Robert E. Anderson
| Robert Edwin "Brother Bob" Anderson|
(Southern Baptist clergyman from Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
|Born|| April 29, 1934 |
Resident of Baton Rouge since 1969
|Died|| December 13, 2018 (aged 84) |
|Spouse|| Rochelle Reeves Anderson (married 1955-2018, his death)|
Robert Edwin Anderson, known as Bro. Bob Anderson (April 29, 1934 – December 13, 2018), was a Southern Baptist clergyman from primarily the capital city of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. As the eighth pastor of Parkview Baptist Church from 1974 to 1996, he oversaw a growth in the congregation from 250 to 3,000. The newspaper obituary lists the growth in attenaance from one thousand to five thousand. In 1981, he established the Parkview Baptist School, an accredited kindergarten through twelfth grade, in which he remained active after retiring as the Parkview pastor.
Anderson was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, to Alvin, Sr., and Edith Anderson. His mother died of tuberculosis when he was eleven months old, and he and his three brothers were reared by a godly paternal grandmother. When he was seventeen in 1951, Anderson joined his football team at the former Fair Park High School in Shreveport to hear Billy Graham, then a fledgling young evangelist. At the Graham crusade in Shreveport, Anderson surrendered his life to Jesus Christ, whom he described as "very real to me." Soon he answered the divine call to the ministry. His team won the state championship in 1952. On April 10, 1955, he wed his high school sweetheart, the former Rochelle Reeves, the daughter of Russell and Jewell Reeve. The couple had three children, Robert, Jr., Susan, and Janet. Through his preaching in numerous churches across Louisiana and Texas, Anderson won thousands of converts to Jesus. People particularly noticed his humility and humor..
Anderson was mentored by Dr. T. C. Pennell, his pastor at Ingleside Baptist Church in Shreveport. He graduated from East Texas Baptist University and subsequenty earned his Masters of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. He took post-graduate studies in psychology at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He was honored in 1987 by the International Bible Institute and Seminary in Orlando, Florida wth a Doctor of Divinity degree. His first pastorate was at Lone Oak Baptist Church in Harleton in Harrison County in east Texas. From there, he went to Parkhurst Baptist in Shreveport, then was associate pastor at his home church, Ingleside, In the 1960s, he was also the pastor of Dixie Heights Baptist Church in Fort Worth and Ford Park Baptist in Shreveport. From 1969 to 1973,he was the associate executive director of the Louisiana Moral and Civic Foundation in Baton Rouge, at which he was charged with youth evangelism.
Anderson delivered his first sermon as pastor of Parkview Church on October 15, 1974. For the preceding three decades, Parkview had been a quiet church in south Baton Rouge, but it exploded over the following twenty-two years of Anderson's tenure there. With a rapid influx of believers came a burgeoning Sunday school which created the need for classrooms. Anderson thought that classrooms should be used daily, not just on Sundays .He managed to convince a reluctant church governing board to establish a full-time school. Parkview Baptist School today is one of only three hundred fully accredited private schools in eleven states.
In 1996, the Southern Baptist Convention elected him first vice president during a time of lingering turmoil and strife. In 1997, Louisiana Baptists likewise elected him president by a unanimous vote. John Alley of Calvary Baptist Church in Alexandria was among those in the divided convention pushing for Anderson as a consensus choice. In that capacity, Anderson played the role of “renowned reconciler.” His gift of listening and the love of Christ healed an entire convention. His ministry never wavered from the stress on the message, not the man delivering it. Anderson said, “Love the things Jesus loved ... prayer, teaching, the church and the Lost (nonbelievers).” At Parkview, he implemented a monthly “Love Test” by which he and his key staff graded themselves on the sixteen character qualities identified by the Apostle Paul in First Corinthians 13. Anderson quickly found answers, not excuses, to heal the convention. He also served on the board of his alma mater, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
In his later years, Anderson founded “Antioch Affection Ministries” to help failed pastors heal the heartache with their disillusioned families. He helped to salvage many pastors and many congregations simply by practicing what Christ admonished: "Love one another".
Anderson died at his Baton Rouge home at the age of eighty-four after a seven-year struggle with Parkinson's disease. In addition to his wife and son, he was survived by two daughters, Susan Anderson McKey and Janet Anderson Blankenship, whose husband is the Reverend Dane Blankenship; a brother, Larry Anderson and wife Helen; and nine grandchildren.His services were held on December 16, 2018, at Parkview Baptist Church, 11795 Jefferson Highway. Through video, Anderson preached his own funeral as a last sermon entitled, “Finishing Well.” Officiating at the service were the author Leo Honeycutt and State Representative Rick Edmonds, who like Anderson was a pastor in both Shreveport and Baton Rouge. Anderson is interred at Resthaven Garden of Memory in Baton Rouge.