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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What’s a Missionary Wife’s Life Like?

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Bobby and Charlene Wacaser have served the Lord as church planters in Curitiba, Parana, Brazil, since 1985.

April 22, 2022

Dear readers,

When I’m asked what a missionary wife’s life is like, I guess I have to say that it is as varied as there are missionary wives. This is true because every missionary wife has her own personality and her own set of skills and struggles that shape her. I’m certain that there are many circumstances and experiences that we missionary wives have in common just by the nature of our calling to leave our families, our home culture and language. But how we adjust to all of these is different in many ways because we are different in many ways.

Before anything else, though, I want you to know that I do not consider my life on the foreign mission field a sacrifice or a burden. I am thankful to the Lord for the life He has given me. Yes, I have my struggles and hardships, but I know that each and every one of you do too. Some of mine are completely different because of my calling, but many are very similar to yours. I am both happy and fulfilled in what the Lord is using me to do here in Brazil. I thank Him for the privilege to serve Him where I am.

It is hard for me to put a title on my role, so I will just share some of the things that I do and not worry about titles. I help our couples’ ministry team leaders prepare for our outreach events. We usually hold 4 to 5 of these events per year. They are basically two-hour banquets, each with a different décor theme and different marital issues in focus. My husband, Bobby, usually brings a message addressing the marital principle in focus and always shares the gospel with the lost guests. My part is to help plan the décor and set up the auditorium for those who attend.

I also work with our children’s teaching ministry. We have put together a great team of volunteers who are gifted teachers and I assist them now. Through the course of our ministry and with each new church plant, I am usually the first and main children’s teacher as we begin to discover and develop new teachers from among our new converts.

Maybe one of my most important roles, though, is to assist Bobby in whatever he needs me to do. When he has to counsel women, he always has me with him, both for my female input and for ministerial integrity.

Our home life is one of the strongest illustrations of what we teach and of what he preaches, so I realize that I must give great attention to making it both pleasant and solid. We have raised our children and we now have an “empty nest,” but I want it to still be full of joy and love.

The hardest part for me as a woman is the absence of our children and our grandson. But I would rather be 5,000 miles away from them doing what the Lord wants me to do than to be in the same city with them when that’s not His will for me.

My prayer request is that Bobby and I will always be attentive to the Lord’s leading. We want to be in fellowship with Him so intimately that we will know when and where He is leading us to new opportunities to share the gospel and plant new churches.

I am really grateful to all of you who pray for us and for the faithful support to maintain our ministries.

Yours in the love of Jesus,
Charlene Wacaser

Contact Info:
Bobby & Charlene Wacaser
Rua Laudelino Ferreira Lopes, 279
Sobrado 1, Novo Mundo
81050-310 Curitiba, PR. Brasil
Phone: 55-41-99899-2333
bobbymichael_1@hotmail.com

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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Souls Saved, Lives Changed

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Bobby and Charlene Wacaser have served the Lord as church planters in Curitiba, Parana, Brazil, since 1985.

November 20, 2021

Dear Friends, 

The expression, ‘very eventful,’ that some of us use to describe a busy period can be a little misleading. All periods of time are filled with events, be they noteworthy or not. I mention this because I was going to start this letter by saying that this past month has been ‘very eventful’, when in fact, every month is, for every person. So, what I will say is that this past month has been filled with some events that were quite noteworthy to us, and we hope to you as well.

The newly ordained pastor, Cledson, and his wife and volunteer leaders took about 40 of our teens to camp this past weekend and the Lord blessed in a tremendous way. Many of the youth were deeply impacted through the daily study of God’s word and the teaching they received. There were six teens who were baptized as followers of Christ at the end of this youth camp.

This last month we also had the privilege of working with one of the Projeto Vida (Project Life) teams in street evangelism. Our Agape team has been called upon to head up a citywide ministry to the homeless. There are many people, including entire families, that are homeless in our capital city. The weather here is generally cool almost year-round and when it gets cold these folks suffer for lack of shelter and warm food. I took three American pastors who came to visit our work out to the minister among those folks who came looking for help. The Lord worked powerfully to convict and save many of these dear people. While some of our team were feeding them, giving them haircuts, a bath and supplying some with shoes, clothing and blankets, we shared the gospel with them and the Lord brought repentance and faith to several. The Agape team leader, Mateus, is doing a fantastic job of following up with those who surrender their life to Christ. Some of them were addicted to cocaine and crack and several have, by God’s grace, gotten their lives cleaned up and have begun new lives living responsibly and drug free. I was so thrilled to see the Lord using me as a translator for these American brothers and know that His grace is never limited by language or bad choices in the past.

