednesday, May 25, 2022 | 10:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Cape Canaveral National Cemetery | 5525 US-1 | Mims, Florida 32754 | Directions

Formal Obituary

Memorials

In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to John’s lifelong passion, missions.
You may do so at:
Baptist Faith Missions
c/o Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280
Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.
Please designate to the “General Fund in memory of John A Hatcher”
.

Condolences
Condolences may be made to the family at:
Paul Hatcher | 15905 Mercott Ct | Clermont, FL 34714 

Click here to read the Autobiography of Alta Hatcher: “The Story of My Life as a Missionary”

“Disse-lhe o seu senhor: Muito bem, servo bom e fiel; sobre o pouco foste fiel, sobre muito te colocarei; entra no gozo do teu senhor.”  –Mateus 25:23


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Appeal from Odali & Kathy Barros for Foz de Iguaçu Church Building

We are asking for help for help for a ministry in Paraná where Pastor John Hatcher lived last. The ministry in the city of Foz de Iguaçu was started by us. Pastor Edson was saved under Brother John’s ministry. They have been in the city for over 10 years. Now the Pastor that is helping all the churches that Brother John and we started is Pastor Gilberto. The church in Foz de Iguaçu wants to build a church building. They are already paying for the lots, and they need help for the building. Any help will be appreciated. You can help by making designated offerings to us [Odali & Kathy Barros] and designating them for “Foz de Iguaçu Building.”


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Fellowship with Family

Missionaries John and Judy Hatcher have been serving the Lord in Tournefeuille, France since 1999. They define their ministry as “disciple-making.”

February 10, 2021

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

You are a source of encouragement and joy and to Judy and me. We are presently in the home of Paul and Wanda enjoying fellowship with them and Dad. David, our brother from Manaus, surprised us by arriving just a few hours after us earlier this week. The time together, so rare, is a blessing.

These have been trying times. A number of people we know in Manaus have died from Covid-19. The church that David pastors has been losing about 2 people each day as they pass from this world into the presence of the Lord. The church has been active in acquiring and distributing oxygen to the sick and supplying needs for the ill and families that are left with no living wage earner.

The Hatcher Brothers with their Dad
(David, John Mark, Paul, and John A.)

Judy and I have been working hard to wrap up things in the Evansville concerning Peggy’s estate so that we can return to France. There have been many complications, but God supplies abundantly and has displayed His love and grace in marvelous ways. Our spiritual and physical families have helped enormously in this process. All of our children have come to help for several days and we have enjoyed fellowship with them in the midst of intense activity.

We met twice physically with Resurgence church in January. It is very encouraging to witness the desires of this relatively young Baptist church. They want to reach the lost and help the saints. As with all of you, the meeting numbers are limited and many participate by means of the internet. It is a great blessing to have this medium available which also enables us to participate actively with our assembly in France.

Though there are many restrictions in France due the effort to minimize the spread of the Corona Virus, it appears that we can meet the requirements to return in the near future. Thank you for your prayers and support in every way. May God bless each of you as you seek His will in serving Him during these difficult times.

Your fellow servants,
John and Judy

Contact Info:
John & Judy Hatcher
4, rue d’Aspin
31170 Tournefeuille, France
JMHatcher@aol.com
Present USA phone 1-812-416-1033

For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280 | Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.




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VMP: John A. Hatcher

JOHN A. HATCHER
[Alta is with the Lord]

John and Alta Hatcher served the Lord in church-planting missions for over 50 years in Brazil. Alta is now in Heaven with our Lord.

John spent the first terms of their missionary service pastoring Tabernacle Baptist Church in Manaus, Brazil. Then, during their later terms, they planted churches in the southern states of Brazil, especially Sao Paulo and Parana. Literally scores of Baptist churches were established and are still multiplying through their efforts.

John is currently living with their son, Paul Hatcher, and his wife Wanda.

Pray for him! Reach out to him through every means you can (call, write, e-mail), and let him know you still appreciate him and his service. He would love to hear from you personally, or from your Sunday School class, or your church leadership.

John A. Hatcher
15905 Mercott Ct
Clermont, FL 34714
229-529-8497 / home
jhatcher1925@gmail.com

When you designate your offerings for ‘Veteran Missionaries Pension’ or for ‘Founder’s Month Offering’ [they are the same], they will be applied toward the continuing and on-going financial honor and support of these faithful life-long servants of Christ.

