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Lawrence and Esther Anderson Celebrate their
Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary

L C Anderson Fiftieth Celebration

Left to Right: Bob Overly, Thelma Anderson Overly (Ferguson), Esther Anderson, Lawrence Anderson, Carolyn Sue Clay, Dorothy Anderson Clay
Rick Farris (identified as Richard Overly in the program below), William Overly

Below is the program for the celebration of the Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary of Lawrence and Esther Anderson.  Folowing the biographical memoir are some photos of their wedding and their family.
Larence and Esther were married June 16, 1915.  The program for the service is below, followed by a memoir of the lives of Lawrence and Esther.  The people in the program are: Dorothy Clay, daughter of Lawrence and Esther; Richard and William Overly, sons of Thelma Ferguson (Richard now goes by Rick Faris); Milo Nixon, Pastor of College Avenue Baptist Church 1949-67; Edwin Greene, Pastor at CABC 1940-48; James Young, Assistant Pastor; Art Christensen, Executive of Southwest Baptist General Conference. 




JUNE 1, 1965


WEDDING MUSIC - Dorothy Clay, Organist

Richard and William Overly

INVOCATION - Rev. Milo Nixon

SOLO - "DAY BY DAY" (in Swedish)

Mrs.  Clifford Strom

EARLY MEMORIES - Rev.  Edwin R. Green


            Mrs. Herbert Johnson

LATER MEMORIES - Rev. James Young

REFLECTIONS - Rev. Art Christensen


RENEWAL OF VOWS - Rev. Milo Nixon


            Bob Magera



Please remain seated until you are
dismissed to reception in Bethel Hall. 



Here is a memoir of the life of Lawrence and Esther, prepared by a freind and long-time member of College Avenue Baptist Church for the Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration.

[The editor begs to offer two notes on the first paragraph of the Memoir: *Ångarp was the name of the farm on which Victor’s family lived and worked; and
** the family name was Fasth (pronounced Fahst), not Anderson.  The father was Anders Fasth.  Until the mid-1800s, the custom was to form last names by taking the father’s first name and adding “son” or “dotter.”  Around the time of Victor’s birth the custom was beginning to change to the child taking the father’s last name as his/her last name.  All of Victor’s siblings took Fasth as their last name, and their descendants continue to use Fasth.  Victor chose to follow the older custom and took his father’s first name plus “son” as his last name.  Fasths who came to the USA spell, and pronounce, it Faust.]



by Mrs. Nina Mantor

In a humble little farm cottage on a small acreage near Ångarp*, in far away Sweden, a baby's cry broke the stillness of the night April 17,1857.  This little newcomer was the fifth child of ten in the Anderson**  family.  He was a sturdy youngster, this tiny Victor Anderson, and was destined to play a very important role in the family throughout the years to come. 

When Victor was fourteen, his father died suddenly.  Two months later his mother, who never was very strong, followed him in death.  She was a consecrated Christian, whose last words to her children were, "Children, look up."  This admonition was practiced by Victor all his life. 

After a number of years, God caused a young gir1 to return home from America, where she had been living for three years, and He led her right into Victor Anderson's heart.  On November 26, 1885, Victor Anderson and Hannah Sandburg were married.  On May 18, 1886, they set sail for America.  From New York City they went directly to Chicago, the city of gas-lit streets and horse-drawn street cars, where Hannah had previously lived.  The next day, they rented a new six room brick house for $16.00 a month!  After paying the rent, they had $60 left to buy food and furniture.  In a few days, Hannah had four roomers and boarders, and Victor had a job as a carpenter.  He worked nine hours a day for $1.50!  They soon found a church of their faith and one in need of repairing.  Victor was soon busy.  He always considered it a privilege to use his hammer and saw in building or repairing a House of the Lord. 

    Six children were born to the Andersons - three boys and three girls.  Lawrence was the fourth child - he had two older sisters and one older brother.  Later there came another brother and sister.  The younger sister is our own Delight Ericsson. 