One of our friends and Brazilian brothers has been instrumental in a new church plant in a small town not far from the capital. He asked us and the visiting pastors to bring the message to the congregation while they were here. Their services are in a public-school auditorium on Saturday evenings. Since they don’t have a building yet, this allows the pastor to continue to minister at his sending church for the time being and there is no cost to rent the location. This setup also puts the new church in the middle of the community where they want to make an impact for Christ.

The larger building that we thought that we would be moving our church into last month didn’t work out. It was a little bit of an emotional letdown, but we know that the Lord is in control of all things and that this was not something that slipped by Him. We will continue to look, but we are also actively working on how to hold two services and two Bible study hours each Sunday to deal with the overflowing attendance. We pray for the Lord to give us wisdom and guidance through this process of growth plans. We are also thankful that this is the kind of problem that we are dealing with.

Thank you for your faithful prayers and support. Have a great holiday season. 

In Christ’s love, 
Bobby and Charlene Wacaser

Contact Info:
Bobby & Charlene Wacaser
Rua Laudelino Ferreira Lopes, 279
Sobrado 1, Novo Mundo
81050-310 Curitiba, PR. Brasil
Phone: 55-41-99899-2333
bobbymichael_1@hotmail.com

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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Praising God for His Protective Hand

Jud and Raquel Hatcher are third generation missionaries serving the Lord in São Paulo, Brazil. They are part of the “SeedFactory” church planting initiative, which is a movement to plant churches in all 26 Brazilian capitals. Since 2006, 43 churches have been started in 5 states.

January 25, 2021

Dear Friends,

This was a roller coaster month for us.

I started the month participating in an ordination council of two qualified men for pastoral ordination. Due to COVID-19, the council met via Zoom conference. It was a real joy to hear how the Lord worked in the life of these men and their families in their ministerial journey.Two baptism candidates began orientation and discipleship and will be baptized soon. It is always exciting to see people surrendering to the Lord and following in believer’s baptism. Read more


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Testing & Trusting

Jud and Raquel Hatcher are third generation missionaries serving the Lord in São Paulo, Brazil. They are part of the “SeedFactory” church planting initiative, which is a movement to plant churches in all 26 Brazilian capitals. Since 2006, 43 churches have been started in 5 states.
June 27, 2020

Dear friends,

This season of COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be a trying period. São Paulo City is a Coronavirus hotspot in Brazil. We went into an intense quarantine lockdown. Thankfully, we have a loving Father who cares for us and we can trust in His providence and sovereignty during uncertain times.

Our four kids began home online distance learning in mid-March. We only have two old computers, so we borrowed an additional two from friends. The first two weeks without all the necessary equipment was tough. In addition, the learning curve on how to use the educational platforms the school selected was rough, especially since the teachers were also learning how to use them and our internet speed did not cooperate. Thankfully, a technician eventually came to exchange the defective internet modem, the borrowed computers arrived, and teachers and parents learned the systems. Completing daily schoolwork assignments often took our kids 12 hours in a day. While this kept them (and us) “busy”, it was also concerning that it was so demanding on our time. Closing out the school year at home tripled our daily workload. As we reflect on all this, we are grateful for growing closer together as a family.

A couple months ago, Raquel suspected she had the coronavirus. She called the hospital to inquire if she had enough symptoms to go for a consultation and testing, or if she should remain in home observation. When she mentioned the hard time breathing the nurse said, “you need to come in immediately for testing.” The nurse went on to explain that difficulty in breathing was the requirement for going to the Emergency Room during the lockdown.

After arriving, completing the initial tests and waiting a couple of hours… test results returned positive… Raquel tested positive with a little baby. What? She didn’t have COVID-19, she was 4 weeks pregnant. Amid mixed emotions, we were overcome with joy and felt blessed with the gift of new life. We took a family portrait and celebrated the new family member with our children. Our four kids were elated with the news of a new sibling and family planning began for this next phase in our life.

At eight weeks of pregnancy, Raquel began to bleed… She went to the ER… The ultrasound detected no heartbeat. She had suffered a miscarriage. We were collectively heartbroken… 

Every life is precious and celebrated. We know we will see this unborn child when in glory. In the meantime, we rest assured knowing the Lord is faithful and true. We trust in Him.

