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Tag: Pastor Mark Hatcher

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Mark Hatcher Convicted of Sex Crimes Against Children

pastor mark hatcher

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Mark Hatcher, pastor and chief apostle of Holy Ghost Headquarters Revival Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was recently convicted of ten charges, including rape, statutory sexual assault, sexual assault, and indecent assault of a child in connection with assaults of a boy and two girls between the ages of six and fifteen.

The Reporter reports:

For a Whitpain Township pastor, a jury decided it was judgment day, convicting him of multiple charges that he had indecent or sexual contact with an underage boy and two girls during an eight-year period at his home and in Philadelphia.

Mark Hatcher, 60, of the 800 block of Village Circle Drive in the Blue Bell section of Whitpain, was convicted in Montgomery County Court of 10 charges, including rape, statutory sexual assault, sexual assault, and indecent assault of a child in connection with assaults of a boy and two girls between the ages of 6 and 15 in Whitpain and Philadelphia between 2000 and 2008.

Hatcher, a pastor of Holy Ghost Headquarters located on North Broad Street in North Philadelphia, showed no emotion as the jury of seven women and five men announced the verdict after 2½ hours of deliberations.

The tearful victims, now adults, were embraced by relatives in the courtroom as the jury forewoman firmly stated, “We the jury find the defendant guilty,” to each charge as it was read.

“I’m really happy for the victims. After all these years, they finally got justice and I’m grateful to the jury for giving them that justice,” Assistant District Attorney Caroline Rose Goldstein reacted to the verdict afterward.

“These three victims were kids when this happened. They all trusted the defendant. He was a pastor. One of the victims said that she looked to him as a father figure and he preyed on that and used that against them to commit horrible crimes that shaped their lives for years later,” Goldstein added.


Judge Thomas C. Branca, who presided over the three-day trial, permitted Hatcher to remain free on bail but ordered Hatcher to surrender his passport and prohibited Hatcher from having contact with minors as conditions of his bail. Branca scheduled Hatcher’s sentencing hearing for May 23.

As he left the courtroom to await that sentencing hearing, Hatcher said the verdict was “not right.”

“It’s not fair. No truth at all was in the matter,” Hatcher added.

Hatcher declined to reveal if he will be preaching on Sunday to his congregation that gathers at the Met Theatre on North Broad Street.

Hatcher potentially faces several years in prison on the charges. Goldstein vowed to seek a lengthy state prison term against Hatcher.

Gamburg vowed to appeal the verdict on Hatcher’s behalf.

“We’re very disappointed with the verdict. We’ll get ready for sentencing and get the appeal put together,” Gamburg said.

During the trial, an adult man and two adult women testified Hatcher indecently or sexually assaulted them while they were in his company in Whitpain and Philadelphia. Hatcher knew the victims’ families, some of whom attended his church.


The investigation of Hatcher began in January 2022 when one of the victims went to Whitpain police to report what happened to him when he was a child, according to the criminal complaint filed by Whitpain Detective Bradly Potter.

The 22-year-old man testified he was 6-years-old in the summer of 2007 when Hatcher indecently touched him and forced him to touch Hatcher’s penis while Hatcher masturbated. The victim recalled Hatcher had indecent contact with him again when he was 7 years old in 2008, specifically, Hatcher kissed him on the mouth and touched his buttocks as the boy was playing with a Noah’s Ark toy while visiting Hatcher’s Whitpain home.

“I trusted him. I remember feeling confused and disgusted,” said the man, who finally told his mother about the incidents in 2021. “I guess I was just tired. When I looked in the mirror I was ashamed. I felt weak and I felt disgusted with myself.”

The man told the jury he contemplated suicide over the years as he kept Hatcher’s assaults bottled up inside. After testifying, the young man was comforted by his mother in the courtroom.

A 39-year-old woman testified she was molested by Hatcher in 2000 when she was 15 years old and was visiting Hatcher’s Whitpain residence. The woman said Hatcher exposed his body to her, then approached her from behind and fondled her breasts. She recalled Hatcher asking her if he made her feel uncomfortable and when she told him “yes” he stopped touching her.

“I didn’t want to make a big fuss about the situation. I just wanted it to blow over. I didn’t want it to be a big thing,” the woman said, explaining why she didn’t report Hatcher’s conduct at the time.

The woman told detectives about the incident after she learned that the 22-year-old man had told authorities about Hatcher’s indecent contact with him.

A second woman testified that she was 13 when Hatcher forcibly raped her after he took her to a vacant Philadelphia residence in November 2006 on a day when the pastor was supposed to be counseling her. The woman said Hatcher put his hand over her mouth when she began to scream and eventually stopped the sexual assault while telling her he was “going to save me for my husband,” according to testimony.

The victim had reported the assault to Philadelphia authorities at the time but no charges were filed by prosecutors there, testimony revealed.


While Goldstein argued Hatcher was a trusted pastor and mentor to the victims and took advantage of that trust for his sexual gratification, Gamburg suggested the three victims fabricated the allegations and he questioned their delays in reporting their claims.

“It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. Is there any objective evidence? There is too much reasonable doubt to convict him,” Gamburg argued to the jury. “They are horrifying allegations against Pastor Hatcher.”

Hatcher did not testify during the trial. But Gamburg presented a half-dozen character witnesses, relatives of Hatcher and members of his congregation, who testified he has a good reputation in the community for being a “non-violent, peaceful and law-abiding man.”

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Bruce Gerencser