History repeats itself in much the same fashion.  About the time that Lawrence's parents came from Sweden as a newly married couple, Esther's father, Andrew Malm, then in his late teens, sailed for America.  On the boat he met a charming Swedish girl and became very interested in her.  Apparently, the feeling was mutual, because not many months after their arrival, Emma Johanson and Andrew Malm were married in Denver.  The couple moved from one place to the next until finally a spot in Wyoming appeared to be just what they were looking for.  This homestead became the foundation for the Pioneer Stock Farm.  Andrew went into the hills to cut trees and dragged them fifteen miles to build their house.  Their first home was a log cabin.  Now there is a two story house, large
barn and many sheds.  It was the year of 1880 when the Malms established this home, which is still known as the Pioneer Stock Farm, one of the largest in Eastern Wyoming. 

It was here that the Malm children were born - four boys and a girl.  This girl was an exceptionally beautiful child, and quite naturally, the idol of her brothers.  What else could she have been, with four brothers?  Besides, can't she still wrap us all around her little finger - and don't we all love it?  More power to you, Esther!

When Esther reached her mid-teens, her father came from town one day with the news that a new family had purchased one-half section about three miles from them.  He had met a man who said a young fellow from Des Moines had come with him to help build a home for the family.  This young carpenter was nineteen-year-old Lawrence C. Anderson - a carpenter by heritage as well as by experience. 

That young carpenter knew Esther Malm was the one and only girl for him as soon as he met her.  At a church social one evening, he overheard a young swain from a nearby ranch asking Esther if he could take her home.  Before she could answer, Lawrence stepped to Esther's side and said, "Sorry, but I am taking her home." This evidently did not displease Esther so much, for she readily agreed.  It was only a half mile to her home (Oh, what a short walk!) - but it was three miles further on to the Larson home, and Lawrence had to walk it alone.  But he didn't mind a bit, for no doubt he was walking on air!  Not long after that, Lawrence, who was now a frequent visitor at the Malm Ranch, walked up a small hill behind the house with Esther.  There they sat on a log, talking, in the bright light of the moon.  Lawrence asked her to share the future with him.  The engagement lasted three years before their marriage.   

In 1914 Lawrence established himself in Mt. Vernon, Washington.  A year later he went to Greeley, Colorado, where Esther was living with her parents.   

On June 16, 1915, Esther and Lawrence were married by Rev. Gustaf Sword, in the Malm home.    (Rev. Sword later went to Burma as a missionary).  After the wedding ceremony, the happy couple left for a wonderful honeymoon.  From Greeley, Colorado to the old home at Albin, Wyoming, on to Salt
Lake City.  Then to Los Angeles and on to Kingsburg to spend a few days with relatives living there.  From this inland town, they went to the famous city of San Francisco, where a World's Fair was in progress.  This was a wonderful experience for them and indelibly imprinted beautiful memories on their hearts.  Almost reluctantly, they left San Francisco, and headed for Seattle by ship - the S. S. Congress.  Such a thrill, as they steamed out of the harbor onto the waters of the blue Pacific!  To Esther, every minute was exciting - but poor Lawrence quickly was the victim of sea-sickness!

Lawrence and Esther established their first home in Mt. Vernon, Washington.  This was the beginning of the home which we honor tonight on its 50th Anniversary. 

Lawrence and Esther at once sought a church home and soon were in service for their Savior.  The friendships formed here were deep and true, and after three years, when they were needed at the Pioneer Stock Farm and returned to Wyoming, many hearts were sad and tears flowed.  

At Albin they shared the responsibilities of the farming and stock raising with Esther's brother, Elmer.  Old friendships were renewed and new ones formed.  Immediately they joined in the service of the Lord and His church.  God prospered them richly.  This was in 1918, and during the next six years, they were blessed with two daughters, Dorothy and Thelma. 

During these years at Albin, Lawrence experienced the realization of a boyhood dream.  The Farmers' Union of Wyoming sent his name to the Democratic Convention for the office of assemblyman.  The Convention nominated him the candidate for the State Legislature.  He was elected as State Assemblyman, but was unable to serve the full term.  Esther's health began to fail and the doctor advised a milder climate; hence, to San Diego - where Esther's parents had already settled.  However, this change came almost too late, and Esther had to battle for her life.  Only by the faithful intercession of the friends at the little church at 16th and E Streets, with which they had affiliated, was God's mercy given and Esther's life was spared - for which we thank God today. 

