Tag Archives: brazil

Marie Bratcher, 52-year missionary to Brazil, meets her Savior face-to-face

“…’Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.'”  -Matthew 25:23

Marie Bratcher, one of our beloved missionaries to Brazil, peacefully entered into the joy of her Master at 10:39 p.m. on Friday, February 4, 2011.  Hattie Marie Moore Bratcher, was born in Richmond, Kentucky, and married Harold Foley Bratcher on December 27, 1954. The Lord blessed them with three sons: Dr. Asa Mark Bratcher, Pastor Stephen M. Bratcher, and Joel Bratcher, who drowned in the Amazon River at the age of 6.

Harold and Marie Bratcher (front) with John and Alta Hatcher, missionaries to Brazil, who combined have nearly 218 years of service to the Lord in Brazil!

The Back-Story
On February 5, 1919 Dr. Lewis Malen Bratcher arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  This event began a 90 year love ministry of the Bratchers in Brazil that continues to this day.  For the next 35 years, Dr. L.M. Bratcher would labor faithfully in the cities and on mule trails preaching the “good news” (as boas novas) of the saving Gospel of his Lord Jesus Christ.  In June of 1939, he traveled to the Amazon Valley to begin a long awaited and planned Amazon River missions trip with the pioneer Baptist missionary Erik Alfred Nelson.  Soon after the trip began, on June 15, 1939, E.A. Nelson, 76 years of age, went home to be with his Lord.  He served in Brazil for 48 years.  After assisting at the funeral at the First Baptist Church of Manaus that Nelson founded in 1900, Dr. L.M. Bratcher decided to continue the river trip, this time having to inform the Brazilian people of E.A. Nelson’s death and “home going.”  He stated in his memoirs, “Just Longing,” (Saudades) that he would never forget the reaction of the villagers at each stop.  Tears would come to their eyes, and the sorrowful question would be asked “Now who will come and tell us about Jesus?”

The Answer to the Call
Exactly 20 years later, almost to the day, Harold and Marie Bratcher answered that question.  They arrived in the Amazon Valley on July 15, 1959, to begin a 52-year love ministry with the people of Brazil.  In their nearly 52 years of service together, the Bratchers organized over 20 Baptist churches and many other missions in the Amazon Valley.

Marie once stated that she “never received a specific call to be a missionary,” but always strongly affirmed her call of being a faithful loving wife to Harold, therefore following him as he followed the Lord.

Muito Obrigado, Sister Bratcher, for faithfully giving 52 years of your life to Brazil for the sake of the Gospel.

[“Muito Obrigado” is Portuguese for “thank you.” Adapted from their son’s write-up in celebration of their 50 years of service.  Read the full version at Bratchers’ Ministry.]


Marie’s funeral will be Sunday, February 6 at 3:00 p.m.  Her son Asa Mark will be conducting the service.  She will be buried next to her son Joel in the St. John the Baptist Cemetery of Manaus, Brazil.  Missionary E.A. Nelson, “The Apostle of the Amazon” is buried close by as well.

Please pray for her husband Harold and their family.

Any designated love offerings for Brother Bratcher will be deeply appreciated.  You may send them through Baptist Faith Missions at Baptist Faith Missions
c/o George Sledd
P.O. Box 471280
Lake Monroe FL 32771
[Be sure to designate your personal gifts for HAROLD BRATCHER LOVE OFFERING]

“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

Scripture at Sunrise 9.6.2010

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  -Matthew 22:37-39

Love God, Love People.  (Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Matthew 22:34-40, John 13:34-35)
Pray to God, Pray for People.  (1 John 5:13-15, James 5:13-16)
Produce.  Muito Fruto.  (John 15:1-10)

We so much enjoyed having 3rd-generation missionary to Brazil Jud Hatcher and his precious family with us Sunday Morning!  In his message, Bro. Jud shared about the many times he had asked his grandfather John A. Hatcher for advice.  Every time, Bro. Hatcher responded the same way: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  And love your neighbor as yourself.”

