The Rev. Dr. Fred R. Anderson

Denomination: Presbyterian Church (USA) (PCUSA)
Organization: Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York, NY

The Rev. Dr. Fred R. Anderson is pastor of Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City.

Dr. 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, on cassette tape or CD through a church subscription service. 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 web site.

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. A baptismal hymn “Lord, You Have Called Us Each By Name,” was published by Reformed Liturgy and Music in the fall of 1985, without copyright for general use in the church. In the last several years he has entered into collaboration with the Director of Music 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, but as yet unpublished.

Dr. Anderson has written articles on 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 a member of the writing 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, he has served as a trustee of the Princeton Theological Seminary, serving on its finance, budget, investment, finance, academic affairs, facilities, administrative and personnel committees. He currently chairs the academic affairs committee and is former chair of the committee that wrote the Seminary’s recent mission statement. In January of 2001, he was appointed a trustee for the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, New Jersey and currently serves as Vice Chair of the board as well as chair of its personnel committee.

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 35-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 C’hina. 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 leader from Kosovo, the Balkans and Central Asia, in an attempt to foster peaceful coexistence and mutual acceptance through inter-religious dialogue. Since 2001 he 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 Christain dialogues, he recently moderated “Bridging the Divides: Interreligious Dialogue in the 21 st Century,” focusing on relationships between Islam and the east and west, jointly sponsored by the Cervantes Institue and the Appeal of Conscience Foundation.

Dr. Anderson is married to Questa Lucile Donnelly. They have two daughters, Larra, a filmmaker in Southern California, and Rebecca, a fashion designer’s representative, also living in Southern California.

Day1 Weekly Programs by The Rev. Dr. Fred R. Anderson

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The Threefold Nature of God

Tuesday June 02, 2009
The Rev. Dr. Fred R. Anderson dives deeply into the rich theological truths of the Trinity, and helps us understand the person and work of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the church and the world.

The Church's Hope

Tuesday May 26, 2009
The Rev. Dr. Fred R. Anderson preaches on the Day of Pentecost and helps us understand the role and ministry of the Holy Spirit in the church and in our lives today.

It's Not About Mary

Sunday December 21, 2008
The Rev. Dr. Fred R. Anderson is pastor of Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City.

God's Will for You

Sunday December 14, 2008
The Rev. Dr. Fred R. Anderson is pastor of Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City.

The God in You

Sunday April 27, 2008
The Rev. Dr. Fred R. Anderson preaches about how the Holy Spirit dwells within the people who choose a loving and obedient life with Jesus.

No Power Shortage Here

Sunday April 20, 2008
The Rev. Dr. Fred R. Anderson proclaims the good news that through faith in Jesus, the Body of Christ manifest in the church has the power to do great works of justice, peace and healing.  Rev. Anderson reminds individuals of their responsibility to invite people to be a part of this work in the church.

Image of the Invisible

Sunday November 25, 2007
The Rev. Dr. Fred R. Anderson celebrates the Reign of Christ and calls us to bear Christ and share in the work of His renewal in this broken world.

Soul Crafting

Sunday November 18, 2007
The Rev. Dr. Fred R. Anderson lauds those who patiently endure and faithfully engage the powers and principalities of our day in the name of God rather than sitting idly by waiting for the "rapture".

Video by The Rev. Dr. Fred R. Anderson

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Rev. Dr. Fred Anderson on Trusteeship, Seminaries and Advent

Tuesday January 13, 2009
Day1 presents Rev. Dr. Fred R. Anderson as he sits down to discuss his trusteeship on the Princeton Theological Seminary, his work with the Center for Theological Inquiry as well as the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, and a look at the 3rd Sunday in Advent.

Radio by The Rev. Dr. Fred R. Anderson

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Day 1 Podcast Extra -Anderson

Thursday May 08, 2008
In this Day 1 Podcast Extra, The Rev. Dr. Fred R. Anderson, Pastor, Madison Ave. Presbyterian Church, Ny, NY, shares his personal insights and experiences.