Ministry wise, we continue to meet with our people in quarantine through video-conferencing apps, social media alternatives, delivering ready-to-eat meals, assisting people with physical and spiritual needs. Hygiene kits and groceries have been delivered to elderly and people in need, as financial means are possible to do so.

Trusting in the Lord is our strong fortress as we live through a pandemic here in Brazil. We are grateful to you for your prayers and support.

Grateful always,
The Hatchers

Contact Info:
Jud & Raquel Hatcher
São Paulo, Brazil
judsonhatcher@gmail.com

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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Celebrating a Dozen Years in Kenya

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The Tate Family has served the Lord in Kitale, Kenya since January 2008. Their main ministry is church planting.

February 13, 2020

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ,

I want to thank you all for your prayers and support over the years. We just celebrated our twelfth year in Kenya—we left the United States to commence our ministry in Kenya on January 31st, 2008. It hardly seems possible that another year has come and gone again. We’ve gone through a lot of ups and downs in the past twelve years. There have been so many times I was certain we would never make it another year, another month, or even another day. Those times of doubt and frustration, periods of being overwhelmed and wanting to quit still come, and I’m sure we will again face them in the future. But by the grace of God we are still here. We definitely attribute our still being here to God alone and not to our own strength. If still being in Kenya was dependent upon our own strength, we would have left long ago. But God is good and He has strengthened us for this ministry. All the praise and all the glory go to Him. And if you are reading this report then that means you are interested in our ministry and support and pray for our ministry. We need partners like you to continue this work here. Thank you again for your prayers and support. We couldn’t even think about doing this without you.

At the Chapel we just completed an 18-week expository study of the book of Galatians. I thought it was crucial for the Chapel folks to know and understand that we are justified and sanctified by faith and not by the works of the Law. I think church goers in every culture (Kenyan and American) struggle with this Biblical teaching, trying to be acceptable to God by being “good enough”, by “human righteousness”, by not doing certain things, by keeping certain rules and regulations. I taught my people, as Paul taught his, that we are justified and sanctified by faith in Christ Jesus. We ended our study by investigating “walking in the Spirit” and how the Spirit’s fruit is produced in our lives. (By the way, my people are very gracious and loving towards me. Last week I preached for an hour and fifteen minutes before I even realized what time it was. Everybody listened attentively and nobody complained about the length of the message. I think I would burn too many roasts if I tried that in the States.)

Let me here give some kudos out to my wife (without her knowing that I’m doing it). Julie works so hard as the Head Teacher and main administrator of the Milimani Christian Homeschooling Community where she volunteers at that position. She does such an amazing job and cares for the kids of the school so much. She so very much desires that these kids get a good, Christian education so that they can thrive as adults and go change their world for Jesus. Many of these kids also have various learning disabilities which have prevented them from thriving at other schools and which has landed them at MCHC. Julie is helping come up with unique and outstanding ways of helping these kids learn. One of the MCHC directors told her this week, “Julie, you can teach anybody”. Another visiting missionary referred to her as a “rockstar”. Also, a mother of one of high school students recently posted this on Facebook:  “Last year I had a seriously depressed teen hating school and threatening to just leave and drop out, not caring about university, unhappy, ill etc etc. Removed from school system into a home based system and he is happy, striving, talking about getting A’s and interest in university fully awakened”.  Julie is definitely using this opportunity to make a big impact in the lives of these children and for the Kingdom of Jesus.  Glory to our Lord and Savior!

Blessings to you all,
Roger, Julie, Amy, Josiah & Chloe
rojuta[at]gmail.com
Visit their blog!

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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Pray for Rio Branco


Mike and Beverly Creiglow have served the Lord in Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil together since 1971. In addition to pastoring First Baptist of Cruzeiro do Sul, Mike builds his own boats and frequently travels up and down rivers to share the Gospel with those who have never heard.

February 12, 2020

Dear Brethren,

Grace and peace from us in fairly peaceful Cruzeiro do Sul. It looks like the rainy season is finally going to get under way. Most of the rain is falling in southern Brasil though and we are still waiting. I had to cancel a river trip in January because the bottom dropped out of the river. I was able to send our bricklayer by canoe to the last congregation at the mountains on the Moa River to continue the work on their new building. In fact, it worked out that because the roads dried up, he was also able to spend a few days at Gama, Amazonas (opposite direction by almost a hundred miles) to finish the parsonage for missionary Anísio.

