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


Read more

Rejoicing Over a New Believer in France

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is JMHatcher_profile.jpg
Missionaries John and Judy Hatcher have been serving the Lord in Tournefeuille, France since 1999. They define their ministry as “disciple-making.”

March 17, 2022

Dear Co-Laborers in Christ,

We hope this finds you enjoying the presence of the Lord in your life. Judy and I just returned from Florida where we spent just over three weeks taking care of my dad while my brother Paul recovered from a hernia surgery—a hernia brought on by physically managing the care of our father. We are grateful beyond words for the care that Paul and Wanda continue to joyfully give. After forty years of service in Brazil they moved to the USA to care for Mom, Dad and Wanda’s mother. The two mothers moved in the presence of the Lord four years ago. Dad and Mom were missionaries serving with support through Baptist Faith Missions for 60 years in three different regions of Brazil. Dad is now very limited mentally and physically.

God has continued to work through His people here in France. Three weeks ago, Timo, an eighteen-year-old young man, contacted Philip indicating that he wanted to follow the Lord in baptism. He has been coming to church activities along with his family since he was in grade school. Timo has clearly expressed his faith in Christ for the last few months and grown spiritually in a very evident way. This is a great encouragement to us.

Some have asked us how far we are from the events in Ukraine. There are about two thousand miles between us and the ongoing conflict. Thank you for your concern and remember to pray for believers who are on site and people who need Christ in Ukraine and Russia.

Thank you for your faithful support in many different ways.

Your brother and sister in Christ,
John and Judy Hatcher

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.


Read more

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.”


Read more

Back in the States!

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.

July 21, 2021

Hello friends!

WE ARE BACK IN AMERICA! Yes, we were due back a year ago, but COVID kept us from coming. We arrived in Florida on June 18th and got our vaccines. We will settle in Wheaton, IL for the kids´ academic school year. Our one-year Stateside assignment/furlough will last until July 2022. We desire to visit your family and/or church. If you’d like for us to come visit, please reach out to me. My cellphone is (872) 400-6522, and my email is judsonhatcher@gmail.com. We’d love to catch up with you! And, as they say on TV, “call us today!” Pun aside, we want to invest time with you and personally share what the Lord has done over the last 5 years. Yes, it has been five years since we last were in the States and we want to catch up and take pictures with you. 

During our first month in the US, we enjoyed quality time at my parents’ home in Florida. It is a blessing to our four kids (and us) to have time with their Grandparents Paul & Wanda Hatcher and with their Great Grandpa John Hatcher. The Lord also allowed us to visit a few of our supporting churches and friends. For 4th of July weekend, my sister Michelle and her family came from Georgia, and we had a great time together. Sarah, Laura, Benjamin and Melissa were invited by our dear friend Todd Thomas to attend Family Church´s student camp at Lake Placid. The spiritual impact on their lives was tremendous. This last Monday our beloved friends Jason & Nikki Estes took us to Busch Gardens – Tampa Bay. The following day, we celebrated our daughter Laura´s 15th birthday at her favorite restaurant, at a plaster painting workshop and ice-cream with Grandpa, Grandma and cousin Luke.

In the meantime, the ministry in Sâo Paulo is well taken care of. But, we also have Zoom conference calls and individual follow-ups with people, even while in the US. In a nutshell, during the last 5 years in São Paulo, the Lord allowed us to start and/or revitalize five churches and assist several orphaned children into foster care. We are grateful to serve the Lord in His Kingdom!

We are truly thankful for your continued support and prayer. Don´t forget to contact us. 
 

Always grateful,
Jud and Raquel Hatcher

Contact Info:
Jud & Raquel Hatcher
São Paulo, Brazil
judsonhatcher@gmail.com
(872) 400-6522

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.


Read more

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.




Read more

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


Read more

Revitalizing Churches and Reaching “Paulistanos”

Jud and Raquel Hatcher serve 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.

Dear friends,

Thank you for your faithful prayers, engagement and financial investment. Read about a pastor who travels 6 hours to preach, a Digital Magazine on YouTube channel and “don’t come in, we are too high”. Intrigued? Please, read on.

