The Rev. Fred R. Anderson, D. Min. (Prin)
A native of Southern California, Fred Anderson came to pastoral ministry as a second career in his early 30s. A graduate of the University of Redlands, Redlands, California (1963), he received a Bachelor’s Degree in voice and was beginning a professional singing career in concert, opera, and musical comedy, until it was interrupted by a tour in the United States Air Force. Commissioned, he served as a combat-crew instructor navigator with the Strategic Air Command, rising to the rank of Captain. Following a tour in Southeast Asia, while taking up his singing career again, he experienced a call to ministry and enrolled in Princeton Theological Seminary, where he graduated with a Master of Divinity degree in 1973. In 1981 he received Princeton’s Doctor of Ministry degree. Since the fall of 1991, he has been a Trustee of Princeton Theological Seminary, serving on its Finance, Budget, Investment, Academic Affairs, Facilities, Administrative, Executive, Human Relations, Governance and two Presidential Search committees, as well as co-chairing the committee which wrote the Seminary’s mission statement. In June of 2001, he became a Trustee of The Center for Theological Inquiry where he has served as Chair of the Board since 2009.
Ordained a Minister of Word in the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America in September of 1973 (later, “Minister of Word and Sacrament” in the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.), Dr. Anderson served parishes in Pompton Plains, New Jersey and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, prior to being called, in March of 1992, to become Pastor of the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City. The fourth Pastor to serve that congregation in the last one hundred ten years, he followed the ministries of Henry Sloane Coffin, George A. Buttrick, and David H.C. Read, and continued to serve that church until his retirement in May of 2015, after forty-two years of ordained ministry. At that time, the congregation named him Pastor Emeritus.
A well-known preacher, teacher and popular conference speaker throughout his ministries, Fred was known, while at Madison Avenue, for his sixty-second radio spots on WQXR-FM, his weekly Sunday morning sermon broadcasts, and his regular national preaching appearances on Day1 (the former “Protestant Hour”). Fred’s sermons since 1993 may be read or heard through the church’s home page on the Internet at www.mapc.com. His articles on theology, preaching and worship have appeared in The Living Pulpit, Homily Service, The Princeton Seminary Bulletin, The Presbyterian Outlook, Reformed Liturgy and Music, Theology Today, Liturgy, and The Journal for Preachers. From 1983 to 1989, he served as Clerk for the Task Force and member of the Writing Team that wrote the Directory for Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). From 1990 to 1993, he was an editorial consultant for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and Cumberland Presbyterian Church’s new Book of Common Worship, published in June of 1993. He is former Chairperson of the editorial Board for the Presbyterian Association of Musicians’ journal Reformed Liturgy and Music, and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Liturgical Conference, and remains a member of the North American Academy of Liturgy.
Dr. Anderson is also the author of hymn and metrical psalm texts. In 1984, he served as a consultant to the denomination’s task force on the use of psalms in worship, and wrote a number of settings at the task force’s request. Several of those psalm texts were included in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Psalter Sampler, published by Westminster Press in 1986. That same year, a collection of 55 metrical psalms was published under the title Singing Psalms of Joy and Praise, (Westminster Press). Fifteen of these psalm texts appear in The Presbyterian Hymnal (1990). His texts are also included in The Worshiping Church, (Hope Publishing Company, 1991), Renew!, (Hope Publishing Company, 1995), the Roman Catholic hymnal for Canada, Catholic Book of Worship III, and, most recently, Glory to God, The Presbyterian Hymnal (2013). He continues his collaboration with John Weaver, the Director of Music Emeritusat Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, writing new hymns, several of which are available through Hope Publishing Company, Carol Stream, Illinois, 60188. Fred has completed a second edition of a metrical psalter, which includes all of the psalms appointed in the New Revised Three-Year Common Lectionary, as well as a number of Old and New Testament canticles, to be published by Wm. Eerdmans Publishing Co., in the spring of 2016 under the title Singing God’s Psalms: Metrical Psalms and Reflections for Each Sunday in the Church Year.
During his service to three congregations, Dr. Anderson also served on a number of community and human service organizations: Trustee of the Chilton Hospital, Pompton Plains, NJ, Trustee for the Pequannock Counseling Center, and Chair of the Pequannock Senior Citizen’s Housing Corporation in Pompton Plains, NJ; Trustee of the Harrisburg Hospital, and Trustee and Vice President of the Harrisburg YMCA, Harrisburg, PA, and was instrumental in founding Pine Street’s Downtown Daily Bread, a soup kitchen serving better than 125 people a day for the last 31 years, and now incorporated into a full service center for the homeless. Currently Fred is a Trustee of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, a 50-year-old interfaith coalition of business, religious and foreign policy leaders dedicated to promoting mutual understanding, peace and interreligious cooperation, and a voice of conscience to protect minorities. Dr. Anderson has been a member of its diplomatic missions to Switzerland, Cuba, Yugoslavia, Romania, Argentina, China, Austria, Azerbaijan, and was a member of its commission to the Second Peace and Tolerance Conference in Istanbul, in 2006.
Fred is married to Questa Lucile Donnelly. They have two daughters, Larra, a filmmaker, and Director of the Northern Film School, in Leeds, England, and Rebecca, a fashion representative, living with her husband Steven Slotnik, in New York City. Fred and Questa now reside in their home on Forest Lake, in Whitefield, New Hampshire, where they recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.