Dr. David Anderson

Guest speaker for this year’s graduation, Dr. David Anderson joins Pastor Walton this week to talk about his family, ministry, and life as President at MBU.

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Episode transcript:

Chris Harper: Welcome to Harvest Time. My name is Chris Harper, and our host on this program is pastor Gary Walton, the lead pastor of Harvest Baptist Church. Every week, we spend these 25 minutes together telling you the stories of our church by interviewing our members and other friends of the ministry. We’d like to invite you to join us at Harvest Baptist Church this week. We have 2 services on Sunday, 8:45 AM and 10:45 AM.

We have Spanish translation available during the 8:45 AM service, Japanese and Korean translation during the 10:45 AM service. That’s also when we live stream at hbcguam.org.hbcguam.org. This week, doctor David Anderson is our special guest speaker preaching from Genesis 45, the work of reconciliation. Let’s begin today’s harvest time by welcoming pastor Gary Walton. Hi, pastor.

Gary Walton: Hey. Hafa adai, Chris. This week is graduation week around here at harvest. Our bible college and the academy, all the graduations are taking place. So there’s a lot of activity.

And it’s given us an opport opportunity to invite, doctor David Anderson to be with us. I’m gonna introduce him to you in just a minute. But as Chris just mentioned, he will be with us this Sunday, kind of in between the two graduations and we’ll be preaching in both of the services. I’m eager to introduce him to our church family and maybe even as much eager to introduce the church family to him. He’s here with his wife, Abby.

And so, if you come on Sunday, you’re gonna hear a message from God’s word, which you’ll always hear at harvest, just practically teaching and applying the word to where we’re at in life and god’s plan for our lives. So I’d like to invite you personally to come and be a part of our service. I promise you, you’ll have a warm welcome. You will sense God’s presence here with us in our worship and our fellowship together. And so we’d like to invite you to come and join us this Sunday.

And then I’m really thankful to be able to introduce doctor Anderson to you. Thank you for being with us.

David Anderson: Our pleasure. It’s been a joy to be here already and kind of take in all that’s happening here that God’s doing here at Harvest. This is pretty cool.

Gary Walton: Yeah. We’re so glad, that you’re here. It’s your first time on Guam. Right? Yes, sir.

Here at harvest? Yes,

David Anderson: sir. Yep.

Gary Walton: Doctor Anderson and his wife, Abby, are are here from, the state of Wisconsin. Doctor Anderson is the new president at, University, a Bible College that Harvest has partnered with for many years. We’ve had a long term relationship together where we have really received a lot of blessing from Maranatha Baptist University as many teachers and pastors and, leaders and principals have come and served together with us. And so you’re the new president there. How’s that?

David Anderson: Crazy. Something that God had planned for my life that I had no clue about and we’re rejoicing in it, opportunity to affect lives, Lord willing, for him and just a joyful thing. Lots of good faculty staff that have just surrounded us and been a blessing. But, yeah. It’s a different different life than what I’ve been used to in all the years as pastor.

Gary Walton: So Yeah. So you pastored a couple different churches, in Illinois and in Michigan and in Pennsylvania, I think. Yes. God used all of those things in preparation, you know, for your role here, but also, of course, used you, in those church lives.

David Anderson: By God’s grace.

Gary Walton: Yeah. So thankful for that. Why don’t why don’t we back up and let’s just hear a little bit of your story, where you grew up, your family, you know, how God brought you together and then your family,

David Anderson: you know, from there. Absolutely. So my dad grew up in Colorado, the son of an immigrant, and was on a farm. And as, as he grew older, he was gonna get married to my mom. He and his brother couldn’t the farm wasn’t quite large enough for both of them to be able to farm, so dad willingly stepped aside went into the business world and it was through that company, as the dad would get promotions he’d have to move to a different office And that forces into a a town in Colorado where there was no covenant church there.

Gary Walton: Mhmm.

David Anderson: And mom and dad both grew up in the covenant church, saved in the covenant church, but obviously theology is far different than what we we might even say opposite of dispensationalism and so forth. So it was there that a businessman met my dad for the first time that figured he wanted to do some of the financing work that company that dad worked for was in financing, through through my dad’s company. Well, the guy never talked about business. He invited my father out for lunch and talked about this little Independent Baptist Church in Durango, Colorado, and got my mom and dad interested. So they thought these Baptists were a little unusual, these invitations and all these things.

