Rev. Gary F. Anderson

2009 Covenant Award Presentation

Gary and Mary Ann Anderson

Gary and Mary Ann Anderson at the historic Trakai Castle near Vilnius, Lithuania

Rev. Gary F. Anderson ’63 is being celebrated for significant contributions to the life and growth of both Gustavus and the Church, most recently with strong leadership on the Gustavus Board of Trustees and with Commission Gustavus 150 Faith Task Force.

Anderson has been a member of the Gustavus Board of Trustees since 2000 and is currently finishing his second three-year term. A highly effective leader and widely respected for his wisdom and integrity on the board, he chaired the Presidential Search Committee in the selection of James Peterson as College President in 2003-04. He was Secretary of the Board in 2004 and a member of the Executive Committee. Throughout his term on the Board, Anderson was committed to the task of rediscovering the importance of what it means to be a College of the Church. He co-chaired a Task Force on Church Relations with Dr. Darrell Jodock, exploring the possibility of forming a Center for Faith and vocation on Campus.

As senior pastor of Incarnation Lutheran Church in Shoreview (1993-2004) and All Saints Lutheran in Minnetonka (1982-1993)—two very strong congregations of the ELCA in Minnesota—Anderson has provided vision and leadership and has been a strong advocate for high quality, life-long learning in the congregations. While a full-time pastor, he encouraged his congregations and others to deepen their relationship with Gustavus, both through Gusties Gather events and through opportunities to serve the College in other ways, such as the Association of Congregations or on boards and committees. He was the homelitician for the 2007 Association of Congregations Convention, and he has served as a member of the Reunion Committee for the Class of 1963.

Born in Morris, Minn., Gary Anderson received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Gustavus in 1963 and his M.Div. from Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago (formerly Augustana Seminary, Rock Island) in 1968. He subsequently served churches in Ft. Worth and Houston, Texas, then joined the staff of the LCA’s Division for Professional Leadership in Philadelphia, before moving back to Minnesota in 1982. Following his retirement in 2004, he became interim seminary pastor at Luther Seminary for two years, then worked part-time for the Saint Paul Area Synod ELCA as director of “Crossing Bridges,” a three-year, $2 million mission appeal now in its final year. Recently, Anderson completed a six week interim pastorate at the English-speaking international congregation in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Gary and his wife Mary Ann (Carlson) are members of Incarnation Lutheran Church in Shoreview. Their children are Brian and Susan, and they enjoy five grandchildren, traveling whenever possible, and time spent at their summer lake home in Hackensack, Minn.

Since 1991, the Covenant Award has been bestowed annually in recognition and celebration of the efforts of individuals who have made distinctive contributions toward strengthening the partnership between Gustavus Adolphus College and member congregations of the Association of Congregations. Alumni, pastors, Association delegates, faculty, staff, and students of the College are eligible for the award.

Anderson has selected the Church Leadership Program as this year’s beneficiary of the Covenant Award. This financial gift is intended to offer the means to further reinforce the mission of the Association of Congregations on this college campus. The Church Leadership Program brings together students who are considering vocations in church leadership for career exploration activities, seminary and divinity school contact, ministry speakers, and congregation visits.