Tommy Hatcher Joins the Journey
“This is the beginning of a new journey,” says Tommy Hatcher, one of nine new students at Campbell University Divinity School.
Before coming to Campbell Divinity School, Tommy had a successful 25 year career working as a sales manager for an insurance company in North Carolina and Virginia. After a mission trip with his Virginia church he says, “I stood out on the back deck of our house overlooking the property and the mountains, and I said there is nothing here that I need anymore.” Looking back at that turning point in his life he says, “I had everything that most people want and it was empty.”
Tommy retired in 2009 with a desire to seek God’s direction for his next move. He says, “I asked God one day, surely there’s something else you want me to do. When you tell me please don’t let me miss the message.”
In May 2010, a year after his retirement, Tommy and his wife, Emily, attended a worship service at Elizabethtown Baptist church in Bladen County, NC. In that service, Tommy says that God spoke to his heart saying, “You need to be here. You need to come home.”
With a slight feeling of nervousness about the message that he received, he decided to share the words with Emily on the ride home. Before he had the chance to do so, Emily shared with him that she felt God was leading them to move to Bladen County and attend Elizabethtown Baptist Church. Tommy believes that her experience was just confirmation for the feelings he already had.
Convinced that they had received divine direction, they placed their home on the market with an estimated two years selling time. Tommy said, however, “This is a God thing. It’s going to sell
sooner than that.”
Shortly after that experience, Tommy was invited by Reverend Chris Carroll to go on a mission to Niger, Africa, with Elizabethtown Baptist Church. Upon returning from the mission trip, Tommy and Emily received a call that an offer had been placed on their house.
One month later, after the sale was finalized, Tommy and Emily relocated to a house just across the road from Elizabethtown Baptist Church.
Now Tommy is an active member of the church. His volunteer experience involves teaching Bible classes, serving as both a deacon and chairman of the deacon board, singing in the choir, participating on the evangelism team and much more.
His desire to serve is what led him to Campbell University Divinity School. After visiting the school with Reverend Carroll and being encouraged by Ms. Irma Duke, Tommy entered Divinity School in January 2014.
Of his initial CUDS experience he says, “For the first three weeks, in some class or another, I have heard the words, ‘Slow down.” He says, “That’s what I am trying to do now. I have lived a very fast-paced life. I’ve been trying to slow down, smell the roses, and listen to God.”
As Tommy continues to slow down and enjoy his Divinity school experience he says, “One of my prayers now is that I see and understand the success that God would have me to have and that it would be greater than anything that I’ve ever done on a worldly basis.”
With feelings of hope and excitement for the journey ahead, Tommy says, “I’m just wide open to absorb everything and hope I hear God again saying this direction or that direction.”