Scripture at Sunrise 9.7.09

[Note from Sarah: Every speaker has a different style and it takes me a while to figure out their patterns and get used to taking notes while they’re speaking.  So, bear with me…these are just rough sketches.  I wish I could’ve transcribed these messages!!!!]
Sunday School | 1 John 1:1-10 | Bro. Jason Estes
“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”  -1 John 1:7
Introduction (vs. 1-4)- John lays the foundation and states his purpose for writing (ch. 5:11-12)
1)Christ is our life
2)Christ is eternal
3)Christ is God incarnate
4)Since Christ is our life, eternal and became a man, John had fellowship with God the Father and God the Son.  (fellowship=shared values, cherish thought of spending eternity with them, active)
vs. 3- Since Christ has provided a way to have fellowship with God the Father, we can have fellowship with one another. 

vs. 5-10- Light and Darkness (each characterize people)
Revelation 20:11-15- the end result (a courtroom scene)
He’s so just, that He provides evidence.  (The Book and Supporting Books)
John 3:19-20- The nature of the person in darkness. 
Jude 14-15- The books will be opened.  Knees will bend and tongues will confess that Jesus is Lord.
James 2- Even if you only do one bad thing and 100 good things, you are still guilty! 

How do you get into the book of life? 
Acts 3:18-19- Becuase of what Christ did.  My sins are blotted out! 

John 3:21- Evidence that God was the source of these good deeds. 
vs. 7- result of the newbirth: strive to walk in the light and reach out to others

Reaching out to others:
Genesis 41:53-57- Famine: God provided. 
Amos 8:11- The Famine we face today: spiritual
1 John- Share what God has done! 
*It’s like we have a storehouse of food and those around us are starving.  The storehouses are open, but people are picky eaters.

Morning Worship | Acts 1:4-11, Hebrews 12:1 | Bro. Harold Draper, missionary to Brazil
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  -Acts 1:8
vs. 6- The disciples were concerned with the material side of life. 
*Our primary concern should be the kingdom of God.  (Matthew 6:33)
vs. 8- power=ability, authority to serve Him; He empowers us in the same way.  
*He saves everybody on purpose for a purpose.  He has something for you to do as His child that only you can do. 
-Serve Him in and through His church.  When we come together, He meets with us in a special way. 
*Witnesses to God’s saving grace=our primary function. 
Functions of a witness:
-shines -gives off an aroma  -salty: gives flavor and preserves -fisherman (bait of Gospel on hook) -seed sowers and harvesters

Hebrews 12:1- speaking primarily to Jewish Christians who had been following Old Testament rituals. 
*Look at all those witnesses who have stood firm.  Examples of those who paid a price to serve the Lord are found in Hebrews 11.
*As witnesses, reiterate the Gospel.  We’re here to be his witnesses.
-From Mt. Calvary to Mt. Zion, there are a lot of valleys inbetween. 
*Sometimes being a witness will cost you something.  Our chief purpose is to be His witnesses.  Witness with words and gracious actions. 