The Andersons have resided in San Diego for forty-one years, and have been faithful to their Savior and in His service constantly. They declare that this experience with this small group of prayer warriors, who were not only friendly, but were all really saints of God, assured them that God had led them to San Diego for a permanent home. 

As the new church, now the College Avenue Baptist Church, began to grow from this faithful nucleus of believers, the responsibilities grew and the Andersons assumed their share and were never found wanting.  Esther served in Sunday School and in the Women'swork, of which she was Secretary for many years.  She served as Secretary of the Southwest Baptist Women's work for three years, while we yet affiliated with them, and later for many years, was Secretary of the California State Women's Missionary Union.  She has had many positions of responsibility in our own church.  Lawrence was Church Chairman for twenty years, Sunday School Superintendent at various times, teacher of the Men's Bible Class, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and also of the Board of Deacons.  He was also Chairman of the Christian Business Men's Committee for a number of years, and was Moderator for the California State Conference.

Lawrence founded the L. C. Anderson Construction Company, which for years was considered one of the four largest construction companies in San Diego. This company built the present Sears Building, and many other commercial buildings, churches, schools, and residences.

In 1959 Lawrence retired from the construction business, but never from the Lord's work. His and Esther's interest in the evangelical progress of the Lord's work has extended from the local church "even unto the uttermost parts of the world."  They gave their blessings to their daughter and John when they went to Africa as pilot and nurse missionaries.

In item in the March 25, 1949 issue of the CABC Challenger reads: "FLASH! As we go to press, news comes from the Sudan Interior Mission that John, Dorothy, and Carolyn Sue have just arrived in Africa.  They still have a 500 mile train trip before arriving at their destination at Kano, N. Nigeria."  Again, the Clays are in Africa, serving their fourth term.  However, Dorothy flew back for this wonderful occasion of her parents' Golden Wedding Anniversary.  She has had the joy of a reunion with her daughter, Suzy, who remained here with her grandparents, to continue with her schooling.  The Andersons' other daughter, Thelma Overly, and her husband, Bob, and their two children, Ricky and Billy, live near Phoenix, Arizona, where they are both serving successfully in the Lord's work. 

Lawrence served two five-year terms on the National Foreign Board of Missions.  During this time, he went with Secretary Wilcox on a survey trip through South America.  The result of this trip was the establishment of other mission stations.  The Andersons have made two world trips, visiting the Clays just after the birth of the twins, Larry and Linda, in Africa.  They also visited many Conference missionaries whose commissioning Lawrence had been priviledged to share.  Their first-hand reports from the mission fields stimulated the interest of the church in foreign missions. 

An article written by Harold Goss appeared in July 31, 1955 issue of the magazine "Today", closes with this paragraph: "It is perhaps his home church that will always stand as his greatest achievement for Christ.  Considering Mr. Anderson’s deep affection for College Avenue, and the extent to which he is identified with all its activities, both remote and local, the church could give him no more fitting a title than 'Mr. College Avenue.'"

Not only have Lawrence and Esther endeared themselves to all by their sincere service to their Lord and loyalty to their friends, but their children, Dorothy and John Clay, Thelma and Bob Overly, and each of their families are precious to all. 

As we gather on this happy occasion of Lawrence and Esther's Golden Wedding Anniversary, this June 16, 1965 to rejoice with them and to praise God for His manifold blessings, our prayers are that they may go on together through each new Today, serving their God, Who has blessed them so richly. 

 Lawrence and Esther wedding picture
Lawrence Anderson and Esther Malm on their wedding day, June 16, 1915

                Lawrence and Esther wedding party
Lawrence and Esther Anderson with their wedding party.  Only Lawrence and Ester are identified in this photo. 
If someone can identifly others, please contact the editor at daericsson@gmail.

  Lawrence Esther Dorothy Thelma           
Lawrence and Esther with Dorothy and Thelma. 
Dorothy was three years older than Thelma.

Biographical memoir and all above photos from Ila McIlvain

Lawrence Mt. Vernon house
Lawrence and Esther Anderson's house in Mt. Vernon, Washington, about 1918.  Photo from Don Anderson.

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