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"May we think of freedom not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right."
– Peter Marshall  
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  Volume No. 18 Issue No. 7 July 2021  

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  Following his calling
  By Leslie Sheley

   Michael Anderson is a family man, an avid Louisiana State University fan and the pastor at Grace Community Church.
   
   Anderson grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, hence his penchant for LSU. His dad worked for Farm Bureau Insurance; his mom taught middle school math, he said. “I’m the middle child of two brothers and that comes out in me once in a while,” Anderson said, laughing.
   
   He actively participated in the Boy Scouts of America while growing up, and earned his Eagle Scout, the highest achievement in the BSA program.
   
   After high school, Anderson attended Mississippi State University where he received his bachelor’s in business administration; he also worked for the Boy Scouts of America for several years. His association with them is how he met his wife, Jenny.
   
   Her father volunteered each summer at the BSA Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. During the course of the summer, Anderson and Jenny’s dad discovered they both lived in Florida. Jenny’s dad invited him to visit them in Orlando, Florida; there, he met Jenny, they started dating.
   
   He grew up in the Baptist church (his youngest brother is a Baptist pastor); Jenny grew up Presbyterian. Anderson said the two often talked about their beliefs and the theological differences between the two denominations. He started to look more into the Presbyterian denomination and decided he felt more at home with their beliefs.
   
   On becoming a pastor, Anderson said, “I always felt a call to ministry; and, after we got married (October 2005), the pastor at the church we were attending really encouraged me to go to seminary.” He responded to the calling and said that God opened all the doors. He attended the Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, and received his master of divinity.
   
   He worked as a youth leader while attending seminary. “I really enjoy working with kids, especially middle-aged kids,” he said. “They’re still goofy and not too serious.” He became an ordained Evangelical Presbyterian Church pastor in 2014 and took on a preaching position in St Matthews, South Carolina.
   
   About three years ago, he felt a different calling, Anderson said. His parents had moved to Colorado so they focused their job search in Orlando and Colorado to be near one of their families, he said.
   
   There aren’t many Evangelical Presbyterian Churches in this area, so when they saw a position open up at Grace Community Church in Falcon they started praying about it, he said. “We sat down and talked with the church and found it was a really good fit for our family, so three years ago in May we accepted the call to come and moved here in June 2018.”
   
   He said Grace Community Church has a nondenominational feel because people from all religious backgrounds attend; Catholic, Baptist, Assembly of God, Presbyterian. “There is a mix, so it feels like a community church, but we are a part of the EPC.”
   
   He said Grace Community wants to serve the community and be a place people can come to and plug into the community. Anderson said, “If the readers have any ideas on how we can better serve the community, we would love to hear them.”
   
   He said he would not describe himself as the typical pastor that people expect. “I’m not an extroverted person; I enjoy one-on-one conversations with people and going a little deeper than small talk on Sunday mornings,” Anderson said. “I enjoy being in the pulpit every Sunday preaching God’s word; that’s where I feel most talented; that’s where I find my joy is declaring the gospel from the pulpit.” He said he plans to be pastor for as long as God sees fit.
   
   The Andersons have four children, ranging from age 5 to 12; Clark, Reagan, Reed and Brady. He said, “My two youngest are playing T-ball right now, Clark is playing baseball and Reagan is into gymnastics; we’re running all over the place following our kids.” Anderson said he enjoys sports of all kinds and really enjoys watching his kids play different sports; they also played soccer last fall through the Woodmen Hills Metro District and Recreation Center.
   
   He said what he loves about being a parent is that his kids have different personalities and needs. “I like seeing the different personalities come out; I love watching them do the things they love to do.” Reagan loves dance, gymnastics and being creative; Clark likes to create technical and detailed drawings; Reed told them when he grows up he wants to make art out of trash and Brady is into sports, wrestling and tumbling, he said.
   
   They also have a 4-year-old year dog named Skye that they adopted two years ago; they got her from 2 Blondes All Breed Rescue in the Denver area.
   
   Anderson also enjoys reading and movies.” I think I annoy people a little bit with my sermons because I quote movies quite a bit,” he said. And, of course, he follows his beloved LSU team.
  
Michael Anderson
 
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