Evening Worship | Exodus 39:32-43 | Pastor Steve Wainright
“And Moses saw all the work, and behold, they had done it; as the Lord had commanded, so had they done it. Then Moses blessed them.”  -Exodus 39:43
Our purpose in life is to live to the glory of God and share His Gospel. 
-The tabernacle is completed and they’re bringing it to Moses for inspection.  The tabernacle shows the way of salvation and we get a glimpse of Heaven.  (Leviticus 26:11)  It shows that God is holy, merciful, how He provides, forgives and sanctifies.  It points to Jesus Christ. 
-OT=concealed // NT=revealed
–Symbolism pictures what’s in the present.  Types picture the future. 
-Most of the tabernacle was built as symbols. 
-They were careful to follow instructions.  (vs. 1,5,7,21,26,29,31,32)
Everything God commanded, they did.  (vs. 42)
The result of doing just what God commands: blessing.  (vs. 43)
– – – – –
Jesus as the Tabernacle
-Emmanuel: “God with us”; Hebrews 10:5- body prepared for Him; John 17:4- Christ was perfectly obedient to God the Father
How does all this relate to us? 
-We must do God’s will…God’s way.  How do we know His will?  Through His Word.  What is God’s will (that all should repent and trust in Christ; to co-labor with us; 1 Corinthians 3:9)  Witness.
*God’s Word is not bound.  He can use you in greater ways than you could ever imagine.  He uses us as we are involved in His work. 
*Do God’s will God’s way.  Then expect God’s blessing. 
Do your work God’s way to the glory of God. 
*God blesses you as you put forth your best effort for His glory. 
>There are two ways to do things: God’s Way and the Wrong Way.  Do it as God commanded.  He’ll get the glory and we’ll get the blessing. 
*Our inspection is coming.  (1 Corinthians 5:10- a cause to be obedient)  If Christ’s righteousness has been imputed to you, you will pass the test. 

The Book of Mark: The Servant’s Manual (by John Hatcher)

John Hatcher, missionary to Brazil
The Book of Mark: The Servant’s Manual
The Principles and Example of Jesus the Servant found in the book of Mark
Master’s Purpose: To show how the servants of Christ can take the Gospel into all the world in their generation.

