Family remembers Jay Hatcher 20 years after his death


An Abilene family is remembering the loss of a loved one 20 years later.

“I was running right outside these windows,” said Jeff Hatcher. 

Jeff jogged the trails behind Wylie United Methodist Church when he was frustrated that doors weren’t opening for him.

“I just felt like the Lord was whispering in my ear, like okay you’ve been wondering where i’m at you’ve been wondering why things aren’t happening, buckle up because here we go,” said Hatcher.

Then on September 8th 2000, Jeff drove past the church and said he saw smoke. 

“I saw a large cloud,” said Hatcher. “I thought an airplane had crashed at the airport.”   

To find out the accident he saw was his brother.

“My wife called and said she didn’t have details but knew it was bad”  

And rushed to the hospital not knowing it would be the last time to say I love you to father, a son, a husband, and a police officer.

“The very first thing I said when I walked into the room was jay I love you,” said Hatcher. “I don’t know that jay and I had really ever said that to one another but it came out easy in that moment.”  

Two years later doors opened for Jeff to become the pastor of that same church, he passed during his time of frustration and grief.  

Jeff says he now uses his brothers death as a way to minster and bring hope to his congregation. 

“Even in the midst of the tragedy of that loss I knew the Lord was calling me to use that and to bless people.”  

After 20 years, his brothers legacy lives on as Jeff says the ministry Jay helped start, The regional crime victims crisis center, that ministers to victims of crime is still in operation today.

“Even though we go through trial, bad stuff, if you have Christ there’s a peace there and there’s hope there” said Hatcher.

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