Click here to give now or you can mail your offering to:
BFM, c/o George Sledd
P.O. Box 471280
Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280


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Autobiography of Alta Hatcher

Click here to read the Autobiography of Alta Hatcher:
“The Story of My Life as a Missionary”

Muito Obrigado, Dona Alta Hatcher, for faithfully giving 60 years of your life to Brazil for the sake of the Gospel.


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Alta Hatcher, 60-year Missionary to Brazil, Meets Her Savior Face-to-Face

“…’Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.’”  -Matthew 25:23

Alta Hatcher, one of our beloved missionaries to Brazil, was promoted to Heaven about 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 8, 2018.

Alta married John A. Hatcher in December 1947, and they spent 70 years serving the Lord together, 60 of which were in Brazil. “We are thankful to God for having the joy of serving Him and telling people how they can be saved and go to Heaven,” Alta wrote in her autobiography. From 1955-2015, they worked and planted churches in about 60 Brazilian cities.

God gave them five children: Lynn, Paul, John Mark, David, and Kathy. He called all to be missionaries in foreign lands except the oldest, Lynn. She and her husband were missionaries to those with special needs in a Church in Nashville, Tennessee. Their 21 grandchildren are also serving the Lord! Some as pastors and others are missionaries some of the granddaughters are married to pastors or missionaries. Several of their 35 great-grandchildren have already trusted Jesus as their Savior.

Please continue your prayers to God for her husband, John, and their family.

ARRANGEMENTS / MEMORIALS
Celebration service: Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 5:00pm
The Celebration Service will be conducted at Chapel Baptist Church, Clermont FL
15744 County Road 474  |  Clermont FL 34714
www.chapelbaptist.org

They are expecting all of her children to be attending [Please be praying that God will grant all of them peace, joy, and safety as they travel…]

Becker Funeral Home, Clermont FL, is in charge of her services
www.beckerfamilyfuneral.com
Formal Obituary

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that Memorial gifts be made to Baptist Faith Missions “In memory of Alta Hatcher”
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280
Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.
https://baptistfaithmissions.org/Donate_to_BFM.aspx

Correspondences to John A. Hatcher may be sent to:
15905 Mercott Court | Clermont FL 34714
Email: jhatcher1925@gmail.com

Click here to read the Autobiography of Alta Hatcher: “The Story of My Life as a Missionary”

“Disse-lhe o seu senhor: Muito bem, servo bom e fiel; sobre o pouco foste fiel, sobre muito te colocarei; entra no gozo do teu senhor.”  –Mateus 25:23


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The Challenge of Missions (Part 6)

THE CHALLENGE OF MISSIONS
John A. Hatcher
Chapter 6
[click here for previous chapters]

MISSIONS IS ABOUT GOD’S WORK

Although men are indispensable to the work of missions, it is no human project. Love drew Salvation’s plan—eternal Love—long before man was brought on the scene. It is His plan for men to be shareholders in all that He is and has. “Let us make man in our own image,” said the Tri-personal God.  “One that is like us who will be able to participate in and enjoy all that is ours.”  Man would be able to be in God’s presence and enjoy communion with Him. Man was made to be free, but, his allegiance had to be voluntary. This makes the testing of man’s will not only a possibility; but a necessity. For this reason the arch enemy was allowed to enter man’s domain.  Man’s will was on trial.

Man failed to make the right choice and forfeited his dominion to the ruler of darkness. Why was man created so he could sin? Here enters the debates about free will. C. S. Lewis wrote, “When we have understood about free will, we shall see how silly it is to ask, as someone asked me: Why did God make man of such rotten stuff that it went wrong? The better stuff a creature is made of—the cleverer and stronger it is—and the better it will be if it goes right, but, also, the worse it will be if it goes wrong. A cow cannot be very good or very bad; a dog can be both better or worse; a child better or worse still; an ordinary man, still more so; a man of genius, still more so; a superhuman spirit—best or worse—of all.” Satan went bad and man went bad because he chose to follow him. Due to man’s choice, eternal punishment, determined for Satan and his angels, became the lot of sinful man.  Justice so demanded.