1. The purpose of the servant is to be a fisher of men. (1:17)
2. Do not be deterred by immediate success from reaching the goal – to fish for men unto the ends of the earth. (1:37-38) Every generation has the responsibility of reaching this goal.
3. A servant’s motivation must be love and compassion. (1:41)
4. Overcome comments of critics by action and not by idle arguments (2:8-12)
5. Fish for men everywhere: in the market, at the office, publicly and in the homes.  (2:8-12)
6. How to handle questions. Do not be turned aside by foolish questions.  Do not lose sight of the goal by useless interrogations.  (2:16, 18, 24)
7. How to handle opposition, accusations and persecutions: Do what is right and move on. (3:2-7a)
8. Servants are to reach multitudes. (3:7b-12)
9. Take time to choose and disciple faithful leaders. (3:13-19)
10. There will be enemies that appear among us.  (3:19)  Do as Jesus taught: Leave the enemies to Him. (Example: Judas)
11. Servants will sometimes be misunderstood and suspected falsely by their own families and friends.  (3:21-32)
12. Servants must teach in simple language. (4:2-9)
13. Servants need private instruction and disciplining and the presence of Jesus. (4:10-34)
14. Servants learn by weathering the storms. (4:37-41)
15. Fishers of men must face the impossible in order to learn that all is possible with God, as well as understanding the worth of a man created in the image of God. (5:13)
16. A true servant will leave a living witness where he is not permitted to remain. (5:19-20)
17. The servant must sometimes leave the multitudes to attend the plea of one needy person, and ignore the bad news and scoffers while doing so.  (5:22-24; 5:35-43)
18. As the servant helps one person others will be blessed.  (5:24-34)
19. Servants should not brag about successes.  (5:43)
20. Do not derail because of unbelief.  (6:1-5)
21. Servants must go, send and trust.  (6:6-13)
22. Great servants fall in battle. (6:14-29)
23. Servants must take time to rest. (6:31-32)
24. Multitudes without hope will move a servant’s heart to compassion.  They cannot send the hungry away.  The Master will supply all the servant needs to provide.  (6:34-38)
25. The servant must refuel, refresh, and rejoice in the presence of God. (6:48-51)
26. Servants, be not afraid.  Jesus will come to you in the midst of the storm. (6:48-51)
27. A servant’s success will create jealousy and useless questions based on the traditions of men that, if attended, will take us off track. (7:1-16)
28. Servants can become slow of understanding. (7:17-18)
29. Servants of God cannot harbor ill feelings against any man or race.  (7:27)
30. Servants should do all things well.  (7:37)
31. There will always be multitudes to feed.  Servant’s job: Feed them!
32. Servants handle disputes and arguments by leaving them.  (8:11-13) Jesus’ example: They disputed; He sighed; He left them.
33. Servants can be “blind as bats” when they are worrying about what they are going to eat.  (8:14-21)
34. The servant who hears well increases in faith, as he grows in faith hee is taught more. (8:27-31)
35. Servants do not instruct their Master. (8:32-33)
36. Servants that live for Christ must die to self.  (8:34-38)
37. In dying to self we are raised to transforming heights with Jesus; (9:1-13)  But we cannot stay on the mountain.
38. Fishermen will not catch fish while they waste their energies in fussing. (9:14-19)
39. Defeats in the valley often follow mountaintop experiences. (9:9-18)
40. Power and authority do not reside in servants.  The yielded servant becomes a channgel through which God’s power can flow. (9:19-30)
41. Servants can learn about their own unbelief and weakness from the need and unbelief of others. (9:23)
42. Without Christ the servant is useless. (9:29)
43. Servants are taught more and learn better after they discover their powerlessness without Jesus. (9:31)
44. Servants who want to be great will spend their time disputing with others and lose their power. (9:31-37)
45. Powerless servants will have a tendency to accuse and forbid others. (9:38-41)  Servants do not have the responsibility of judging.
46. Disputing and critical servants will offend little ones (even of their own families) and cause them to stumble.  (9:40-50)  Why are servant’s children often rebellious?
47. Needless questions are asked by those who want to divide.  (10:1-12)
48. Servants must recognize the value that Jesus puts on children.  (10:13-16)
49. How the servant is to deal with those who teach salvation by works? (10:17-27)
50. Faithful servants will be rewarded.  (10:28-30)
51. The closer we are to the cross the more careful we must be not to covet great positions. (10:33-40)
52. How the servant can become great. (10:41-45)
53. God always goes before the servant and prepares the means and the men. (11:1-8)
54. Servants share the glory of their Master.  (11:9-12)
55. Servants who are faithful will suffer for the Master’s cause.  (11:12-21)
56. The greatest need of a servant: Have faith in God.  (11:22)
57. God will hear and attend the servant’s prayer of faith.  (11:23-26)
58. Servants do not possess authority.  Their Master does.  (11:28-33)
59. How to handle enemy opposition: Know the Scriptures.  (12:1-34)
60. God’s servants need to know more than the accusers.  (12:36-37)
61. Servants of God can be deceived when they judge greatness as men do, (13:14); or when they are trouble about current events.  (13:5-37)
62. Servants must learn how to encounter and overcome the trickery of the wicked.  (14:1-2)
63. Servants must not criticize the gifts that others give.  (14:3-9)
64. There will be wicked ones who appear among the servants.  (14:10-11)
65. Jesus, the Master, though close to death, went before His servants in every detail and need; He does much more after the resurrection.  (14:12-16)
66. All servants are powerless in their own strength.  (14:17-51)
67. Servants fail when they trust in their own ability.  (14:53-72)
68. Victory is the result of dying to self—suffering.  Jesus gave the example: Silence, submission, suffering, the sentence of death and then VICTORY.  (15:1-38)
69. Servants in their own strength are devastated.  (15:39-16)
70. Servants are made strong and faithful by the Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead.  (16:14)
71. In the power of Christ servants become flaming evangelists faithful unto death.  (16:15-20)

They went everywhere; They preached to all men;
God was with them; They reached their generation.
Our goal as fishers of men: To go everywhere;
To preach to all men; To reach the world in our generation,
God has promised His presence.

[The first 27 were expounded on Sunday Evening, August 16, 2009, by Bro. John Hatcher.]