But it was through that ministry where they they loved on my mom and dad and just drew them in. And, we’re down 10 months in Texas and then back to Durango, and mom and dad really had a heart to stay there. They so loved the church, the church family there, and they grew in their faith and walk with the Lord Jesus Christ there. And it was there that dad got called into the ministry. So in 1971, we moved back to Watertown, Wisconsin.

I was a little 3rd grader, and it was, it was there that I we were exposed obviously to Marinatha. Dad Went there, got his college degree and went on to pastor in the state of Wisconsin, plant a church in Wisconsin. What a delight to have that. So it was in those Colorado days that I was saved as a 6 year old boy, under the preaching of God’s word in the church service and realized I was a sinner. And, mom and dad talked with me after the service that night and I just simply prayed for repentance and asked the Lord to be my savior and he did.

He became my savior. So that’s a joy. And when we moved back to Wisconsin, went to a Baptist church just outside of Watertown. Dad became very active and engaged there. He was eventually a deacon and led the Awana program back in the day and Yeah.

All those things. I was I was the first one we the church was growing and blossoming at the time when we came. So they built a new building and I was the first one to be baptized in the new building. Wow. What a claim.

But what a delightful moment too where mom and dad carefully let the lord do the work in my heart and life to come to a realization I need to obey the lord in that step of obedience, that public demonstration of who I am in Christ. And so that was just a high point spiritually for me to be take that step even as a 9 year old boy at that point. Yeah. And that was kinda cool. And so years later, Lord led me back to Maranatha in college.

God called me to preach through the high school years. Just some other amazing stories how God put that all together. But that was my focus. And there for college, started grad work there. That’s where I met my first wife and we were married before I started grad school and then transferred out to Pennsylvania to finish up my master of divinity out there.

And then got into ministry from that point serving in a church in Pennsylvania, assistant pastor as you mentioned. Mhmm. And then in Michigan as assistant pastor, interim pastor there and then the Lord directed us to Illinois, to pastor a church there before God called us to Marinatha. So there it is in a nutshell. It’s a quick nutshell.

Gary Walton: You talked about, you met your first wife and tell us about your family.

David Anderson: Oh yes. So, Deb, my first wife, was just a joyful opportunity to grow in the Lord together. We’d actually considered the mission field, felt like maybe that’s where the Lord was leading us. We’d taken a mission trip to Denmark during my, just before my last year of my MDiv program. Mhmm.

And then the Lord redirected our steps very clearly. So through, those grad school years, the Lord gave us, I guess just 1 our first born and then when we stepped into ministry in Pennsylvania then God gave us 3 more children. So we had 2 boys, 2 girls, and then, through a series of number circumstances God directed our steps and then opened up a door for us to be at a church in Michigan outside of the Detroit area, under Doctor. David Cummins and then eventually under Doctor. Marriott.

So the former president of Mernat and now our chancellor. And it was during those years in Michigan where my first wife contracted cancer. And so a 9 year 9 year, 8 year journey or so through that, the Lord took her home. And those were obviously challenging things, things that you don’t wish on anybody. But that’s what God had for us.

And it was to see God, watch over us, care for us, put life back together for us in many ways.

Gary Walton: You had 4 children. Four children. Like, various ages.

David Anderson: Right. College down through junior high at that point when Deb went home to be with the Lord. You know, God is always working in our life to to make us utterly dependent upon him. Right. So he takes all the crutches away.

And that’s God’s good work for us. It’s not a bad work. It’s it’s meant on purpose so that And there came a point even after Deb’s passing where I’m in my, mid going on upper forties, when that all transpired. And, to just learn to trust the Lord and it would be okay if God wanted me to be a single dad the rest of my life. It would have probably changed much in what I did in ministry, as in my pastorals roles and so forth.

Right. But to come to that point and say, God, I’m all yours again. Whatever you want, it’s okay. And and I’ll I’ll just every day serve you faithfully, the opportunities you give. And that was, again another point in my life spiritually where I just, you grow close to the Lord, and that’s that’s a gift.

That is just a joy to have have those everlasting arms upholding you. Mhmm. So, and then God brought Abby in, and I just laugh at life at times. God is too good. He is just too good to his children.

He does exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think. That’s just amazing. So as well, I’m a 60 year old man and I have a 10 year old and an 8 year old.