Bev and I made a mission trip to the state capital Rio Branco. Let me tell you what that is all about. Almost 30 years ago we started a church in Rio Branco. Only after much prayer and reluctance on my part that I agreed to start a new church there. At the time there was one rather solid Brazilian convention church and a sprinkling of Regular Baptist churches. Most of them were dying. At the same time, we had dozens of folks who had been saved here in Cruzeiro and had moved to Rio Branco and were begging for a church with solid doctrine and evangelistic spirit. Three times a group of them bought their own tickets and came to Cruzeiro do Sul to beg me to start a church. My reluctance was because ethically I did not want to infringe on a region that already had churches. Nevertheless, I finally acquiesced. We had a good pastor from Brother John Hatcher’s work in Manaus who was in Rio Branco at the time, but was poised to return to Manaus. We started meeting in a school in a neighborhood that had no church of any kind. I visited them once a month. We eventually found property and I helped them build their first building. They grew quickly and soon we organized the church.

Over the years the convention church finally became charismatic. It is now the largest “evangelical” church in the state. They dragged 25 of the 27 convention churches in the states into the prosperity gospel movement. Many of the Regular Baptist churches died. The 2 or 3 that survived are just hanging on. They are extremely legalistic and reaching no one. Our church, Igreja Batista Memorial, grew steadily. They got up over 200 members. They built a bigger building and were doing great, then the pastor left. He put in his place a guy who is a hypercalvinist (without consulting our church). The new guy is a good teacher, but very arrogant. Recently he has been calling himself Rabbi Lopes! The church quit preaching the gospel a few years ago. We have reached out to them in several ways, but there is no longer any interest in reaching the lost. The church is dying. They now have 50 or fewer people in their Sunday services. I know this because one of our members who has stayed faithful puts videos on Facebook of the Sunday services. I have seen 3 of these videos and can count the number of folks present.

For about 3 years now I have been struggling in prayer about what to do. Recently unchurched people from Rio Branco have been begging me to start another church. Bev and I went to meet informally with a few of these folks a couple of weeks ago. Looks like we are going to have to bite the bullet and do what has to be done.

First Baptist Church of Cruzeiro do Sul continues to take the gospel to the most remote places. During 2019 we sent out two more missionary families. We will continue to do this until we have planted churches in all the cities of our state, neighboring states and countries. BUT, Rio Branco has half the population of our state. There are almost 500,000 people concentrated in one spot and the gospel has been abandoned by the local churches.

Thanks for staying with me through this long read. I need you to pray with us about this challenge. Frankly I don’t know exactly how to proceed, but we cannot wait any longer. So please help me with your prayers.

Thanks for all of your prayers and support. God bless you as much as He has us.

In Christ,
Mike Creiglow

Mike and Beverly Creiglow
Caixa Postal 24
Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil 69980
mdcreig [at] hotmail.com

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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4 More People Saved! Starting New Work in Cajatuba

Odali and Kathy Barros served the Lord in Sao Paulo, Brazil together from 1987-2013. In late 2013, they transitioned to Manaus in Northern Brazil to start sharing the Gospel and planting churches in villages along the river.

August 21, 2019

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings from the Amazon jungle!!! Hope and pray that all are doing great and enjoying the peace and blessings from our Lord and Savior. We are doing great. We have been busy since we got back from our short break in the US. The work in the city of Iranduba is coming along. We are in a new location where there are actually more people. The Pastor and his wife who came to work with us are going there. Please continue to pray for this work. Also, in two weeks we will be starting a new work in the village called Cajatuba. To get there we have to go by boat. There are 2 families that we know that live there.

Each year we have 3 festivals as a reach-out program. We had our first one this year last Saturday. We visited the villages near the church and made a purpose to visit especially those who were not Christians. The festival went great and we had over 300 that attended. We had a singing and praise time, then there was a skit that presented the gospel. What a great time! The last two weeks we have had 4 people saved! How exciting to see God working in the people’s lives.

Pray that God will direct us as we try to reach out more and more in the communities around us. Many of the people do not have transportation so it is hard for them to come to church. Some only have motorcycles and can only bring 2. We have a family from the church that live a good distance from the church and if they all come to the same service they make 2 trips so everyone can come to the same service. That is why we have several services or Bible Studies in the different communities.

We want to thank those who prayed for our son and his wife who lost their baby. They are doing very well. God has given them the comfort they need.
Thanks for your prayers and your giving to the ministry. God bless each of you.

Odali & Kathy

Odali & Kathy Barros
Iranduba, Amazonas
Brasil, S.A.
odali_kathy[at]hotmail.com

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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