Summing Up Sunday 6.28.09

Each Sunday, I’m led to believe that it’s the best Sunday of my life!  And then…the next Sunday, the Lord adds a cherry on top!  ♪If it keeps getting better and better, O Lord, I don’t know what I’m gonna do!♪ 

Today started out with a nice family breakfast at IHOP.  Let’s just say I really enjoyed my pancakes, but my sugar didn’t.  I cut out of IHOP early to make some copies before Sunday School and get the announcements set up.  To my surprise, I wasn’t the first one to arrive at church.  A cute little couple in a shiny red pick-up truck was already there to greet me (aka: John & Alta Hatcher).  Pancakes + Hatchers = It was going to be a good day! 

After busy morning of copies and setting things up, at 9:59 a.m., I hopped in my car to drive down to the Sunday School building.  Ah, it was wonderful to sing with young saints and listen to the things the Lord has revealed to them through His Word this week! 

Sunday School | 1 Peter 2:11-25 | Bro. Steve Dawson
“Honor everyone.  Love the brotherhood.  Fear God.  Honor the emperor.”  -1 Peter 2:17
Steve connected this passage to Titus 3:1-2, Romans 13:1, Daniel and Exodus 1:15-20.  The one connected passage that popped out at me, though, was 1 Timothy 2:1-4: “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.  This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”  Not only are we to honor our President and leaders, we are supposed to be THANKFUL for them.  Authority is given by God and God has providentially placed leaders in authority FOR HIS GLORY! 

Back to the main building, during the song service this morning, I was overwhelmed at the thought of God’s grace: how marvelous, vast, measureless, incomprehendable it is and the fact that He showed it to such a wretched, wicked sinner named Sarah.  Wow!  It is greater than all my sin (and that’s a lot)! 

Sunday Morning | Colossians 3:20-21 | Pastor Steve Wainright
“Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.  Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.”  -Colossians 3:20-21

I am so thankful for the godly parents God has blessed me with.  They have fully obeyed Colossians 3:20-21 and Ephesians 6:1-4 as well as fulfilled Deuteronomy 6:4-9 by teaching me God’s Word from an early age.  (You all know my favorite verse is Psalm 19:14, one of the first Bible verses I could say, thanks to my parents!)  They realized their most important job as my parents was to lead me to Christ and that is exactly what they did.  They live the Gospel in everyday life and it was constantly preached to me.  They have instilled a love for God’s Word me that only grows greater the more I dig and search!  The Lord made them love me so much that they had the love to discipline me.  I pray that I never take my parents for granted.  I pray that my love for wisdom will increase and that this will make both my mother and father glad!  (Proverbs 17:6, 29:3, 10:1, 15:20, 29:17)  Okay, sentimental moment…here are a few of the main points from this morning’s message:
*Parents, teach your children godliness.  The spiritual is what lasts forever.  Put the highest premium on the Word of God, not education and hygiene. 
*Children should want to obey parents BECAUSE it pleases the Lord. 
*Is your desire to please the Lord?  In ALL things?  (Colossians 3:17)
– – – –
After a quick bite to eat (and some extra insulin for those pancakes!), we snatched the Hatchers to celebrate all the Lord has done through the Bratchers!  It was a beautiful celebration you can read more about here.  (Remember to pray for Bro. Harold and Sis. Marie on Monday as they travel back to Manaus!)  I was so thankful to get a picture of the four of them together: a total of 210 years of missionary service in Brazil! 

Bratchers and Hatchers


It was so wonderful to see four of my heroes of the faith together! 


– – – –

Back to church, after some fun with the Little Lifers, we got into the book of Exodus again! 