Gary Walton: Right. That gave you a second part of

David Anderson: your family. Yes.

Gary Walton: Yeah.

David Anderson: And God even used those young children. When we announced to my 4 older children that Abby and I were expecting Uh-huh. It about blew them out of the water. But that was a a part of the plan too and it really drew our family together, so that in every way, Abby is mom to those children and now our grandchildren, all those things. So that’s just kinda delightful.

Gary Walton: Yeah. It really is a beautiful story. And thank you for sharing that. The burdens you’ve been even in our conversation, been very transparent about that and the blessings that God does. I love the conversation where God does bring us to these places in life where we know that we need him.

David Anderson: Yeah.

Gary Walton: And, everybody’s experienced that. Anybody that’s walked with Christ.

David Anderson: Right. They’re all individually tailored for our

Gary Walton: lives. Exactly right.

David Anderson: And that’s God’s tailoring in my life. And, maybe I’m a hard case. I don’t know, but I am grateful that he brought me to those places where you’re just utterly beyond yourself and all you have is him, and that’s where we need to be. Right.

Gary Walton: Yeah. I don’t know anything about hard case or or not. I do know that God, tests and challenges servants and, you know, brings us to places where he’s equipping something in us that Right. That maybe would never have been able to be built up without some of those

David Anderson: When I came to the church in Illinois, there was, you know, obviously, I’ve been remarried so they never knew my first wife. They knew Abby and they loved her. Abby’s just easy to get to know all those things.

Gary Walton: Yeah. Yeah.

David Anderson: But, the funny thing that struck me is I saw I’m getting to know a new church family. The widows in that church loved me.

Gary Walton: Mhmm.

David Anderson: And it was because of that point of connection. Right. They’d experienced loss. They knew I had. And there was just this natural connectivity that I had never experienced before.

Mhmm. You tried to minister to dear widows and widowers, in fact. But this was something brand new and that was, again, I see a little bit of god’s working in my life. So that’s pretty cool. So

Gary Walton: Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. Yeah. Let’s talk about your role as president.

David Anderson: Yeah.

Gary Walton: It’s a new role for you. You’re about a year into this. In fact, I was just looking back on some notes. You were named president about this time last year. Right?

Correct. Middle of May.

David Anderson: Yes.

Gary Walton: So it’s been a 1 year whirlwind, complete Correct. Life change for you. Maranatha Baptist University, which is in Watertown, Wisconsin, been there for a long time. Right?

David Anderson: Yes. 1968 is when it got started. So Okay. And we came 3 years later. So Okay.

Yeah. I’ve been around and connected.

Gary Walton: Been a part of it for a long time.

David Anderson: For a long time. Yeah.

Gary Walton: Yeah. Yeah. Tell us, what is the mission? What’s the burden of the college and seminary? How does God blessing?

David Anderson: Sure. Maranatha, our purpose and mission is to train leaders for local church ministry and for world leadership as far as Christian leadership to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 112 is our school theme verse if you wanna put it that way. We are made to glorify God to be the praise of his glory. And that has, really, keeps us focused on the right direction for our school and university, what we’re about, trying to train train people that will serve the Lord in their local church whether it’s in full time vocational ministry or plenty of majors we have where what we might call we’re concerned about the whole person education.

The term liberal arts is almost a misunderstood term today. But it speaks of the breadth of our education. So we’re not just ministry training, but we’re also training people for vocational work in all fields. We really feel, that God has allowed us at Maranatha to be able to equip any believer that’s wanting to follow the Lord in wherever God’s called them, that we can be a part of helping them get there, to help them be prepared and follow the Lord. So we passionately work at our young people, you know, being actively engaged in local church ministry while they’re there, not just making it a requirement but also wanting to help them learn.

We talked to our partnering pastors. We call them partnering just because we have like faith and practice essentially. And we very much want those pastors to be directly engaged in this the development of our students so that when they leave Maranatha, they have a good core of ministry, thought and process already there. So when they leave the doors of Maranatha, go out to serve the Lord wherever God’s called them, they get directly engaged in local church ministry. Mhmm.

Being a servant, wherever God’s put them and then whatever way God puts them there, Whatever ministry it is, we want them to be involved in that. So that really becomes our passion and focus. Our academic side, we strive to be. We feel like the Lord deserves excellence, so we’ve tried to do everything we can to make our education top notch. Number of our stats, graduation statistics and outcomes all demonstrate that we’re top top class.

