RIVERVIEW Born and raised in a small farming town, Bryan Thatcher, religious activist and Riverview Citizen of the Year, was once Bryan Thatcher, gastroenterologist. The reason behind it, he says, is simple.
“The world is in need of God's mercy.”
The youngest of six children, the Ohio native was selected by the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors for an award whose aim is to recognize an individual that best represents the spirit of the Riverview community. The award was presented in January.
After graduating from the University of Toledo, he earned a doctorate in medicine from the University of Cincinnati. In 1995, he started his practice as a gastroenterologist, but shortly afterward, founded the Catholic ministry Apostles of Divine Mercy.
In 2003, he walked away from medicine and into the role of religious activist.
Focusing on the plight of the poor, his ministry has shipped more than 125 large containers of donated medical supplies, clothing, computers and sewing machines to many countries with a combined value estimated at $25 million.
And while much of his current efforts are focused on building a medical facility on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines, shipments have gone to South America, the Philippines and India. Many times, Thatcher visits the destinations as well.
“I have traveled to villages across the globe and been with the poorest of the poor; I realize how blessed my family and I are, and am gratified in helping the poor and alleviating their suffering,” said Thatcher.
He has also tried to reach the masses through the written word. Thatcher is the author of several books, including “Divine Mercy is a Way of Life,” “Rachel Weep No More” and “Living the Message.” And his ministry is active in 35 different countries. He’s even received three personally signed blessings from the late Pope John Paul II for the ministry’s work.
Locally, Thatcher is the owner of the Boardwalk and Park Place professional office complexes on Gibsonton Drive. He is a new board member of the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce.
For more information on Apostles of Divine Mercy ministries call (877)380-0727 or visit www.thedivinemercy.org/eadm