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Trotter, Isabelle Lilias
1853 to 1928
Algiers Missions Band
Algeria

Isabelle Lilias Trotter was a missionary and artist. Born into a comfortable home in London, England, she showed considerable talent as a watercolor artist whom Ruskin admired. She was influenced by the Keswick holiness conferences and worked in parishes in London and Oxford and for the YWCA. When she felt called to work overseas, she prepared herself at the Mildmay Institute before traveling to Algiers in 1888 with three friends-all well-educated single women. Other friends also joined Trotter in what became the Algiers Mission Band, a nondenominational society. They built up personal and individual relations with women and girls, also teaching the Bible in small groups. Trotter also translated and wrote tracts that were published by the Nile Mission Press of Cairo, and spent 1915 working at the press. Her devotional writings in English, some illustrated with her paintings, made her work well known. She continued working almost until the end of her life. The Algiers Mission Band eventually became part of the North Africa Mission, which continues to the present day, now as Arab World Ministries.

Jocelyn Murray


Bibliography:

I. Lilias Trotter, Between the Desert and the Sea (with 16 paintings), Parables of the Cross: Parables of the Christ Life, and Focused: A Story and a Song (all published in the 1920s). Constance E. Padwick, The Master of Impossible Sayings, for the most part in parable, from the Letters and Journals of Lilias Trotter of Algiers (1938); Blanche A. F. Piggott, I. Lilias Trotter, Founder of the Algiers Mission Band (1930); Patricia St. John, Until the Day Breaks (1990).


This article is reproduced, with permission, from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, copyright 1998, by Gerald H. Anderson, W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.