By Tim Ferguson, Columnist
Rutledge’s a new mayor, James Bratcher, began his tenure as mayor on Jan, 1 2014. I met James about 10 years ago while attending Center Pointe Church in Madison.
I had the pleasure of attending church with Mr. Bratcher for 7 years and was honored to serve on the church leadership team with him. Rutledge is very fortunate to have a man of great character and integrity providing leadership over the next 4 years.
James is a humble, spiritual man who is very approachable and a good listener.
If a movie were being made about the Bible James would definitely be cast as a disciple as he has that look. James was born in Rome, Georgia in 1942, and spent his formative years in south Dekalb County during the 1950s.
James and his sister Marianna, also a Rutledge resident, had wonderful parents. Dad Jamie worked for Southern Railroad, and Mathis Dairy along with delivering newspapers to 650 households a day.
Mom Mary Will took care of things at home. James graduated from Southwest Dekalb High School in 1960 before serving in the Air Force from 1961-1965.
Bratcher was a driver in the Air Force spending much of his time driving Generals around. While home on leave from the military James met his future wife, Linda Willard, at a basketball game at Gordon High School.
During the course of the evening Linda intentionally poured a Coke on James head. This is possibly a primitive old Atlanta mating ritual.
James took it to mean she liked him. James and Linda have been married 51 years and have 2 children, Jason and Julie, along with 6 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.
Mr. Bratcher worked as a pressman at Superior Printing Company for 30 years. He now owns Outback Lawn Maintenance. Between his dark complexion and working outside a lot James keeps a tan. James loves to fish.
He prefers saltwater, but also likes fishing Lake Oconee and Santee-Cooper in South Carolina. James’ favorite sport is college football. His favorite team is the University of Georgia Bulldogs.
The Bratchers have lived in Rutledge for 19 years. Before moving to Rutledge the family lived in Loganville. James has much experience at the grassroots government level serving on the zoning board for 6 years while living in Walton County and on the Rutledge City Council for the last 8 years.
Congratulations and good luck to James Bratcher. Special thanks to outgoing Mayor Spencer Knight for his dedicated and loyal service over the last 8 years.