WHITING, N.J. – Rev. Roland Francis Batchelder, Sr. most recently of Whiting, New Jersey, went home to be with his Savior on May 13, 2021 surrounded by family singing the hymns he loved so dearly.
Roland was born on Feb. 20, 1935 to Nathaniel and Ruth (Vincent) Batchelder in Piermont, N.H. Roland graduated from Spaulding High School in Barre, Vt., then served his country for two years during the Korean War stationed in Germany. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Education at Boston University where he met Barbara Lancaster, the love of his life. They married Sept. 10, 1960, went on to have five children, and worked as a team for their entire life together.
He was a Red Cross Instructor in Water Safety and First Aid, and was proud to have also trained USMA West Point cadets in that capacity. After working in education for a few years, Roland felt the call to serve God in the ministry. He obtained a Master’s of Divinity at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts. Upon graduation the family moved to Wilton, Maine where, with the constant support of his wife, he established Calvary Hill Baptist Church and Christian School. He dedicated his life to serving his Lord, church and family, and was known as “Pastor” to many hundreds over his 34 years in the ministry. He had a special place in his heart for the folks in Wilton and the surrounding areas.
After his retirement in 2004, Pastor Roland and Barbara spent several years in Summerfield, Fla. before moving to The Pines in Whiting, N.J. where he was deeply loved by staff and residents. He participated in many activities there, and particularly enjoyed beating his friends at bocce ball, and teasing others in the exercise classes.
In his younger years he was an Allstate Allstar football player and a golden glove boxer. He was an AA competitive swimmer. He was a beekeeper for many years starting at an early age. He shared his beautiful singing throughout his life in many choruses, churches, and was honored to have been a soloist on one occasion at the West Point Chapel while his son was a cadet.
He was known as a man of honor, for his integrity, distinctive voice, beautiful singing, infectious laugh, and mischievous twinkle in his eye. But most of all, he was known for his heart for God and unwavering faith which he consistently shared with everyone he encountered.
Roland was predeceased by his parents; his brother Robert, and sisters Madeleine, Marian, and Joyce. He is survived by his loving wife Barbara; and by his children, Rebecca (Joel) Chandler, Roland Batchelder Jr, Charles (Julie) Batchelder, Barbie (Peter) Dow, John (Jennifer) Batchelder, and Brendon (Kristin) Batchelder who was loved as a son; 20 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be held at Whiting Bible Church on Monday, May 24, 2021 at 10:00 until the time of service at 12. The service will be live streamed from the church on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/wbcnj/ Burial will follow at Brigadier General William C. Doyle Memorial Cemetery in Wrightsville, N.J.
The Batchelder family would like to extend their gratitude to Holisticare Hospice services, to Julie Batchelder for her invaluable assistance, and to the many others who cared for him. His heart, strength, wisdom, and love will be desperately missed. But we know he is breathing freely, singing Glory to God, and will meet us “just inside the Eastern Gate over there.”