We we beat University of Wisconsin in a number of things Mhmm. In in output. And that’s that’s just kinda cool. Just little old pullback, little tiny little marinatha. Yeah.

And Yeah. So we’re grateful for God putting together amazing faculty and staff that are just top notch in their fields, doing a great job helping these young people serve the Lord, but excellently. So

Gary Walton: Yeah. I mean, I I think that’s a really important point that, over the years, God has raised up some institutions of higher learning, colleges, universities that are strictly bible college, focused, and they’re doing really good job of preparing students and leaders. If you choose a bible college, you’re not you’re not having to settle for a second rate education in any ways. In fact, I think sometimes well, I’m confident the teachers are are fantastic. They’re equipped.

They’re prepared. And, education that you can receive at some place like Maranatha really is top level.

David Anderson: Yes. Amen. And we even our sister institutions, I I would affirm with you. They’re doing some great work, and we appreciate what they’re doing in their given fields and given student body and so forth. Right.


Gary Walton: Yeah. So just just because of, and we have kids going to a lot of different colleges. It’s that’s not the conversation here. But just because, you know, college university is large, you know, in some way does not mean the education is better. And I really want to say that you can get a very you can get a great education that will challenge and equip you for life at Bible College and we’re thankful for that.

David Anderson: Well, and the joy of a smaller setting is that those students get, not only direct connection with those professors that are just top notch in their field, so they get individual tailoring, but they also have the opportunity and this is one of the characteristics of Maranatha is so some science kid, he has a little bit of music skill and talent. Well, he has the opportunity to develop that too even though that’s not his field proficiency, but get involved in a choir or a band, a small ensemble. We even have student led music groups, those kinds of things, or athletics where they can, you know, there may not be the top level. They are not gonna be the NCAA division 1 player. Sure.

But they still will use those gifts and talents out serving the Lord one day when they’re leading a children’s program on Wednesday night. And they have the abilities and skills and so Marinathic can help produce that. We would really strive to make that full well rounded person, The whole person is educated, not just in a given little line.

Gary Walton: Yeah. Well and again, I I think I’d, you know, kids, families have opportunities to make a number of choices. But, you know, in my background, small bible college.

David Anderson: Yeah.

Gary Walton: But, you know, it really did give me opportunities to mentor in leadership areas that I don’t know that I’d had in other places. Mhmm. And, yeah. It was very unique in the way that God, you know, allowed that to be a huge part of my life and I’ve seen that happen in many others. So, you know, kind of along that line, what do you know about or what are you learning about this generation of leaders, the leaders of the next generation?

David Anderson: You’re talking about the students that learn that correctly. Right? Wow. They’re a continual, a surprise to me and challenge. So as we as I’ve been interacting especially this year, I see among our student body, overall, a real passion to follow the Lord, to do what’s right.

That that was there is a level at which that’s a a blessed surprise to me, to see that. Now what I have discovered along with that though is, some inadequacies because of the generation they’re among. So they’re a generation that has grown up on social media and what would seem to be for us older generations second nature in relationships is not necessarily that way for them. And it’s not because they don’t want to. It’s because they don’t know how.

Their culture and wherever they’ve been hasn’t necessarily shown them the way. So that’s kinda interesting. But because their life has not been strongly relational, it’s all about them and they need to work and learn through how to forget about themselves and literally live for the Lord and live that too towards other people. And so that’s an interesting dynamic to see that happen and try to help them and grow. You know, we have 3, 4, maybe 5 or 6 years, with them.

Most of the kids that are coming to Marinato already have a year or sometimes 2 years of education, whether online or do credit, all those kinds of things. So their their time on campus has has shrunk. Interesting. Yeah. We have just just this really limited amount of time to work with them.

So we feel like I feel like every moment’s critical. It’s it’s like I I feel like the alarm bells going off in my heart all the time. I’ve got to help. I’ve got to help. And I but I’m joyful that they really do wanna follow the Lord.

That that’s to see a heart to just they may not have all the answers, but they say, Lord, I want you to be in charge of life. That is so amazing. That’s just a joy.

Gary Walton: Yeah. I see the same. I keep telling college kids how much I believe in this generation. God has prepared them for this time and for this season.

