Good news was received Thursday about a group of church members, including a Lauderdale County resident, who went on a mission trip to Haiti prior to an earthquake of magnitude 7 that devastated the island Tuesday night, killing many thousands.
Greg Hatcher, son of William Hatcher, received an e-mail Thursday morning, and later was able to actually talk on the phone with his dad about 2:30 p.m. Thursday. The entire missionary group is fine, and is now in the Dominican Republic.
Greg told Newscenter 11 that the U.S. Embassy in Haiti is making arrangements to fly the group home, after members have had a chance to rest in a hotel. He also said his father had high praise for the U.S. Embassy in Haiti and how it has helped the group reach safety. It also provided phones for them to be able to call home.
The 71-year-old Hatcher left Monday with other members of the Church of God on a short-term mission trip. He was there to teach Haitians how to improve their living conditions through water treatment, irrigation, and farming techniques. Hatcher is a member of Lockhart Church of God.
Hatcher is retired from Peavey Electronics. He also worked previously at WTOK and established the Jump Start program at MCC.
Officials say this quake is the strongest in Haiti since 1773.