Reverend Marshall Hatch
When somebody is a victim of violence in a community like this, you end up with two victims. The perpetrator’s life is pretty much over too.
Marshall Elijah Hatch, Sr. has been the Senior Pastor of the New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church of West Garfield since 1993. His spiritual development began in the Shiloh Baptist Church under the pastorate of his father, the late Reverend Elijah J. Hatch. In 1985 he was ordained and appointed as the Pastor of Commonwealth Baptist Church of North Lawndale. In the summer of 1998, he was awarded the Charles E. Merrill Fellowship of Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Rev. Hatch’s New Mount Pilgrim Church operates in Cure Violence’s first neighborhood, run by Cure Violence.
“This was the first Cure Violence community, West Garfield Park. This is probably one of the poorest west side community areas in Chicago. We reduced violence in partnership with Cure Violence. The first year there was a 67 percent reduction, which is really quite dramatic.
“During the lean times [when funding was unavailable], Cure Violence workers volunteered their time because they were that passionate about it. It was about more than money. It had to do with the sense of worth that people felt, in that what they were doing was really important in the community.
“Interrupters interrupt a crime when the dynamics are in motion for it to happen. So, it’s another dimension of not just law enforcement but crime prevention. These interrupters are real heroes in the communities. What we see on the news happens when nobody interrupted the violence, and what we don’t see on the news is often because the interrupters were successful in preventing a shooting from happening in the first place.
“When somebody is a victim of violence in a community like this, you end up with two victims. The perpetrator’s life is pretty much over too.”