However, God is, more than Justice. He is Love and Mercy. He had another plan built upon the person of the Son. That project included grace and mercy for those under eternal judgment. There would be redemption for the cursed. —“Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” 1 John 3:1 To justify sinners and be perfectly just,  God gave His own Son to redeem men from the curse of sin. Romans 5:26

The Damascus Road experience of Saul of Tarsus shows that missions is God’s project. The glory of the risen Lord cast a blinded Saul to the ground. “And a voice said to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why persecutes thou me?’ and he said ‘Who art thou Lord?’  And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom thou persecute.’ Saul had persecuted the servants of Christ—the church—but in reality he was warring against Jesus, for He indwells His servants and His churches. Missionaries, get this into your minds and hearts. Missions is God’s work and when people despise you, they are despising the Lord. When God’s people and churches neglect this work they are neglecting the work of Jesus Christ.

The Holy Spirit made this clear as he led Luke to write the book of Acts. It is the evidence that Missions is God’s work, and is under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Jesus taught this to the apostles before returning to Heaven. “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that he might abide with you forever; even the Spirit of Truth; who the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but ye know him for he dwells with you and shall be in you. (John 14:16-17)  Jesus said the world would not receive (be able to take) the Holy Spirit. Then Judas, not Iscariot, asked how the Comforter could come and be known to them and not to the world. To this question Jesus replied, “If any man love me he will keep my words and my Father will love him, and we will come and make our abode with him…These things I have spoken unto you, being present with you. But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, which I have said unto you.” (John 14:23-26) In Chapters Fifteen and Sixteen of the book of John, Jesus continues His teaching about the person and ministry of the Holy Spirit. In His last conversation with the apostles Jesus made it clear there would be a change of Leadership from the Son to the Holy Spirit. “And being assembled together with them, commanded that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which ye have heard from me.

For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence…but ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. “(Acts 1:4,5,8)

The Holy Spirit came as promised. His coming was evidenced by miraculous gifts given to the apostles. They spoke in tongues without having studied them. They received the power to heal, to prophecy, to discern spirits, as well as other gifts. The Holy Spirit directed the apostles and the churches in the apostolic period concerning the work of God.

First, the Holy Spirit identified and accredited those chosen as apostles, His church, who were to do His work. Peter stood with the eleven and declared that the Holy Spirit was identifying the servants of the Lord (Acts 2:7,14,18).  His presence and power were manifest in the apostles’ wisdom and courage, as (Acts 4: 13-16) well as in their works. The Holy Spirit directed the choice (Acts 6:4-8) of the first deacons. The Holy Spirit blessed the ministry of Philip, both in public preaching and in personal (Acts 8: 5-8,26-39) evangelism. The leadership in the churches was directed by the Holy Spirit: Peter was sent to the Gentiles to the house of Cornelius (Acts 10).   Barnabas was sent to Antioch (Acts 11:22-24). Paul and Barnabas were sent from the church at Antioch (Acts 13:1-3). The book of Acts is the witness of the Holy Spirit as to whom God had called and set apart. The ministry of Peter is foremost in the first part of the book and the ministry of Paul is in the spotlight in the last half of the book. (Cf. Galatians 2:8) The Holy Spirit continues to call and prepare men for the ministry.

In addition to the choice and accreditation of God’s servants, the Holy Spirit instructed them WHAT to do. First, they were to preach the message of Jesus Christ­—His death, burial, and resurrection. They did so continually. The twelve preached on the day of Pentecost, they preached in the Temple, they preached publicly,  they preached from house to house, they preached to the Samaritans, and they preached to the Gentiles.  They heralded the message of Jesus Christ to the multitudes, they conversed the message de Jesus Christ privately, they told the message as they fled, as they hid, when they were free, when they were in prison, when in court, and when shipwrecked. Secondly, they baptized the ones who believed. Churches were established and confirmed in the faith. They did not go about selling sacraments nor did they carry a pocket full (Chaucer) of pardons “hot from Rome.” Their ministry was of the Word of God. No sacramental plan of salvation is led by the Holy Spirit whether it be from the church of Rome or the churches of the Reformation. Preach the Word! because “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” is the Spirit’s instruction.

