Aldersgate United Methodist Church - Molino, Florida
Saturday, August 18, 2018
Imagine a Church That's the Hope of the World
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Rev. Edward M. Cotten

Reverend Edward M. Cotten

Reverend Ed Cotten, his wife Jodi, and their two youngest children, Risa and Matthew, served at Aldersgate from 1977 to 1985.  Their oldest children, Eddie, Debbie, and Rusty were, by then, already living on their own.  They now have 12 grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren, and 1 great-great-grandchild.   Reverend Cotten served the ministry full time for 41 years, then served part time for another 11 years.  He and Mrs. Cotten currently live in Pace, Florida.

Reverend Cotten believes his ministry was more than having a flock to look after and that an effective minister must also serve the community.  In addition to his pastoral duties, he was a volunteer fireman, a substitute teacher, and a member of the Masonic Lodge (he currently serves as Secretary to the Molino Lodge).  He has been a Silver Eagle Scout for over 50 years.  In 1972 he became the first “Man of the Year” in Frisco City, Alabama.  

It was during Reverend Cotten’s tenure at Aldersgate that the sanctuary was constructed.  The congregation’s decision to build was made by an overwhelming vote prior to Annual Conference of his 4th year. Completing the sanctuary took three years, and most of the work was done by members of our church, allowing the church to finish the job debt free.  Sometimes it was difficult to meet the financial obligations of building the sanctuary, but the congregation always found what was needed, knowing that God’s hands took care of those needs. 

The first service held was our regular Homecoming Sunday (4th Sunday in April, 1984).   Jodi Lynn Spinks, daughter of Mike and Janie, and Emily Kaye Hardy, granddaughter of Frances Cheney, were the first children to be christened in the new sanctuary on May 26, 1984.  Reverend and Mrs. Cotten’s daughter Risa was one of the first to be married in the new sanctuary.

Reverend Cotten was a great story teller and did a great impersonation of comedian Jerry Clower.  The Cottens have often returned to Aldersgate to speak, participate in funeral services, and rejoice with us in homecoming celebrations.  We always look forward to their visits, especially when they sing for us, as the whole family is blessed with beautiful singing voices.