KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (July 1, 2016) -- When veteran bluesman and rocker Delbert McClinton performed at Back Porch on the Creek in early June, a certain United Methodist preacher showed up at the concert.
Larry Trotter didn't come to witness against the sins of rock music, or to enjoy a few stolen moments of secular musical pleasure.
Trotter, the senior minister at Concord United Methodist Church, was the lead guitarist for the band that warmed up the crowd for the McClinton show. His group included musicians who normally back him up in the church's contemporary services every Sunday.
"I'm just an old rocker like everyone else," he explained later.
That experience as "an old rocker" comes from Trotter's previous careers on the road as a rock musician and as music programmer for one of East Tennessee's prominent FM radio stations, known then as U102. A call to ministry that caught up with him more than two decades ago brought him to Concord UMC in 2001, where his role as associate minister put him in charge of the church's fledgling contemporary service. In 2015 — in a rare move for a United Methodist associate pastor — he took on the senior minister's role when his predecessor retired in 2015.