Dad, I’m Proud of You!

Pride is usually a vice. However, Proverbs 17:6 says that it’s a normal and healthy thing for children to glory in their fathers. I do glory in you, Dad. I’m proud of you.

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My Dad grew up in (and out) of a home split by alcohol and strife. When he was very young he was sent from his Michigan home to live with his (old school, authoritarian) aunt and uncle in Durango, Colorado. It was a tough time, but one God would use both to build Dad’s character and to give him a love for Colorado. He eventually returned to Michigan where, by God’s grace, he came to Christ at a Youth for Christ meeting on his 16th birthday. Following graduation, he enlisted in the U. S. Marine Corps. The Lord gave my Dad an insatiable appetite for the Scripture during his time in the military, an appetite that continues unabated to this day. The Lord also began the process of chiseling off Dad’s rough edges, like the time when Dad was witnessing to a friend and pointed to a Bible verse with his cigarette-laden fingers. An ash fell off and burned a hole in the Bible, giving the friend a reason to laugh hysterically and giving Dad a reason to quit smoking.

After his time in the Marine Corps, Dad returned to Michigan to attend Grand Rapids School of the Bible and Music (GRSBM). While there, he met and won the heart of my wonderful mother. After finishing school, they wed, honeymooned in Colorado, and set their sites on returning to Colorado as frontier church planters. This they did, and without raising any financial support.

Dad’s ministry has been characterized by aggressive and innovative evangelism. He has led hundreds of people to the Lord Jesus Christ. One example is Bill Berg, a Jewish rabbi with whom Dad would watch our ballgames when we were young, always directing conversations to the OT prophecies of the Messiah. Bill eventually trusted Christ and committed himself to reaching fellow Jews with the truth that Jesus is the promised Messiah. That’s aggressive evangelism. You want innovative? “New Life Drive-In” ministered to literally thousands of people in Pueblo and Colorado Springs, showing feature Christian films like A Thief in the Night and A Distant Thunder for free to hundreds of families every Friday and Saturday night. (Yes, I did profess Christ almost weekly out of fear of missing the rapture. Call me scared…and scarred). “Guilty Yet Free” is a tract which Dad wrote to demonstrate the substitutionary death of Christ. It’s one of the best tracts I’ve ever read. “Camp Sonshine” is a day camp we ran in Colorado Springs for several years to reach young people with the gospel. “Discovery News” is Dad’s latest ministry idea, focusing on evidences of biblical creationism and history as an opportunity for gospel witness.

Dad’s ministry has also been characterized by tentmaking. He has supported his family over the years by designing church buildings. Despite having taken only a high school drafting class, Dad has designed hundreds of churches. (Two which many readers will be familiar with are Tri-City Baptist Church in Denver and Trinity Baptist Church in Concord, NH.) Dad’s ministry has extended beyond his own local churches, then, as he has ministered to hundreds of churches (including Tri-County Bible Church) on a consultant basis.

Finally, Dad’s ministry has been characterized by generosity. I’ve never known a more giving man in my life. I’m humbled by him. He’s perpetually poured money he really hasn’t had into needy ministries and families. Money has been a tool for Dad, never a trophy or treasure.

Last Sunday my Dad resigned from the pastorate at McCarol Bible Church in Denver, the fourth church which Mom and Dad either planted or “replanted” during their four decades of ministry together in Colorado. The first was in Widefield (Widefield Bible Church), the second in Pueblo (New Life Bible Church), the third (which my brother Jeff pastors) in Colorado Springs (Grace Bible Church), and the last in Denver (McCarol Bible Church). By God’s grace, all four of them are preaching the gospel today—a record that is all too uncommon in American church planting.

Dad has also pastored three sons, all of whom, by God’s grace, know the Lord and are serving Him in vocational ministry. Mom and Dad weren’t perfect, and neither were we. Indeed, there was a time during our teen years when we were in full-fledged rebellion, and they wisely stepped out of the ministry in order to shepherd us. Despite some rocky years, their godly influence made a lasting impression on their sons. Today, Jeff pastors in Colorado Springs, where he has been active in church planting. He has also been used of the Lord to preach to thousands of pastors in Uganda and India each year. Dan has been involved in three church plants in Brazil. He’s among the most faithful and effective missionaries I know. And I’m a church planting pastor in Ohio.

Dad, as you look toward new and exciting ministries in the days ahead, I want you to know that I’m proud of you. By God’s grace, you’re 7 for 7. You’ve poured your life into 4 churches and 3 sons, and all of them are continuing on for Christ. That’s God’s grace, but it’s God’s grace working through a godly man. You’ve committed what you’ve learned to faithful men, thereby multiplying your ministry. On more than one occasion, those churches (and sons) have lashed out at you. Each time, I’ve been amazed by your willingness to “take it” and, when necessary, move on for the good of the Kingdom.  What a legacy you’ve left. What a trophy of God’s grace you are. I thank God for you. I’m grateful for the grace He has shown to me by allowing me to grow up under your instruction and example, and for allowing me to fellowship with you now. I’m grateful for the heritage my daughters and their 12 cousins have received.

“The glory of children is their fathers.” (Proverbs 17:6)

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8 Responses

  1. Praise the Lord for godly parents! That was a great tribute to your father.

    Jon S.

  2. What a blessing to have christian parents (especially dads)!! I was just talking yesterday to my pastor and some other men of our church about my Dad who went home in 2003. He was only 5’4″, but he was a christian giant. I’m grateful that God placed me with such wonderful parents.

  3. Hey, guys. I do thank the Lord for a godly heritage, especially in light of the home in which my Dad grew up. (Both of his parents came to Christ, by the way, which is an amazing story of its own for another time.)

    Bryan, it’s great to hear of your Dad’s influence in your life even now that he’s with the Lord. I thought of you this AM during a Bible study on “Trusting God.” Looking forward to seeing your family at Peniel!

  4. Chris, I’d love to hear the story of how your Dad’s parents came to Christ.

    What years were your folks at GRSBM? Although I never went there, I knew a number of young people who did.

  5. Praise God for Pastor Chuck Anderson! Chris, you have a great dad! I really appreciated your post honoring him. May I add? Your dad has a knack for encouragement that I don’t think he realizes he has. It’s contagious and has continued to influence me for over 20 years in ministry. He can see where others can’t the potential in a church, or a building plan, or a young pastor! That vision for potential then consumes him with excitement. Certainly, he saw the potential of God using his boys for God’s glory. One of my greatest joys has been to see that vision come to fruition. You and your brothers have the wonderful opportunity to multiply that vision.

  6. Thanks, Dave. I do have a great dad, and he is a great encourager and visionary. And I, too, praise God for him!

  7. Just came acrsoss the blog. Wow. What a testimony to the grace of God! No man can do all of that in the flesh! I am tired from reading what has been done. God’s grace is amazing. Keep running the race and fighting the good fight. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I remember late nights at the drive in and playing in the old apartment house and the church on the corner and working on a church in Colo. springs the 3 boys Chuck and his wife took me in always as a troubled boy awana club and Chucks can of Cooke’s i think of you all alot ..i now live in iowa married for 26 years my wife Tia and i have 2 kids a boy Tony and a girl Jenny and 3 grandkids . god bless your family means a lot to me

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