Church Revitalization
Four months ago, Pastor Fabiano from Lupercio Baptist Church (started by my grandfather – John Hatcher) contacted me asking for help. We meet at a coffee shop and spoke for 3 hours. He explained “two years ago a church (that is now 47 years old with and average attendance of 25 people) here in São Paulo asked me for assistance, they were without a pastor for 8 years and were considering closing the doors. I agreed to travel 6 hours into the city to minister to them once a month. The church really wants and needs a full-time pastor, but they don’t have enough funds to sustain one.” He went on to ask me to help them in revitalization, growth and eventually bring in candidates for a new senior pastor. I agreed. I do training there on Wednesday evenings. We’ve worked through several series “Letting the Philippian Joy become Yours”, “Taking an X-ray of this Church”, “How to Effectively Share Christ”, and now we are walking through “How to Disciple a New Believer”. The church is considering a pastoral candidate I indicated, Helder Castro. Helder accepted Christ through my father’s ministry. I served as his mentor for several years and officiated his wedding ceremony. He has pastored in Manaus for 12 years. He visited the church twice for interviews and preaching. They will vote in the end of August for him to start in January 2020. In the meantime, I will step up my role to serve them as an interim pastor until December 2019. Helder will move with his wife and two sons to serve in making disciples through “Igreja Batista em Jardim Maria Virginia.”

I am excited as this church has also agreed to participate in sending people for church planting with us and will also be a part of our “Life Together Network” of churches in São Paulo. Helder and Renatha will be a great contribution, as they are also church planters and we’ve worked together for many years. If the Lord lays on your heart to contribute in prayer and financially assisting Pastor Helder during his first year in this church revitalization, please do so by designating to “J.H. – Pastor Helder / Church Revitalization” through BFM.

Imagine, a Baptist Church
Church planting is intense, especially with multiple fronts. Over the last year, we are enjoying the most fun we’ve ever had as a family in doing what we have always loved doing. Imagine is focused on reaching out to the unsaved/unchurched urban São Paulo city dweller. “Paulistanos”, (as they are called in São Paulo city) are typically well informed, well-educated and cultured. If they are not “church going people” type, they don’t plan to go… Period. We have done a lot of strategy customizing to finally reach our target audience. “Paulistanos” are known in Brazil as “workaholics” and in their down-time they want to hangout with friends and family, not go to “some religious meeting”. So, we, the Church are going to where they are and doing what we know will gain credibility and trust in their hearts. We have our weekly evangelistic gatherings in parks, sports stores, malls, hospitals and through home dinners. As people surrender to Christ, we schedule basic discipleship in their home. We have a “Celebration Gathering” once a month. In addition to this, we are currently working on our “YouTube” Channel to produce a Digital Magazine with episodes of 5 to 8 minutes, with Biblical teaching, insights for living and music. A “Paulistano” won’t listen to a 40-minute sermon while in the subway but will listen to us for 5 to 8 minutes at a time. I have invited a spiritually solid team to help develop the content, including my father – Paul Hatcher. I’ve consulted with well-known Brazilian YouTubers on how to get it all started. Video production takes a lot of time, but the library of content with easy access for anyone and anywhere is priceless.

Hope, a Baptist Church
This church is situated in the middle of three ghettos, the families we minister to are very poor. My heart breaks every time I walk into people’s homes and see the precarious conditions they live with their children. People’s hearts are very hardened and without hope. Here we have weekly Bible teaching, evangelism and home visitation. When we first started here, I wasn’t sure how we would be received by the people, but as a rule (when the adults aren’t high or drunk) we get invited inside their homes to pray and we receive a listening ear. Adult women tend to be infantile, as most of them never had a real childhood, due to becoming mothers at a young age. Men are stern and often irresponsible with their families.  We do a lot of “Life Together” with people so they can see the light of grace. We’ve had pasta nights, pizza parties, hamburger meets. Kids attend well in the children’s ministry, adults are tougher, but we have made way in their hearts.

If you’d like to invest time in prayer for these and future church-plants, please do. Consider also in investing financially, you can do so by sending your contribution through Baptist Faith Missions, please designate “Jud Hatcher – Church planting”.