Not the least among the works of the Holy Spirit was His guidance concerning where and to whom to preach.  He instructed the apostles to preach to Jew and Gentile. The twelve were reluctant to preach to the Gentiles—Peter being the most reluctant. But it was to Peter the keys of the Kingdom were given and he must be the one to use them. He and John (Acts 8:14-15) went to Samaria to verify the salvation of the Samaritans. It was righteous Peter who was sent first to the Gentiles—to the (Acts 10) house of Cornelius. After the vision in Joppa, Peter was sent to Caesarea with a zeal and enthusiasm equaled only by the prophet Jonas on his way to preach at Nineveh. But, the Holy Spirit taught him well and Peter learned the truth—Jesus died for Gentiles, also. Peter’s witness concerning the Gentiles was vital (Acts 11 & 15). The Holy Spirit led and directed the work of Paul. He did not permit the apostle (Acts 16:7) to go into Asia.  He led him into Macedonia through a vision (Acts 16:9). The leadership of the Holy Spirit is just as vital to God’s messengers today.

J.A. Hatcher
[Click here to view all “The Challenge of Missions” posts by John A. Hatcher]

Missionaries John and Alta Hatcher have served the Lord in Brazil since 1955, planting over 70 churches that are still in existence. They now reside in Florida where they continue to share the Gospel with everyone they meet.

 

 

John A. and Alta Hatcher

15905 Mercott Court
Clermont FL 34714
229-529-8497
jhatcher1925[at]gmail.com

Click here to give.


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Missionary Update: John & Alta Hatcher Stateside from Brazil [May 2016]

Missionaries John and Alta Hatcher have served the Lord in Brazil since 1955, planting over 70 churches that are still in existence.

May 16, 2016

Dear Brethren and Friends of Baptist Faith Missions:

In the sixty years Alta and I served in Brazil there were many wonderful experiences and individuals who became a permanent part of our lives. None was more vital than the two sisters, Maria and Maria Helena, who became a part of our family life. The youngest, Maria Helena, wrote the poem at the bottom. I translated the poem. I know you will enjoy knowing and thank God for what He did in their lives through the Gospel taken by the work of BFM.

The Hatcher Kids after one year in Brazil

The Hatcher Kids after one year in Brazil

LAST WEEK OF FIRST MISSIONARY TERM IN BRAZIL
In the year 1958, during the last week of our first term, I was invited to preach a revival at the Calvary Baptist Church.  Maria was a member of the small Church. During the week her father was saved.  Her mother had died. During the year we were home, her father passed away. We learned this soon after returning from furlough.

We got in touch and it was decided they would live with us as members of our family, as daughters. Maria Helena was thirteen and Maria was eighteen. They finished High School and Seminary and became school teachers. In time, Maria Helena married a preacher and became the mother of three children: two sons and a daughter. Maria never married but gave her life as a missionary working with mothers and children. She is eighty-eight and still serving the Lord. She is one of God’s greatest servants. Maria Helena lost her husband and oldest son in a car accident. She never married again but is faithful in serving the Lord.

With this short story of what the Gospel did in these lives, I know you will enjoy the poem better and thank God for what He did in our lives and in the lives of Maria and Maria Helena.

Thank you, Lord, for the years you gave us in Brazil, for the changes in lives as these two sisters and for the friends who have been so faithful to support us with their prayers and financial help.  Give thanks to our Lord for all He has done in Brazil!

Sincerely, In His Name,
John A. and Alta Hatcher

FOR PASTOR JOHN AND ALTA

Parana (State), beautiful and fertile land,
Where the sun shines with splendor.
In winter we warm ourselves
And hide from the cold winds.

Pastor and Sister Alta, beautiful and precious stones,
You, with your lives, brought us
New life, new vision, new light.

Stones, strong and brilliant,
That helped many persons
Recuperate their lives.

Many times it seemed that nothing went right,
You came, with great care,
And diminished the pain.

I remember in Garca (Garsa)
You worked in the city streets,
Spreading the Word of the Lord.

Many lives were changed;
Hearts were transformed;
By the outreach of your dear hands.

I ask God, our Lord
To protect you eternally!
You will always be a link
To bless sad hearts.

Thank you, soldiers of the Lord!
You, with all this love for souls and lives,
Have saved broken hearts
From danger and pain.

I ask God to keep you!
And you can be sure
You will always be greatly loved.
“With much love.”  Maria Helena

John A. and Alta Hatcher
15905 Mercott Court
Clermont FL 34714
229-529-8497
jhatcher1925[at]gmail.com

Click here to give.


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