Sunday Evening | Exodus 34:8-17 | Pastor Steve Wainright
“And he said, ‘If now I have found favor in your sight, O Lord, please let the Lord go in the midst of us, for it is a stiff-necked people, and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for Your inheritance.'”  -Exodus 34:9
vs. 6-7– Moses saw (heard) as much of the glory of God as he could handle.  When we get a glimpse of the glory of God in the face of our lord Jesus Christ, what effect does it have on our being? 
vs. 8– Moses’ response.  The effect of seeing God’s glory=worship!  You cannot worship appropriately if you have no glimpse of His glory. 
vs. 9– Moses “reprays” (prays for the same thing he has a few other times: Exodus 32:31-32, 11-13; 33:12-13, 15-16; 33:14; 34:7; 19:5)  He based his ch. 34:9 prayer on God’s promises.  He is pleading on the promises of God.  Your prayers will always be answered if you pray God’s promises because He always delivers. 
-Moses is once again a type of Christ.  (vs. 9: “OUR sin…”  ~ “He became sin, Who knew no sin…”)
vs. 10– Make=cut (God cut a covenant with Israel).  God’s covenant with us: The blood is more precious and we have a greater Mediator.  Why?  For His glory!!!!  (Psalm 96:3, Romans 16:26- people are obedient to faith for His glory.) 
-As long as we are on this earth, we have a purpose.  God is at work, therefore we need to be mission-minded.  Why?  So other might be obedient to faith that God might be glorified. 
vs. 11-14– Israel’s Responsibility in the Covenant: Don’t make a covenant with any other nation because the other nations have false gods=downward spiral. 
vs. 14– God shows a little bit more of Himself to Moses: He is jealous (Exodus 20:5- to be fiercely protected)  He is protecting those He loves by demanding loyalty from them.  If you love Him, you will want to follow His commands. 
*What is it in your life that competes with your love for God?  
– – – –
So this might be the record-long blogpost.  Can you tell it’s SuMmEr?!  I guess this day was just that edifying for me and I wanted to share it with you.  To those of you who made it all the way through, congratulations…I think I owe you something!  ;o)

50 Year Celebration of the Bratchers’ Ministry to Manaus, Brazil

A recap of the 50 Year Celebration of the Ministry of Harold and Marie Bratcher in Manaus, Brazil (1959-2009), held at David’s Fork Baptist Church of Lexington, Ky. on June 28, 2009 at 3 p.m.

Order of Services:
*Prelude of Music, Photos of Ministry: Mickey and Shirley Hyder
*Welcome and Recognition of all churches present: Bro. Mickey Hyder
*Hymn: Great is Thy Faithfulness
*Prayer and Introduction of Speakers: Dr. Asa Mark Bratcher
*Scripture Reading: “The Great Commission” Matthew 28:16-20 by Bro. Jerry Bishop
*Baptist Faith Missions Report and Greetings: Bro. Dave Parks
*Music of Praise: “Grace Medley” by DFBC Choir
*Interview with Harold, Marie, Asa, and Stephen Bratcher
*Hymn: Blessed Assurance
*Message of Celebration: Dr. Wesley K. Smith (“Behold My servant, whom I uphold, My chosen, in whom My soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations.”  -Isaiah 42:1 > 1 Thessalonians 2)
*Music of Praise: How Great Thou Art” sung by Bro. Stephen Bratcher in English and Portuguese
*Laying on of hands Renewal: All ordained ministers present
*Closing Hymn: Send the Light
*Postlude: Kathy Matthews-Spencer

“The Bratchers of Brazil” by Dr. A.M. Bratcher
On February 5, 1919 Dr. Lewis Malen Bratcher arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  This event began a 90 year love ministry of the Bratchers in Brazil that continues to this day.  For the next 35 years, Dr. L.M. Bratcher would labor faithfully in the cities and on mule trails preaching the “good news” (as boas novas) of the saving Gospel of his Lord Jesus Christ.  In June of 1939, he traveled to the Amazon Valley to begin a long awaited and planned Amazon River missions trip with the pioneer Baptist missionary Erik Alfred Nelson.  Soon after the trip began, on June 15, 1939, E.A. Nelson, 76 years of age, went home to be with his Lord.  He served in Brazil for 48 years.  After assisting at the funeral at the First Baptist Church of Manaus that Nelson founded in 1900, Dr. L.M. Bratcher decided to continue the river trip, this time having to inform the Brazilian people of E.A. Nelson’s death and “home going.”  He stated in his memoirs, “Just Longing,” (Saudades) that he would never forget the reaction of the villagers at each stop.  Tears would come to their eyes, and the sorrowful question would be asked “Now who will come and tell us about Jesus?” 

