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Meet our pastor, Rev. Dr. William P. Anderson, Sr., affectionately known as Bill or sometimes Pastor Bill. Bill was born in Ridgefield Park, N.J., on February 22, 1936. During his youth, he attended the New York City Schools, and was part of an accelerated educational program that allowed him and about 35 others to proceed through the system rapidly and with a more difficult curriculum. He was young when he graduated and was looking forward to a career in the military via an appointment to the US Naval Academy. However, he changed his mind about that direction for life for personal reasons and instead went to work in the financial district on Wall Street, particularly in the field of taxation. For about eight years he worked for two major financial institutions: Kidder Peabody & Company, a brokerage firm, and the Bank of New York, founded by Alexander Hamilton in 1784. It was his experience at these institutions that moved him to change his life's direction toward the Christian ministry. He began a search for a liberal arts college, preferably Presbyterian related, to complete his bachelor's degree and discovered Bloomfield College in Bloomfield, NJ. He graduated, Magna Cum Laude, in 1961 with a BA in History and was Class Salutatorian.
Upon graduation, Bill and his wife, Carolyn, moved from New York City to Princeton to begin his theological studies and career. Princeton was an ideal place; it is in the eyes of many, if not most Presbyterians, one of the best academic institutions of its kind in the world. They spent the next 8 years in that beautiful community. Bill majored in historical theology. At graduation he was once again Salutatorian. He also was awarded the Princeton Fellowship in Systematic Theology based on a monograph written in competition entitled "The Doctrine of the Trinity As The Immediate Implicate Revelation in the Theology of Karl Barth. At that time he was definitely a "Barthian."
For the next four plus years he studied with the Rev. Georges Florovsky, who had recently come to Princeton from Harvard, to teach in the Graduate School of Religion at Princeton. He was, arguably, the most renown scholar in the field of Classical Historical studies in the world. Under his direction Bill produced a dissertation entitled: The Christology of Apollinaris of Laodicea.
During his post seminary days, He was ordained to the Presbyterian ministry and also served a small church in Ringoes, New Jersey. It was a practice he would maintain all during his university teaching career. He felt, and still does, that a blend of the academic and the pastoral is exceedingly beneficial. It gives one, he believes, a more complete understanding of both theology and the world in which all of this takes place.
For the next three decades, Bill was Professor and Graduate Professor of the History of Religious Thought at the University of Dayton (Roman Catholic Society of Mary) as well as having been a Visiting Professor at such institutions as: The Ecumenical Institute of the University of Geneva in Switzerland, The University of Florence in Florence, Italy, and the Graduate School of Religion and Philosophy of the Association of Scholars in St. Petersburg, Russia, in addition to a number of lectureships in US theological schools such as the United Theological Seminary (methodist) in Dayton, Ohio. Bill is also the author or co-author of more than a dozen books, including a widely used university text entitled: “A Journey Through Christian Theology”, published by Fortress Press.
We at the CPC are so happy and so delighted to have Bill as our pastor, spiritual advisor, and friend.