David Anderson: Correct.

Gary Walton: I I don’t feel bad for them. I mean, we got a scary world out there, but God’s prepared them for what’s to come. Right. And, man, we wanna equip them to to strap up and be ready to go and Correct. And, yeah.

So we in this generation.

David Anderson: Right. And we even talk about persecution. Sure. I think that that is becoming so much more of a reality around the world, and to see they’re they’re just all in and it it doesn’t rattle their cage. Mhmm.

That’s pretty amazing.

Gary Walton: Yeah. Yeah. No. I agree. Switching gears, may maybe a little bit although it’s connected.

I enjoy asking this question a bit, but who changed you? And by that, I mean who invested in your life relationally in time, influence that had a significant impact on you and what did they do that really caused them to be a significant change impact influencer in your life?

David Anderson: Just it’s easy for me to answer immediately my father. Yeah. So to watch dad so dad’s a steady, highly faithful guy farmer and and even in his character to this day, it’s delightful. We actually they live with us now. They’re they’re in their upper eighties.

And as we made this move, I said, mom and dad, come on. He was actually my part time assistant pastor at our church in Illinois after he retired full time assistant. That’s fantastic. Yeah. Came down and joined us.

Yeah. I mean, I think the

Gary Walton: people cried more that they

David Anderson: were leaving than I was leaving. So anyway, dad, they were leaving than I was leaving. Anyway, dad, just this steady Eddie guy, but to watch him passionately follow the Lord and love the Lord and grow and when he was wrong. I remember my father was a redhead like I am, and redheads are hotheads. I mean, that’s that’s probably an unfair characteristic of us, but there’s some reality.

Sure. And to watch my dad overcome, like, his anger and become this I I love to tell the story. When he was in the pastorate, one day we’re at there was a church picnic and we’re playing softball. Dad actually played semi pro baseball for a while, caught for one of the best softball fast pitch softball pitchers in the United States, in his early years, all those kinds of things. So he’s an athlete of an athlete.

Mhmm. Ran nigh on to world class speed in in the 100 meter dash, 100 yard dash back in the day. All those things. So, church softball game and he just gets into the game and there was a he was around at first heading to 2nd. There’s the ball’s coming in and he doesn’t slide.

He he stands full up and just plows into the 2nd basement to make him lose the ball. And then he realized what he’d done, and to see his heart just break and realize this is just a church game. I’m And all the people were in shock because they never seen that side of dad. I had seen dad’s very competitive side, even anger, to see that had totally changed. So his church family didn’t know that side of him at all.

And that’s not because he hid it. It’s just because God had changed him. Mhmm. So to see dad get called to ministry, to to sacrifice, to go to college while we had 2 children, you know, and mom was a nurse. She she had to work to to get us through all those kinds of things.

Go to a small church and just faithfully serve facing opposition. And then to see him become a church planner

Gary Walton: Mhmm.

David Anderson: And allow me as a high schooler at that point to get totally engaged in the work of the ministry here. I’m a 10th grade boy teaching, teaching the boys Sunday school class, being the church pianist, going calling with dad regularly. That so influenced my life. So for sure. And it that I have the joy that I get to live with dad again and mom.

That’s awesome. That’s a gift. What? You know, so the whatever God gives us together, these years together, I I want them to be the most precious thing in the world. So, anyways, to try to give back to mom and dad a little bit, you know.


Gary Walton: Yeah. It’s really great. That’s a such a good reminder of the incredible, influence of fathers. I’ve enjoyed talking with you very much, you and Abby together. We’re glad that you’re here.

Thank you for blessing us, honoring us by coming. We hope that, this, you know, these days will be encouragement to your hearts, refreshing for your soul, and, we’re looking forward to the ministry of the word this weekend. So thanks for being with us.

David Anderson: Praise the Lord. Great. Our joy. It’s already been a delight.

We love what we’re doing to see it here. That’s great. Okay, amen.

Chris Harper: Well, thank you for listening to harvest time. Of course, at this point in the program, we always just wanna invite you again to services at Harvest Baptist Church. There are 2, 8:45 AM and 10:45 AM, Spanish translation at 8:45, Japanese and Korean translation during the 10:45 AM service. We also bring you that service live here on 88.1 FM and on khmg.org. We hope to see you this Sunday.

Thanks again for listening to Harvest Time.

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