Exactly 20 years later almost to the day, Harold Foley Bratcher answered that question, arriving in the Amazon Valley on July 15, 1959, to begin a 50 year love ministry with the people of Brazil.  Harold Bratcher, 82, was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on March 24, 1927.  His dear wife of almost 55 years, Hattie Marie Moore Bratcher, 82, was born in Richmond, Kentucky; they met while Harold was pastoring Newby Baptist Church, and were married on December 27, 1954.  The Lord blessed their union with three sons: Dr. Asa Mark Bratcher, 53, of Manaus, Brazil, missionary to Brazil for 32 years; Pastor Stephen M. Bratcher, 49, of Ocala, Florida; and Joel Bratcher, now residing in “Glory,” who at the age of 6, drowned in the Amazon River on August 17, 1971.  His body is buried in the St. John the Baptist Cemetery, Manaus, Brazil, only a few feet from the grave of Missionary E.A. Nelson, “The Apostle of the Amazon,” where both “await the sounding of the trump” on Resurrection Morning. 

During these 50 years, Harold, with the help of his son Asa, has organized over 20 Baptist churches and many other missions in the Amazon Valley.  Together they have baptized thousands of Brazilian people. 

This afternoon, June 28, 2009, we pause to honor Harold and his beloved Marie Bratcher for their 50 years of faithful service to the Brazilian people.  Behind many a great man, serves a great woman.  Marie, while stating she “never received a specific call to be a missionary,” strongly affirms her call of being a faithful and loving wife to Harold, an endearing mother to her sons and an esteemed mother-in-law to Lucianilda Auzier Bratcher, 48, of Manaus, Brazil and Saleth Nunes Bratcher, 50, of Ocala, Florida.  She is the loved Grandma to Marica Luciana Bratcher, 25, of Bridgeport, CT, Lucy Marie Bratcher, 23, of Boston, Massachusetts, and Stephen Matthew Bratcher, 17, of Ocala, Florida.  She has a dog, Blackie, of Manaus, 4 grand dogs, Nina, Elvis, Walter and Otto, and a great-grand cat, Clooney. 

Thus, please join me, Stephen, Pastor Mickey Hyder, and the David’s Fork Baptist Church in expressing your appreciation to this giant in the faith, one of those of Hebrews 11, “of which this world is not worthy of.”  May our Lord see fit to give the Bratchers of Brazil many more years of ministry and love for the people of Brazil. 

Miuto Obrigado (Thank you) Pastor Haroldo, “Apostolo do Amazonas” (apostle to the state of the Amazon) and Marie for 50 years of dedicated, loving service to the people of Brazil and to our beloved Savior, all glory and honor.  Amen. 

Dr. A.M. Bratcher

Our Gift to the Bratchers


Harold and Marie Bratcher (front) with John and Alta Hatcher, missionaries to Brazil, who combined have 210 years of service to the Lord in the Brazil!

The Bratchers | Celebrating 50 years in Brazil!

You’re invited to honor Harold and Marie Bratcher by celebrating their 50 years of ministry and service to the Lord in Manaus, Brazil. 

