Local resident publishes inspired stories of life on the road with Gospel group


ROBERTSDALE, Alabama — Deborah Goodman-Trotti believes in miracles.

A native of Jonesboro, Arkansas, Trotti began singing at a young age, accompanied by her father, Floyd Goodman, making her first appearance on television when she was just 6 years old.

“I knew then that music would play a huge role in my life,” she said.

As an adult, Trotti, along with her father and three friends, formed a Gospel group called The Gloryland Travelers, which would later become known as Intercession.

For more than 20 years, Trotti and her father, along with various others, including her husband John Hazelwood, toured the country, playing churches and other venues, meeting interesting people and collecting stories of life on the road, performing with many Country and Gospel greats, including Billy Walker, Jake Hess and Donnie Sumner.

“There are so many miracle stories on this journey,” she said. “I always carried a notebook with me, writing about our experiences.”

There are funny stories, uplifting stories, and yes, stories of miracles from hundreds of places, meeting thousands of people along the way.

“I’ve found through the years that God always puts you where you need to be,” she said, “even if you don’t always know why at the time.”

While she always intended to do something with the stories, but it was Houston pastor Joel Osteen that ultimately inspired her to pursue her dream.

“I was listening to (him) one day and during his sermon, he said ‘Do you have a book that you want to publish? Then you need to get that book published.’ It was like he was speaking directly to me.”

So she gathered her notebooks together and began combing through stories, picking out the ones she wanted to have published.

She went online and searched for publishers and found Dorrance Publishing Co. in Pittsburgh, sent them some sample stories, and after being accepted, began putting the book together.

After nearly a year of going back and forth with edits and re-writes, the book, titled “Our Incredible Journey ‘Singing in His Spirit,’” was finally ready to be published in 2016 and became available for sale on Amazon last year.

After finishing her first novel, Trotti says she would like to do a second book, which would be more about her life.

In her late 30s, she says, she had a life-threatening experience and, after two surgeries, God blessed her with the ability to write more than 200 songs.

“I’ve had a lot of experiences, many positive, some not so positive, but God has been with me throughout this journey and I’ve always considered myself blessed,” she said. “I want to share those stories, share those experiences with people so that they too can know that no matter what their circumstances, God is with them and He can bring them through it. I’m living proof of that.”