Elam Jonathan Anderson, Jr., autobiography
For Elam's memorial service, click
Born July 8, 1926; Married June 11, 1960 (Jean
Richard); Died December 29, 2014.
Children: Mark Elam Anderson, March 24, 1961;
Stephen Frank Anderson, March 6, 1963;
Jonathan Richard Anderson, August 4, 1966; James Victor Anderson, May 20, 1970;
David Charles Anderson, Sept 15, 1975
I was born July 8, 1926, to Elam J. Anderson
and Colena Michael Anderson, then
serving as a missionary family under appointment of the Northern (now American)
Baptist Missionary Society, in Shanghai, China. Vivid memories still remain of the
nearby opening phases of the Sino-Japanese war while in first grade in the Shanghai
American School. Dad (Elam, Sr.) became President of Linfield College
in 1932, and the rest of my elementary schooling was in McMinnville, Oregon.
The family moved in 1938 to Redlands,
California, where I completed High School
and College (1946). Father died in 1944 and, with sister Frances (Mrs. Clarence
Gulick) and brother, Victor, then on their own, I moved with mother and grandmother
to McMinnville that summer, working and taking "retread" courses in psychology
at Linfield College that year. Awarded a teaching fellowship at the University of Washington,
I studied two years towards a Masters degree in Psychology. In 1949 I felt led
to enroll in Berkeley Baptist Divinity School and received my Bachelor of Divinity
Degree in 1952.
For six years I served as assistant to the
minister at Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church,
Oakland, and then was called as organizing pastor to the Blossom Hill Baptist Church
in San Jose in 1958. During my three years there I met and married Jean Richard (June 11, 1960)
and our first child, Mark was born. We moved to First Baptist Church, Fort Bragg, California,
in 1961, where Stephen was born.
We moved to Boston, then to North Charlestown,
New Hampshire, in 1964. I studied at
Andover-Newton Theological School and Boston University School of Theology. I was appointed as a
probationary Methodist Minister to Pleasant Street Methodist Church in Salem, New Hampshire, in
1966. Our third son, Jonathan, was born there. In 1969 our family moved west with my
appointment to Filer, Idaho, Methodist Church, where James was born. In 1972 we moved to Emmett,
Idaho, and in 1975 to Philomath, Oregon, where our last son, David, was born. We have warm
memories of brief visits with Uncle Reuben and Aunt Ruth and their family in 1964, 1967 and 1969,
and of occasional contacts with cousins Eugene and Gordon Bjork after settling in the west.
In I979 we moved to Harrisburg, Oregon, in 1982
to Monroe, Oregon, finally, in 1985, to
Halsey, Oregon. As of this writing (May 1986), Jean has been employed by the Oregon Department of
Justice for five years, Mark is a first-year student at Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, Stephen is
a graduate student in Electrical Engineering at Cornell University, and Jon is a student in
Telecommunications at the University of Oregon. I am now pastor of the Halsey and Shedd United
Methodist Churches. Our family has seen many homes with me as a "traveling minister," though we
have had a bit more stability since 1975, serving churches within 30 miles of each other.
God has been good to us. MIZPAH!
- Elam J. Anderson,
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