Mission Committee Introduces Dorothy and Gordon Gartrell
Dorothy and Gordon have been Mission co-workers (PCUSA) in Brazil since 2012. (They previously served 1990-2008) They are serving with the United Presbyterian Church of Brazil to expand its witness. They aid church growth efforts, help develop plans for church planting, and train people for ministries in evangelism and church growth. Much of their training content is focused on outreach efforts in rural areas and with youth.
About Gordon and Dorothy Gartrell
When Gordon and Dorothy Gartrell were first appointed to serve as mission co-workers in Brazil in 1990, both already held a deep passion for the country and its people.
Gordon grew up in Brazil, where his parents, Sandy and Bert Gartrell, were missionaries for 31 years. He sensed a call to ministry early in his teen years and during his seminary studies in the United States he returned to Brazil for short-term service. He lived with a veteran missionary family and served along the Trans Amazon Highway.
“I saw Brazil through adult eyes, and not simply from a child’s perspective,” Gordon says. “God was indeed calling me to Brazil to continue my life’s work of sharing Jesus Christ.”
Dorothy also sensed the Holy Spirit’s stirrings early in her life. “As a child, I had a vision of getting on a ship and going to serve the Lord overseas,” she says. After college, she volunteered to serve in Brazil for two years as a teacher of missionary children. “There the Lord opened my eyes to the needs of the people and how many of the God-given gifts I had could be enriched and used to help them.”
She returned to the United States for further education, but she knew that she wanted to return to Brazil for long-term mission service. Dorothy and Gordon served in Brazil for 18 years until their assignment with their partner, the Independent Presbyterian Church of Brazil, ended.
The Gartrells are excited to return to Brazil and begin another chapter of ministry there with the United Presbyterian Church of Brazil. “God has given my wife and me a real compassion and love for the Brazilian people,” Gordon says. “We want to share God’s love with them. We want to strengthen the Brazilian church.”
Gordon holds undergraduate degrees from Montreat Anderson College in Montreat, N.C., and from Gordon College in Wenham, Mass. He earned his M.Div. from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Miss. Gordon is a PC(USA) teaching elder and a member of the Presbytery of Western Kentucky.
Dorothy earned an undergraduate degree in education from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro and a master’s degree in Christian education from the Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond, Va. She is a member of Columbia Presbyterian Church in Decatur, Ga.
Gordon and Dorothy are the parents of three adult children: John, Elizabeth and Daniel.