Mt. Zion Baptist gets new pastor

Published 9:07 pm Monday, April 11, 2011

Pastors are God’s minutemen who respond in a moment’s notice to serve wherever God calls them and for Dr. Don Hatcher, Sr., of Troy, that place is Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Louisville, Ala.

Hatcher began his ministerial experience in 1975 as senior pastor at First Missionary Baptist Church in Pensacola, Fla. and recently resigned as head pastor from Hephzibah Baptist Church where he served for about 15 years.

In total, Hatcher has had just over 35 years of pastoral experience and he said he is looking forward to another “new experience,” serving the congregation of Mt. Zion.

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“I resigned from Hephzibah with the intent of just being available for special meetings like revivals and conferences and didn’t really plan on ministering again,” Hatcher said. “I was just going into a semi-retirement type of situation.”

Even though his intentions were to start settling down and serve on an as needed basis, Hatcher says opportunities arose for him to speak at various functions, which eventually led to his appointment at Mt. Zion.

“I had been serving Mt. Zion Baptist Church as an interim pastor,” he said.

The congregation held a special meeting in late March and decided to elect Hatcher as their new shepherd.

“I’m enjoying being over there with the people,” Hatcher said. “I still live in Troy, but I go over on Sundays and Wednesdays and will probably be going over there more often than that to build the church up some. They really are a fantastic group of people and have a deep desire to grow.”

In addition to his pastoral duties, Hatcher serves as a Disaster Relief Chaplain and a Church Building Consultant.

Hatcher said he views his service at Mt. Zion to be perhaps his greatest challenge in all his years of ministry.

“The challenge is trying to get this church to grow, to adopt some new ideas and new methods,” Hatcher said. “The people are very open to that and it means a lot to me and my wife to work with a congregation that is loving and willing to follow us.”

The primary focus, in Hatcher’s eyes, is to reach the Mt. Zion community for Christ, and the first step in doing that is implementing a new Bible study class called, “Building Lives by the Book,” for college students and younger adults.

“We feel like through that class we can build a base of younger couples and younger singles who can become a nucleus in our church,” Hatcher said. “We’re hoping to develop a children’s ministry, as well as a student ministry.”

Hatcher said the new Bible Study class will begin the first Sunday in May.

and will help in keeping young adults “connected,” which Hatcher believes is critical in making sure college students keep their Christian Faith.

“It’s important for college students to feel apart of what’s going on and build some ownership in the church,” Hatcher said. “That’s what will keep them active in the church during their college years, and that’s what we hope to do up in Louisville.”

Hatcher said his desire was to make a difference in the lives of the congregation and hopes to build the local Faith community by instilling Christian values in the youth.

“However long God chooses to leave me there, I want to make a difference in the lives of individual people, as well as the body life of the church,” Hatcher said. “I think we’re off to a good start on that and we’ll see how things go in the future.”