Pastor’s Corner: The Rev. Geoff Hatley
Pastor’s Corner: The Rev. Geoff Hatley
Rector/Pastor St. Andrews Church
Anglican Church of North America
Tell us about yourself:
I married a woman that I had been best friends with for several years before it dawned on me, wait a minute maybe. . .just maybe. . .Ha! So I guess I’m grateful that God even works on the thick skulled ones.
My bride Kelly and I are both graduates of Virginia Tech where we met, fell in love and got married in 1991. We have three kids and are recent empty nesters. Needless to say, life has changed quite a bit over the last year!
I’m a graduate of Reformed Theological Seminary, and I’m the founding pastor at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church which was planted in 2004. I’ve been a Christian since I was 12 and active in evangelism and discipleship of some sort since I was 13. I’ve been in full-time ministry as a youth minister and then a pastor for 22 years. I love to do lots of things, but I guess primarily I love working out, martial arts, running, reading, and hanging out with friends.
What Motivates You to Do What You Do?
During my first youth ministry position, I was in a tough church and was dealing with some thoroughly unpleasant people. I’d had enough and wanted to quit, lick my wounds and follow any other path. After all, I graduated college and saw all my other friends happy, living closer to all the people they knew and making lots more money. My mentor, an elderly priest, and I had talked and prayed over the situation. A couple hours later, he came back with this verse: Luke 9:62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
It was my wake up call in ministry. It was not about me, it’s about Him and training up His people in His ways. From then on I was a changed man. My calling was clear and my passion has been for training up in the faith those people which the Father entrusts to my care.
What is God Speaking to you right now?
This last year has been a real transition year for Kelly and me. To go from three kids and all their activities to an empty nest was quite a shock. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in prayer and thought on the “what now” question over this last year. Kids take a ton of time and with all of that time in the evenings and on weekends freed up has come a new phase of ministry. One direction in which God has already led me is to an increased focus on ministry in my parish and ministry in the community. God has also been pointing Kelly and I towards things we’d want to do together and to thoughts of hobbies and future goals.
What does unity in our city mean for you?
So, I meet regularly with a group of pastors from various denominations and non-denominational churches all over the area. We spend a great deal of time in prayer for our metropolitan area and for one another’s churches. We don’t all agree on every theological point, but we all agree that when people come to follow Jesus, their lives will be dramatically changed! We all have a heart to see our area heavily impacted with the good news of Jesus. We understand that people will choose to worship in different ways and there is nothing wrong with that. What is important is that when people close their eyes for the very last time and draw their very last breath, they will move on to eternity with the Father. Focus on this area is the unity I pray for among all churches in the Huntsville area.
Please pray for our city
Father God, I pray for our city. I pray for unity among your church, especially as we face these troubled times. It is so tempting for your people to bend the knee to this secular tide that is sweeping our nation and our city. So many are tempted to either forget their faith or to give in on your teachings that are unpopular at the moment. But there is no hope in this secularism; no salvation. If you are not present, we are lost. I pray that you would send your Holy Spirit in a powerful way upon our city. Give courage to your people and soften the hearts of those who do not know you. I pray that you would use your church in a mighty way in our city to bring in all those whom you have called.