Wife of former minister enjoys church work

Saturday, February 16, 2002

Dorothy Trotter and the congregation at Centenary United Methodist Church have a connection that has supported and sustained the ministry for both.

Trotter, 83, has been a member of the church for decades but will be moving to Columbia, Mo., in mid-April to be closer to her three children. For nearly 25 years, her husband J. Ray Trotter was senior pastor for the Methodist congregation.

And those years provide good memories for Trotter. When her husband first began his ministry here, she worked in the church office as secretarial help. Even now she can be found volunteering.

"But in recent years I tell them to get the younger women and get them broken in," she said.

Trotter has always been involved in the work of the church, whether it was as a minister's wife or serving as publicity chairman for the United Methodist Women's groups.

She supports the women's holiday bazaars, often with her own handiwork. Over the years, Trotter has made 70 quilt tops for family and friends and to sell at the bazaar.

An avid sports fan, Trotter typically sits in her favorite chair and sews while watching a game. Much of her handiwork is on display in her apartment. "I have drawers of fabric and I made little squares that I'm putting together in lap quilts to give to friends."

Another task has been to work with the evangelism committee at the church.

Last year she was honored by the local Methodist district for her work in evangelism.

Each Monday, Trotter receives a printed sheet with the names and phone numbers of those people who visited the church on Sunday. She makes an initial call to welcome them to the community and thank them for visiting.

"I find out if they're new here or if they are connected with a church," she said

She then passes that information to the pastor and other members of the evangelism committee who make follow-up contacts. "I'm the unofficial greeter," she said. "On Sunday I'm always in the parlor because I'm interested in people."

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