Judson & Raquel Hatcher
I accepted Christ at five years of age. My mother always read a story from the Bible each night before going to bed. The three of us children always competed to see who would lay next to mother on the waterbed for bedtime story. My favorite story was that of John the Baptist. The children’s Bible we read from had a picture of a woman holding a platter with his head on top. I recall several occasions where I asked my “why did they cut off his head?” In one of those occasions I recall understanding what my mother said regarding why John the Baptist lost his head for Jesus. I remember thinking “if he lost his head for Jesus, Jesus must be important”. When my mother asked me if I wanted to accept Christ as my savior, I said “yes”. That following Sunday I went forward before the church to publicly profess Christ as my Lord and Savior. A couple of weeks later I was baptized by my father.
The Call to Missions
My call into ministry was at age eight. I was born and raised in Brazil, and I could say that “missions is in my genes”. My grandfather, father, uncles and aunt are missionaries. While it is true that most of my family serves as missionaries, the burden for missions is a deep desire the Lord has placed in my heart. While in the United States for my education, I always feared finding an employment opportunity I would love too much and that my “desire” for missions in Brazil would dissipate. Before returning permanently to Brazil in January 2006, I was working in a company based in Virginia Beach. I only worked commercial hours. I thoroughly enjoyed working with the owner of the company and the employees and had a great salary. I REALLY LOVED MY JOB! When time came for us to return to Brazil permanently, I didn’t need to think twice. I KNEW in my heart with CONVICTION that church planting in Brazil was God’s calling for my life. The fear of finding “comfort and wanting to stay a lifetime in America” was now overcome.
Qualification & Education
My formative years growing up on the field gave me years of unmatched ministerial experience I still glean from. I learned a lot throughout my childhood about ministry, church planting and missions. After completing high school in Brazil I began my bachelor’s degree at Lexington Baptist College. After graduating, I began my Masters of Education in Leadership Training at Regent University. I returned to Brazil for a year and taught a leadership/ministry training course. Raquel & I married in January 8, 1999 and came to the States. (Marriage is part of the “on-the-job training” course of life.) I completed my M.Ed. in 2003 and ordained by Atlantic Shores Baptist Church, Virginia Beach, VA in 2005. My management experience in non-church environments tremendously enriched my leadership capabilities, people skills and problem solving abilities. My trilingual competency & bicultural knowledge gave me ample opportunities for growth within multinational companies while in America.
Raquel and I have two children and a third one on the way. Sarah Isabel will be 3 years in March. She is lively and energetic. She loves to run in the grass, paint pictures and play in the living room with her legos. She has a strong personality and a good sense of justice. Laura Elizabeth will be 2 years in June. She is sweet and loving. Her big eyes are warm and charming. She loves to bath her dolls in the tub, play hide and seek, and swing until she falls asleep. She likes to sit in big sister’s chair too. Benjamin Judson will be born in March, 2008. We have many expectations as to how he will be, but one thing is sure he’ll be the boy God planned him to be.
Our objective as church planters is to plant churches and through the training process equip Brazilian men to pastor the churches. To train Brazilian men to be pastors is my passion. We have 164 people in the “AdorArte” training program directly under my supervision. I lead a team of 26 leaders that assist with the training process. I am also investing time in 13 promising men, all in their mid and late twenties. They lead ministry teams and speak in evangelistic events throughout Manaus in congregations, schools and in open air evangelistic crusades. We have developed training resources designed specifically with the Baptist doctrines, principles and philosophy of ministry, which are available for the pastors we train, to train others.
“My name is Raquel Hatcher. I was blessed to be born in a Christian home. My parents have always been dedicated Christians and faithful participants in the work of God. As a little child, I remember my mother telling us (me and my other three sisters), Bible stories and praying daily for our family.”
“When I was eight years old, I accepted Christ in a Sunday school class at the First Baptist Church of Interlagos, São Paulo. I vividly recall the impact the Bible story had on me that morning. I felt guilty for all my sins. I understood the necessity of having my sins forgiven and having salvation through Jesus Christ. Even as a young child, I new that if I rejected Jesus’ invitation, I would be on my own; that feeling scared me. I needed God. It didn’t take long for me raise my hand, indicating my desire to receive Jesus into my heart. Later on that Sunday morning, I went before the church declaring publicly my decision. Six years later, I was baptized.”
“The mission of sharing the gospel with others has been part of my childhood and youth. My parents decided to leave their city to be missionaries when I was very young. They received their missionary training for a period of 5 years at the New Tribes Mission training seminaries. After that, they served for several years at the Mayoruna tribe, which is located at the border of Brazil and Peru. Today my father is a pastor at a Baptist church in São Paulo.”
“Being involved in the ministry at such a young age, made me sensitive to the need people have of a savior. My desire is to invest my live taking the good news to those in despair.”
Qualification & Education
Raquel is a licensed teacher & licensed clinical psychologist in Brazil. She completed her undergraduate degree at Universidade Luterana do Brasil – Manaus. She studied English as a Second language at Memphis University and Old Dominion University. She earned a Masters of Science in Clinical Psychology at Regent University and is currently completing her dissertation for a Doctorate also through Regent University. She has extensive research & practice in Clinical Psychology with a Christian worldview. Her dissertation topic is: the development of church based Biblical counseling and lay counselor training.
Our OBJECTIVES & Plans
- Start a seed factory church in every capitol of Brazil.
- Continue research, writing and publishing of training materials and resources.
- Recruit, train, send & network pastors and ministry teams into each capitol.
- Recruit, train, send & network pastors and ministry teams across the country of Brazil.
- Continue teaching and mentoring through the Baptist Theological Seminary of Manaus.
- Continue teaching in the School of Missions “Eis-me Aquí”.
- Direct & lead the “AdorArte” Training Center for the Arts.
- Organize and mobilize Evangelistic Crusades & Events in schools, open air locations and churches/congregations.
- Continue one-on-one mentoring of men who desire to become pastors.
- Continue supervision & missions oversight of the congregations currently under my responsibility in Manaus and in other Brazilian states.
- Send Brazilian missionaries to other Portuguese speaking countries.
- Create an awareness to establish a burden amongst Brazilians for the other Portuguese speaking countries.
- Visit Portugal and Mozambique within the next five years
- Once the Brazilian capitols are reached, begin mission trips to the two above mentioned countries.
Judson & Raquel Hatcher