Family
Sarah and Laura started their new school year on July 30th, Benjamin and Melissa started on the 31st. They had a 6-week break between school years and were excited to start back. Stateside, the school year beak is in the Summertime and is synonymous with “Fun in the Sun”. Well, in the Southern Hemisphere, July is the coldest month of the year and homes do not have central heating systems. Electricity is so expensive that space heaters are not commonly used. Hence, our school year break is synonymous with “Eat your soup before it gets too cold.”

We are truly grateful for the school the Lord provided for them. A year ago, Melissa (7 years) had not learned to read or write at the school in which the kids were enrolled. After a year (and much hard work) at this new school, Melissa know how to read and write in English and Portuguese. We are elated with joy as our kids are inspired by their teachers to study hard.

Recently, Baptist Faith Missions (through the leadership of the directors and Bro. Dave Parks’ administrational skills) changed the health insurance provider, and all to the better. The plan gives us access to the best hospital in Brazil, located in São Paulo. As a result, we will be able to get more efficient treatment for Laura’s left ear severe hearing loss, that was caused by a punctured ear drum.

As always, thank you for loving us and praying. We love you. Want to visit us in São Paulo? We’d love you host you. Come on down (Just let us know before you arrive at our door).

Grateful always,
Jud & Raquel Hatcher

Judson & Raquel Hatcher
(859) 544-9040
judsonhatcher@gmail.com
Website | Twitter | Facebook
Click here to give now.


Read more

São Paulo & Paraná Churches Gather in Marília

Jud and Raquel Hatcher serve 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.

October 26, 2018

Dear friends,

The Lord is doing some amazing things around us and we are so grateful for all He is doing.

Family

We were growing uneasy with the education the kids were receiving, despite the local public school being one of the best in São Paulo. Through a series of rapid events we were able to enroll our children in an American Christian private school. The kids went through the assessments and necessary interviews to start and are loving their new school. We are now on the American academic calendar which facilitates when we travel to and from the States, as their academic school year will no longer be goofed. We are grateful to the BFM directors as they worked with and assisted us in the process of making this decision.

The school is located on the other side of town and with morning rush hour it took 1 hour and 40 minutes to arrive. The Lord again showed us His hand of grace and provided a good house. The first day of school was also our move-in to the house. We are now three minutes away by car.

The school has a great athletic program. Sarah and Laura are on the JV basketball team and Benjamin is in the boy’s soccer team. Melissa is learning how to play basketball. We are overjoyed with the academic and athletic attention our kids are receiving.

Raquel is working hard at making our new house a home. I admire her “can do” attitude as we work together in this home and school transition with the kids.

Ministry

I recently had the privilege to serve as the key-note speaker at the Baptist Faith (informal) Association of São Paulo and Paraná churches. These were churches started by John Hatcher and Odali Barros during their ministries in that region. Churches from all over drove into the city of Marília for this holiday event. The event was organized by Baptist Faith Church, led by Pastor Gilberto Stefano. Gilberto was mentored in pastoral ministry by Grandpa and he is a tremendous leader. There were 588 people in attendance. Marilía is a 5-hour drive from the capitol. I went and returned on the same day to fulfill my other commitments in São Paulo. It was a sweet, sweet day and it was amazing to see so many friends.

Our move still allows us to continue working with the three home gatherings in the other part of the city. It also allows us to expand. In this next phase we are looking to lease a meeting hall or school for church gatherings. I met yesterday with a pastor whose English speaking church does not use their facilities on Sunday evenings and sent a lease proposal for their consideration for us to use the space on Sunday nights and once a week. The location is situated near two subway stations of a recently inaugurated train line. If the Lord opens this door, this will be our new base and training center. Our team is coming into place too. We have a worship leader and a “knows everyone” leader that will compose our leadership team. Pray for us as we wait for the decision to lease the church’s facility.

Grateful always,
Jud Hatcher

Judson & Raquel Hatcher
(859) 544-9040
judsonhatcher@gmail.com
Website | Twitter | Facebook
Click here to give now.


Read more
^