Melvin Ernest Trotter
1870 – 1940
Mel Trotter was born in Orangeville, Illinois, the son of a godly mother and a drunken father. His mother tried to teach him to pray but he followed in the footsteps of his father and became a drunkard. He left home at the age of 17. After years of drink and sin, and on the verge of self-destruction, Mel ventured into the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago where he heard the Gospel.
That night he responded to the invitation to receive Christ as his Saviour, and his life was transformed. He later entered the ministry and was ordained a Presbyterian minister.
After conducting some evangelistic meetings, he was called to be superintendant of a rescue mission in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His unusual burden for the spiritual needs of the “down and out” prompted him to establish sixty-seven rescue missions from Boston to San Francisco. He was known as the man who “raved about Jesus.”