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Kirkland pastor and activist Ken Hutcherson dies of cancer at age 61

Redmond resident Pastor Ken Hutcherson, co-founder of the Antioch Bible Church in Redmond who also preaches at the Seventh Day Adventist School in Kirkland, died on Wednesday at age 61. - Reporter file photo
Redmond resident Pastor Ken Hutcherson, co-founder of the Antioch Bible Church in Redmond who also preaches at the Seventh Day Adventist School in Kirkland, died on Wednesday at age 61.
— image credit: Reporter file photo

Local pastor and former Seattle Seahawk Ken Hutcherson died Wednesday after battling prostate cancer for more than a decade. He was 61.

Hutcherson co-founded the Antioch Bible Church in 1982 and preached in Kirkland and Redmond. He was known to his congregation simply as "Hutch."

"The church, based on New Testament cross-cultural ministries, is a leading force in the Pacific Northwest for infusing the culture with biblical truth," said Claudia Blazer, a spokesperson. "'Black and White in a grey world' is the statement used to describe both the church’s multi-cultural perspective and its commitment to the Bible as God’s infallible word. Hutch spent more than three decades training adults and young people to be on the offensive for Jesus Christ."

Hutcherson was also one of the biggest activists in the nation for the traditional definition of marriage. He came to the forefront in opposition of the movement to legalize gay marriage in Washington state during 2012.

“I think it is an issue that is going to become a big discussion on religious freedom concerning the aspect of those who say that it will not affect churches and pastors with their beliefs, but that has not been the case in the states that have passed those laws,” Hutcherson told the Reporter in 2012.

In 2005, Hutcherson led an effort to block legislation for an anti-discrimination bill that would have made it illegal to fire someone based on sexual orientation.

Hutcherson was successful in lobbying Microsoft to withdraw its support of the bill by notifying the company that it had 700 evangelical employees who were opposed to the legislation. Microsoft eventually reversed course and supported the bill, which was passed.

Hutcherson took the issue to the street and attempted to start an initiative to repeal the legislation. He eventually abandoned the effort to focus on stopping domestic-partnerships legislation.

Hutcherson was born and raised in Alabama during the era of segregation and excelled academically and athletically. His athleticism led him to the National Football League as a linebacker, first for the Dallas Cowboys, San Diego Chargers and ultimately finishing his football career with the Seattle Seahawks.

Hutcherson was a national leader of adoption reform. Inspired by his belief that it is unconstitutional to sell human beings, he founded Antioch Adoptions, the first “free” adoption ministry, which is still in operation and has placed hundreds of children into loving homes.

He is responsible for leading the fight in the Washington state Senate to pass the Adoption Reform bill, which was signed into law on March 28, 2006.

Hutcherson was a nationally known speaker and media contributor on issues of political and societal importance. He has been featured on numerous radio and TV programs as well as in newspapers and magazines for his stand on biblical principles and standards.

He has published four books, "The Church," "Before All Hell Breaks Loose," "Enough Faith," and finally "Hope Is Contagious," his personal story about facing cancer.

He is survived by his wife, Pat, and four children.

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