American Veteran 01

Nathaniel Virgil Witcher

June 7, 1935 ~ May 13, 2019 (age 83)

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On June 7, 1935 in Kansas City, Missouri, Nathaniel was born to the union of Sandy V. Witcher and Hazel Green Witcher.  He is one of six children; 3 brothers Cornelius, James and Benjamin, two sisters; Eunice and Lois.  Nathaniel was ordained by the divine will of God and destined to be called of God by the virtue of the name Nathaniel which is a biblical name which means Gift of God; God has given.


As a child, Nathaniel was educated at Garrison Elementary Pubic School. Later in life, he further his education at the Gordon­ Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston, MA, the Zion Bible Institute in Barrington, RI, Laham Bible College in MD, and Springfield Christian Bible Seminary for Ministers where he received a Bachelor of Theology on June 9, 2007.


Nathaniel Virgil Witcher accepted the Lord at the early age of sixteen. He was saved in a cornfield in Omaha, Nebraska in a revival sponsored by his Aunt Essie.


Pastor Witcher received license to preach at the hand of the late Bishop Monte J. Bradford in 1953 and again licensed in 1958 by the late Elder A.L. Brown and the late Bishop Samuel M. Crouch, the State’s Overseer.


This saved young man enlisted in the United States Navy in 1955. His distinguished military career covered a span of twenty-one years.


In 1962, while serving in the United States Military, he received his ordination at the hand of the late Bishop I. J. Jefferson, Prelate of the Rhode Island Jurisdiction.


On June 26, 1965, God had blessed with Elder Witcher with a beautiful, gentle woman who loved him and shared his vision. Elder Nathaniel Witcher met and married the late Bertie Verlena Ashley Witcher.


The Lord blessed Elder Witcher to enter the Military Service as a saved young man and when retired at the rank of Chief Petty Officer with an Honorable Discharge in 1976, he was yet saved.


Upon his retirement, Elder Witcher became a foot solider in the Army of the Lord as a fulltime Gospel Preacher.


In 1978 Elder Witcher was led to seek out a work in the Providence, Rhode Island area.


By the will of God, Elder Witcher's vision became a reality when, on May 25, 1979 the new sanctuary of the Pentecostal Church of God in Christ was dedicated. The keynote speaker of that service was a young pastor from Washington DC, Elder Harvey Lee Lewis, Sr.


This is the same man who would later become the Jurisdictional Prelate of Rhode Island. Elder Lewis came to know Elder and Mother Witcher when they had the occasion to serve at the Star Bethlehem C.O.G.I.C. which the Pastored. Elder Lewis brought his congregation with him for the Dedicatory Celebration. This included his beloved wife, Mother Gloria Fontaine Lewis, his daughter Winona Lewis and his son the late Elder Harvey Lee Lewis, Jr. The house was full, and the Spirit of the Lord poured out a great anointing upon the Saints and a glorious time was had by all.


Elder Witcher had a heart for the people of God. He and Mother Bertie Verlena Witcher founded the Providence Christian Academy, which for many years was a haven or a beacon of light to struggling students. The Academy provided a solid academic education in a Bible-Centered Christian atmosphere.


In 1994 Mother Bertie Verlena Witcher was called home to glory to be with the Lord. 


On August 28, 1998, God once again blessed him with a beautiful saved and sanctified woman of God, called and ordained of God who would share his ministry in the person of Evangelist Mary Datcher-Witcher. The saying that "behind every successful man is a loving, caring and dedicated wife" certainly applies in the life of his ministry.


He was active in the South Providence Ministerial Alliance, the Governor's Juvenile Justice Commission, the local church (as Superintendent to the Progressive District) and the Jurisdiction (as Administrative Assistant to the Bishop). Pastor Witcher was the recipient of several awards and commendations­ both while in the Navy and as a religious leader.


In the latter days of his life, Pastor Nathaniel Virgil Witcher adorned himself as a good solider of Jesus Christ. Over the span of ten years, Pastor Witcher carried a ministry known as the “Barnabas Ministry”, a work in the Field of Evangelism that goes into churches to encourage Pastors. To this date, he has gone into six states and eleven churches.


Highlight a Senior has been added to the Barnabas Ministry. The Highlight A Senior Service is held once a year in any given church "know them that Labor among you", the power of the Holy Ghost is given to every member who ask for it and we all should be ready to receive the refreshing of the Holy Ghost.


Throughout his tenure, Pastor Witcher has organized many worthwhile movements, the most successful of which is the Touch Ministry. He has provided the training to the entire congregation and the results of the ministry are felt in hospitals, nursing homes, and the state prison. This ministry has reached out to hundreds of people who needed the healing touch of God through the prayers and anointing of righteous men and women in obedience to the command of God found in the Book of James.


Pastor Nathaniel Virgil Witcher, Teacher and Leader of God's people. He was called to labor in God's vineyard as the Assistant Pastor to the late Superintendent John Vance at the All Nations COGIC in Woonsocket, RI.


Accredited to the man of God. These are some hallmarks of his work and labor of love: The Food Bank, The Clothing Bank, The Job Bank, Computer Training, The Soul Winners Institute, Through the Bible in One Year, The Pastoral Bible Studies, Prayer, prayer and more prayer.


Since birth his steps have been divinely ordered by the Lord. His Ministry and the work have given many inspirations to fortify their ministries and his work also has been a blessing to many.


When the scripture is quoted, one must immediately think of Nathaniel Virgil Witcher. For over sixty-five years in Ministry, for forty of those years he was a devoted and faithful Pastor of Pentecostal COGIC.


Elder Nathaniel Witcher was preceded in death by his parents; Sandy V. Witcher and Hazel Green Witcher, one brother; Benjamin Witcher, one sister; Lois Witcher Louis, two sisters-in-law; Annibel Witcher and Willie A. Witcher, two brothers-in-law; Thaddeus Sweatte and Joe Louis.


He leaves to celebrate his precious life and cherish his loving memory: his beloved and devoted wife, Mary Datcher-Witcher, one daughter; Monikka (Anthony)Wright, one grandson; Alijah Wright, two brothers; Cornelius and James Witcher, one sister; Eunice Sweatte, a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family and friends and the Pentecostal Church of God in Christ Family.

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May 18, 2019

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Pentecostal Church Of God In Christ
25 Mystic Street
Providence, RI 02905

Funeral Service
May 18, 2019

11:00 AM
Pentecostal Church Of God In Christ
25 Mystic Street
Providence, RI 02905

May 18, 2019

1:00 PM
Pentecostal Church Of God In Christ
25 Mystic Street
Providence, RI 02905

May 20, 2019

4:00 PM
Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery
301 South County Trail
Exeter, RI 02822

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