Porter earned a bachelor's degree in music from Alabama State University. She worked at the Wilcox County Training School in Millers Ferry and later moved to New York to continue her education. After marrying Porter she moved with him to Detroit, Michigan and completed her master's degree at Wayne State University.
She led the children's choirs at 6th Avenue Baptist, taught at Lawson State Community College, and also counseled high school students. She worked to bring singers like Kathleen Battle and Jessye Norman to Birmingham. She also served on the board of the Birmingham Public Library.
- Bell, Geraldine Watts and Hattie Griffin Lamar (2010) Women of Uncommon Valor: Life Stories of Women from Birmingham, Alabama. Government Institutes ISBN 0761850295
- Bryant, Joseph D. (June 3, 2013) "Former pastor's wife Dorothy Porter and longtime fixture at Sixth Avenue Baptist Church dies." The Birmingham News