Dr. H. C. Hatton began his pastorate in Sterling First Church of the Nazarene July 15, 1945.
At that time the membership stood at 41, and at the time of his retirement it totaled 529.
In 1973, Olivet Nazarene University conferred upon him the Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree.
He served twice as President of the local Ministerial Association. He served as Chaplain of the Sterling Police Department
for many years. He was a member of the Mounted Patrol, served three years on the local hospital board, and served on the Sesquicentennial
Committee for the City of Sterling. He served as a Chaplain of the Illinois House of Representatives three times.
Dr. Hatton was also active in his own Nazarene circles. While pastoring in Sterling, he has
served under four District Superintendents: Dr. E. O. Chalfant, Dr. Lyle E. Eckley, Dr. Floyd Pounds and Rev. F. Thomas Bailey.
He served eight years as the first District Youth President of the Northwestern Illinois District. He served forty-three years
on the Credentials Board and forty-three years on the District Board of Appeals. He also served on the District Church School
Board, District Advisory Board and thirty years on the Olivet Nazarene Board of Trustees.
Dr. Hatton is the founder of the Sterling Christian School (formerly Twin City Nazarene School),
which began in the fall of 1978. Due to heavy financial difficulties the school closed its residency at the church in the
spring of 1992. It continues to operate in Galt, Illinois under the sponsorship of community churches.
Dr. Hatton served as the pastor of Sterling First Church with the longest tenure of any pastor
in the city of Sterling at his retirement in July of 1991, It is also believed that he is one of the few pastors with his
length of tenure, 46 years, at one pastorate.
At the time of his retirement the Official Church Board of Sterling First Church bestowed on
him the title of Pastor Emeritus, indicating honor and respect for his many years of service to the church and to the Lord.
Dr. Hatton was born on February 24, 1917 in Story, IN, the son of James and Lela (Woods) Hatton. He married
Sarah Geraldine Spangler on June 21, 1941, in Ottumwa, IA. Dr. Hatton passed away on February 5, 2008.
Information is needed on the athletic success of Twin City Nazarene School. They competed in the Northern Illinois Christian
Confernece with fellow IHSGD school Galesburg Costa.
Though not an IHSA member school, the accomplishments were as hard fought and real as those accomplished by a public
or private school in the IHSA.