Bratchers celebration


Sunday, June 28, 2009 at 3:00 p.m.
David’s Fork Baptist Church
3245 Cleveland Road
Lexington, KY
Reception immediately following

From New Circle Road travel on Hwy 60 (Winchester Road) toward Winchester for approximately 5 miles.  Turn left on Cleveland Road (Hwy 1973).  The church will be on your left 1/4 mile.  Map

Betty Creiglow is with her Master

One of our faithful Brazilian missionary wives, Betty Creiglow, entered into the very presence of her Savior around 10 o’clock this morning at the age of 82.  She served in Brazil with her husband Bobby for 33 years (1960-1993).  Betty was the mother of missionary Mike Creiglow. 

She was born in Lancaster, Ohio on January 9, 1927, daughter of the late Russell Lowell and Bessie E. Schwabaugh Walt.  She is survived by her husband, Bobby D. Creiglow of Science Hill, one son, Mike Creiglow of Brazil, South America, three daughters, Brenda Nix and Arlete Moore, both of Walhalla, South Carolina and Arlene Bradley of Waynesburg, twelve grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.

Family Visitation: Tuesday from 6-8 p.m.
Funeral: Wednesday at 3 p.m. (conducted by Bro. Mike Creiglow with Pastor Ed Massey and Pastor Dave Parks)
Both the visitation and the funeral will be held at Morris and Hislope Funeral Home in Science Hill, Ky.

You are encouraged to write to Bro. Bobby a note. 
P.O. Box 3
Science Hill, KY 42553
bob4bfm [at] newwavecomm.net

[HT: Pastor Dave Parks and Morris and Hislope Funeral Home]

Missionary Update: The Creiglows

Bro. Dave Parks gives us an update on Sis. Betty Creiglow on his FaithWorks blog:
“All of you who are familiar with the name Betty Creiglow know that she is the beloved wife of Bobby Creiglow- and Mike Creiglow’s mother. They served the Lord in association with BFM in Brasil for 33 years – from 1960-1993.

She has suffered from dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease for the past few years and has been in rapidly declining physical health for the past several months.

We thought this past Saturday [2 May] that the Lord had called her to come Home. She went into a deep sleep Friday night and slept well into the day on Saturday. Her vital signs declined. Bobby notified us, and we began to keep in constant touch with him.

But, she revived after a good night’s sleep again on Saturday evening. Sunday and Monday both, she showed signs of physical revival. We got this email from Bobby this morning [Wednesday, 6 May]:

‘Monday Betty had a good day; She was having a big party in her own little world. She would laugh, try to sing, and clap her hands, having a great time with anyone that would talked to her. Since yesterday morning she is in that hang-over phase. She is sleeping most of the time. Last evening she seemed to be a little upset, so I gave her some medicine for that, and she slept from six to six, had her usual breakfast, and is back to sleep. I got up often last night to see if she was still breathing, and at times I could not be sure. Love,Bob’

Continue to pray for her, for Bobby, and for their family.” 
– – – –
Mike and Beverly Creiglow just arrived in the States.  Beverly writes on her Facebook:
“Mike & I had a good trip. We are at my daughter Monica’s right now. (Lexington) Mike has a bad cold & we thought best not to expose his mom. She had two good days, but not so today. We hope to go there this evening. We shall see how Mike does. Please keep his parents in your prayers. His mom could go anytime. The 18th of this month will be 63 years they’ve been together.”
– – – –
Keep these precious saints in your prayers!

Missionary Update: The Bratchers


Harold and Marie Bratcher received a call from Manaus on Saturday evening, March 14, that their home in Manaus had been broken into, vandalized, and burglarized.  Thieves took the front security gate off its hinges, broke into their home, and stole their refrigerator, kitchen range, clothes dryer, and other appliances and personal belongings which were loose.  They also tore up doorways to get the appliances out of the house quickly and did other substantial damage and trashing to the house.  Will you give some special offerings to help them make the necessary repairs to their home and replace their appliances?  Designate your special offerings ‘BRATCHER NEEDS’ and we will know what it is for.  We would like to help them get everything back in order before they return to Manaus in June.