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The Rev. Dr. Fred R. Anderson

Pastor Emeritus

Dr. Fred Anderson, a native of Southern California, came to pastoral ministry as a second career. He received a bachelor’s degree in voice from the University of Redlands, Redlands, California, in 1963, and began pursuing a professional career in concert, opera and musical comedy. His singing career was interrupted by a tour in the United States Air Force. Commissioned in 1964, and rising to the rank of captain, he served as a combat crew instructor navigator with the Strategic Air Command. Following a tour in Southeast Asia, he resigned his commission and was discharged to resume his singing career. While singing and studying in San Francisco, California, he experienced a call to pastoral ministry and enrolled in Princeton Theological Seminary. He received his master of divinity degree in 1973 and his doctor of ministry degree from Princeton in 1981.

As an ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Dr. Anderson served parishes in Philadelphia, Northern New Jersey and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. In March 1992, he became pastor of Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City. The fourth Pastor to serve that congregation in the 20th century, he follows the ministries of Henry Sloane Coffin, George A. Buttrick and David H.C. Read. Dr. Anderson’s sermons may be read or heard through the church’s home page on the Internet ( and are also available in print or CD through the church office. For several years his sermons were broadcast weekly throughout the tri-state area, until technology permitted them to be available “live” through the church’s website. He is regularly broadcast and podcast nationally on Day1 radio, formerly known at the Protestant Hour. His sermons are also featured on the website, a resource for preachers.

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, the Westminster Press published a collection of 55 metrical psalms under the title Singing Psalms of Joy and Praise. Fifteen of his psalm texts appear in The Presbyterian Hymnal. His texts are also included in The Worshiping Church, (Hope Publishing Company, 1991), Renew! (Hope Publishing Company, 1995) and the new Roman Catholic hymnal for Canada, Catholic Book of Worship III. Dr. Anderson’s texts also appear in hymnals in China, Japan and Australia. In the last several years he has entered into collaboration with the Director of Music, (now emeritus) at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, Dr. John Weaver, to write contemporary hymns, several of which are available through Hope Publishing Company, Carol Stream, Illinois. Dr. Anderson continues his work on new hymn texts, as well as a second edition of a metrical psalter, which will include all of the psalms appointed in the New Common Lectionary and a number of Old and New Testament canticles. A number of these texts are available upon request, but as yet unpublished.

Dr. Anderson has written articles on liturgical theology, preaching and worship that have appeared in The Living Pulpit, 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 three member drafting 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 of Reformed Liturgy and Music, a former member of the board of directors of the Liturgical Conference and a member of the North American Academy of Liturgy.

Since the fall of 1991, Dr. Anderson has served as a trustee of the Princeton Theological Seminary, serving on its finance, budget, investment, finance, academic affairs, facilities, library, administrative, student life, and executive committees. He was chair of the committee that wrote the Seminary’s mission statement. In January of 2001, he was appointed a trustee for the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, New Jersey, and after serving four years as the chair of its personnel committee, in June of 2009 was elected chair of that board.

Dr. Anderson has served on a number of community and human service organizations throughout his career. Currently he is a trustee of The Appeal of Conscience Foundation, a 40-year-old interfaith group of religious and business leaders dedicated to working for human rights and religious freedom throughout the world. Dr. Anderson has been a member of its diplomatic missions to Switzerland, Cuba, Yugoslavia, Romania, Argentina, and China. In November of 2005 he was part of the leadership team for the foundation’s second conference on Peace and Tolerance in Istanbul, Turkey, jointly hosted by the Appeal of Conscience Foundation and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, bringing together one hundred religious leaders from Kosovo, the Balkans and Central Asia, in an attempt to foster peaceful coexistence and mutual acceptance through inter-religious dialogue. Since 2001, Dr. Anderson has been a featured speaker at the organization’s annual seminar on religion for the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Affairs Training Center in Arlington, Virginia. Increasingly involved in Islamic and Christian dialogues, he recently moderated “Bridging the Divides: Interreligious Dialogue in the 21st Century,” focusing on relationships between Islam and the east and west, jointly sponsored by the Cervantes Institute and the Appeal of Conscience Foundation.

Dr. Anderson is married to Questa Lucile Donnelly. They have two daughters, Larra, Director of the Northern Arts Film School, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, England, and Rebecca, a fashion designer’s representative living in New York City.

Dr. Anderson may be contacted at

© 2014