October 6, 2013-Homecoming

Mentow Baptist Church Celebrated Homecoming with Dr. Fred Anderson from the Virginia Baptist Historical Society.  Dr. Anderson appeared in costume portraying Dr. William E. Hatcher.


William E. Hatcher (1834-1912) was born in Bedford County, Virginia, but spent most of his life in Richmond, Virginia, where he served for 26 years as pastor of Grace Street Baptist Church, now called simply Grace Baptist Church.  Prior to coming to Grace, he was pastor of the Manchester Baptist Church, now Bainbridge-Shouthampton Church.

Hatcher and his brother, Harvey, attended the Richmond College in the 1850s.  Richmond College, now one branch of the University of Richmond, attracted numerous young Baptist men destined for the ministry.  During his college years, Hatcher led a religious revival on campus which resulted in the conversion of practically every student in the college.

Hatcher remained associated with the college as a trustee for 42 years.  He was president of the Board of Trustees from 1897-1908 and is credited with delivering the decisive speech which convinced the trustees to move the school to its present site in the West End of Richmond.

His interest in education led to the establishment of Fork Union Military Academy.  Hatcher maintained a home called “Careby Hall” near the Fork Union campus.

Hatcher became a prominent figure throughout the Southern Baptist Convention.  He was in great demand as a public speaker especially for church anniversaries, dedications and associations.  He wrote five books and served as junior editor of the Religious Herald, the Baptist newspaper in Virginia.

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