Dr. James “Jim” Edward Anderson, age 84 of Chelsea, AL went to be with his Savior on January 3, 2023, after an unexpected significant stroke. He was born on July 2, 1938, to Loyed Edward and Dorothy Louise Tontz Anderson who both preceded him in death. He grew up in Astoria, Corvallis, and Portland, Oregon where he graduated from high school in 1956. As a high schooler he memorized large parts of the New Testament as part of his high school’s Youth for Christ Bible Memory Quiz team, participating in the national competition. Originally considering a career in engineering, he decided first that he wanted to have a firm foundation for his life, and so attended Multnomah School of the Bible finishing with a bachelor’s degree. There he became convinced that he should become involved in missions. He completed a further bachelor’s degree in English from Southern Oregon College, and then received his masters and doctoral degrees in theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. During his work on his dissertation, he taught at Southeastern Bible College in Birmingham, Al., where he met and fell in love with his wife, Evelyn Dunn. They married on December 11, 1971.
After finishing his doctorate, he accepted a position with Greater Europe Mission teaching at a seminary in Germany. He continued his life’s work as a missionary and theology professor in Germany from 1977 until 2019. During this time, he taught at the Freie Theologische Akademie and later at the Bibelschule Bonn. He increasingly recognized the importance of the centrality of Christ in every sermon and all parts of the Scripture and wrote a book in German about the significance of Jesus in the Old Testament. He completed the English version shortly before his death.
He had a passionate love for the Lord and His Word. In the same way that Jesus loved the world, he endeavored to emulate this example by caring about others. He was humble and helpful, willing to put aside his own work to help someone finish theirs. His students appreciated the authentic care that he expressed towards them. He had a sincere interest in people and enjoyed meeting and talking, asking questions to engage them in conversation and making an opportunity to share the gospel or give a tract.
He demonstrated his great sacrificial love for his family through his readiness to help, thoughtfulness and kindness, and consistently putting others before himself. He was a faithful prayer warrior, including praying regularly for extended family members by name. Looking for the best in others, his pleasant and friendly disposition demonstrated his positive outlook. He had a fun sense of humor and enjoyed athletics including swimming, basketball, and football, and taking bike rides and walks with his children. He was a man of courage, conviction, and compassion.
He is survived by his wife Evelyn, his daughter Carmen C. Parish and husband David, daughter Dorothy E. Anderson, son Edward B. Anderson, daughter Anita K. Anderson and husband Manuel as well as grandchildren Elijah, Simon, Isaac, Nathanael, Selah, Luka, and Liam. In addition, he is survived by his brother Lloyd T. Anderson (Doris), his brother Phillip C. Anderson (Marcia), and sister Christine L. Dickman (Larry) as well as many nieces and nephews.
The funeral service will be held at 1:00pm on Wednesday, January 11,2023, in the chapel at Briarwood Presbyterian Church, 2200 Briarwood Way, Birmingham, AL 35243. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Graveside service will be following at Mt Signal Cemetery, 7386-7456 Old Highway 280, Chelsea, AL 35043. In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to Briarwood Presbyterian Church, One for Israel, Samaritan’s Purse, or The Gideons International.