Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services is a full-service, African American-owned and operated funeral and cremation organization. Their firm has been leading our industry in service to thousands of families across three states. They are known for their distinguished service and compassionate care. With each day, their business strives for perfection and is constantly finding ways to better serve their families.
“My career in the funeral industry started at the age of 15,” begins Vaughn Greene, Founding Partner, President, Licensed Funeral Director and Pastor with Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services. “I was working for an urban funeral home in West Baltimore, when I came to the realization that I wanted to be self-employed. I went to school and graduated with a degree in Mortuary Science in 1984 and founded Vaughn Greene Funeral Services in 1996,” he continues. There are now a total of four funeral homes in the Baltimore area that don Vaughn Greene’s name.
Vaughn was determined to open his own funeral home in Baltimore because even though it was a very urban city, there were no minority funeral homes serving the suburbs of Baltimore or Baltimore County. In 1996, he purchased his first location and never looked back.
“I think the fact that I was the only minority funeral director serving Baltimore County at that time really helped us gain traction in the community. That was the genesis for me expanding and growing in that market. From there, brand recognition and the service I was providing the community really catapulted me into expanding to more locations,” explains Vaughn.
That expansion led to Philadelphia under the Batchelor Brothers moniker. In 2010, recognizing that there was a need to compassionately deliver high quality, uniquely distinct funeral services to families in times of loss, Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services purchased the prior Levine family funeral home, located in the West Oak Lane section of North Philadelphia. They renovated the 17,000 square foot facility to incorporate a 400-seat chapel to accommodate the community, as well as several viewing rooms, a large conference room, and a comprehensive selection room.
In January 2016, the firm extended their care and services into Trenton, New Jersey. They took over the prior Saul family funeral home on Greenwood Avenue in Hamilton Square, just outside of Trenton. Families in that community can now expect the same level of quality and comfort their Philadelphia neighbors have come to expect from the Batchelor Brothers name.
More recently in 2019, the firm opened their Drexel Hill location to serve West Philadelphia and surrounding townships. All three locations continue to provide exceptional service and comfort to families experiencing loss.
“All of our facilities are very well-maintained. They offer ample off-street parking and large sanctuary spaces for families. Each location is equipped with hospitality areas where families can detach themselves from the viewing or service and find solitude in a quiet area where they might want to refresh themselves with coffee or tea, cookies, or pastries. The quiet areas really help families find some peace in getting away from the crowds and spend time together,” Vaughn states respectfully.
Each Batchelor Brothers location also offers areas for young children to play and unwind. Having a space for them to play board games or video games on tablets or phones is something families have really appreciated. Since the very first day, Vaughn has done everything he can to make each location naturally comfortable for the families he serves. By paying attention to each minute detail and constantly going above and beyond for families, the Batchelor Brothers legacy is one that will continue for generations.
“I was raised in a Christian family and funeral service is my calling. It is my ministry. My commitment to my faith and the fact that I honestly believe I am held accountable at a higher level, a higher level of service that I provide to God’s people. Since He has entrusted me and holds me accountable for the families I am serving, I take my service very seriously. It goes beyond just my ministry to the family; it is my ministry to God first and foremost that drives me. I am ac-countable to Him and so my ministry to Him is me using my gifts, my talents, my resources, and my skills to provide encouragement and comfort to the families he entrusts in my care,” passionately expresses Vaughn.
Vaughn’s faith drives him to be the best he can be. For this reason, the funeral home’s name holds a lot of weight in the community and their service is unparalleled.
In addition to serving his community with his business, Vaughn has also served as a pastor in Baltimore for seven years. He even donated 100% of his compensation back to the church and community. This outlook on life and dedication to serving families is a common theme among the firm’s staff as well. They share Vaughn’s passion for service and their dedication to their communities has been a major factor in the firm’s success. Their mission is to compassionately deliver high quality, uniquely distinct funeral service solutions to families experiencing loss and to be a valued resource partner to their community. The family-owned business considers their staff, the families they serve, as well as the communities in which they live and work to be a part of their family.
“At the end of the day, it is 100% about being committed and dedicated to the service you provide to families. In order to do that, you are going to have to invest, not only in your business, but you are going to have to invest in your community as well. Beyond a monetary sense as well, you need to put in time and volunteer – you are going to have to prove you are a servant and that goes beyond the service you provide when someone passes away,” advises Vaughn.
“If you are dedicated to your community and your culture and dedicated to things you aren’t getting paid to do, you families will notice that and they will choose you because of that,” he adds.
Vaughn also advises that if you are a funeral home that is struggling in today’s industry, to identify what makes you unique and different and emphasize that. At the end of the day, when everyone offers the exact same services, you must find a way to make yours stand out. Get creative, show your passion, and try new things. As this industry continues to evolve, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there for the community you love.
“No one gets into funeral service because it is a lucrative field, you get into funeral service because you think that you have the gift and passion for serving people that is going to make a difference in people’s lives. If you aren’t in this for the families, you probably need to be doing something else,” Vaughn says emphatically.
Even though there are a lot of challenges facing the funeral industry right now, Vaughn is looking forward to the future of funeral service.
“Going forward, I think as an industry we need to do a much better job of educating the consumer on the value of a funeral. I feel like younger generations don’t quite understand the importance of celebrating life and it is our job to find a way to communicate to them just how valuable funeral service can be. I want them to know that the value of a funeral is when you find closure, when you grow as a person, and when you become a better person as a result of the service you received. I think this is an exciting time to be in the funeral service, a lot of people see funeral service in a state of decline and I don’t see that at all. I see a lot of opportunity. Those who will be successful going forward, will be the ones who have the mindset, the resources, and the presentation and take advantage of it,” he predicts.
The quality of service, palpable passion, and dedicated staff are just a few of the reasons Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services have captured the hearts of their community. The firm loves what they do and see it as more than a career – it is a calling. The core values of the firm drive deep roots into the community and fuel the rich legacy, and that is not something that will ever change. FBA