Rev. Lori E. Hatch-Rivera, Pastor

Rev. Lori Hatch-Rivera

Reverend Lori E. Hatch-Rivera was ordained August 29, 2004. She received her Masters of Divinity June 6, 2004 from Florida Center for Theological Studies in Miami, Florida. Rev. Lori was on staff as the Associate Pastor in Church Management (church administrator) at SunCoast from August 2004 until February 2011. She is currently attending Lancaster Theological Seminary as she pursues her Doctor of Ministry degree.

Rev. Lori was born in New York, the second of four children (all brothers). Rev. Lori, her parents, and her two younger brothers moved to Florida in 1973. She became involved in the local Southern Baptist church and felt the call to ministry in her early twenties. Dealing with many issues in her life, she fought against answering God’s call until her early forties. Prior to entering the ministry, Rev. Lori worked as a middle school science teacher and department chair for 14 years in Palm Beach County, Florida. Working to overcome the issues in her life led her to Psalm 27, especially verses 1-4: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to devour my flesh – my adversaries and foes – they shall stumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident. One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in God’s temple.” These are her life verses.

Rev. Lori and her wife Darlene met as teenagers where they attended high school and the same baptist church. They became life partners in January 1985, purchased their first home in July 1985, celebrated a Holy Union July 7, 1990 and were married January 25, 2015 on their 30th anniversary. Darlene was introduced to MCC by a friend at work and she led Rev. Lori to MCC. A big push to Rev. Lori’s involvement with MCC was when her youngest brother attacked her with his Bible and the anti-gay (texts of terror) scriptures. Rev. Lori had a desire to be able to answer him back as she learned that yes one could be a homosexual and a Christian. Rev. Lori and Darlene were also asked to leave their Baptist church due to their sexual orientation.

Rev. Lori finally answered God’s call to ministry when it became more unbearable not to answer. “I truly believe that God’s timing is amazing. I needed that time of maturity, learning to work with others, learning the skills of administration and personal growth to be prepared to enter ministry.” Seminary continued the growth that began as a teacher but many new skills were learned as she moved from the secular work place to the church.

Rev. Lori and Darlene currently live outside Harrisburg in Susquehanna Township. I feel truly blessed to be called to MCC of the Spirit. I believe God has brought me here for just a time as this to grow with the people of this church and to learn together to reach out into our community with the grace and love of God.