2023 Faithful Servants: Bruce and Marlene Anderson
October 13, 2023
When recounting the years of faithful service of Bruce and Marlene Anderson, one has to go back to Omaha Baptist Bible College. Bruce’s parents and Bruce, who was 15 at the time, were led to Christ by a missionary pastor in Homer, Alaska, in 1959. Shortly thereafter, Bruce’s father, at age 40, enrolled at OBBC to prepare for vocational ministry.
In the days following his conversion, Bruce dedicated his life to serve the Lord wherever He would lead. God first led Bruce to pursue theological training at OBBC, a natural choice given that Bruce lived in Omaha and his father had studied there. While a student at OBBC, Bruce met Marlene. She graduated in 1965 with a bachelor’s degree in music and a minor in Christian education. A year later, Bruce was part of the last graduating class of OBBC. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Bible and a minor in missions. Bruce went on to earn three more degrees—a Master of Arts from Biola University (La Mirada, California), a Master of Divinity from Western Conservative Baptist Seminary (Portland, Oregon), and a Doctor of Ministry from Central Baptist Theological Seminary (Minneapolis, Minnesota).
Bruce and Marlene were married in the summer of 1966. They have four married children—Becky, Jim, Bob, and Deb—and eleven grandchildren. Since 1991, Bruce and Marlene have served as lead pastor and wife at Olivet Baptist Church in Westwood, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City. Marlene teaches Sunday school for two- and three-year-olds and plays piano or organ for worship services. In addition to his preaching ministry, Bruce teaches the international Sunday school class. He also teaches junior high science at Shawnee Mission Christian School. Prior to their ministry at Olivet Baptist Church, Bruce and Marlene served as missionaries and then as pastor and wife in churches in Kansas, Oklahoma, and California.
When asked to share the most significant lesson they have learned through their many years of ministry, Bruce and Marlene noted the need to care for people genuinely and to follow God faithfully, especially during seasons of hardship and difficulty.
One difficulty Dr. Anderson recently noted was that the ministry needs and opportunities are plentiful, but he and Marlene simply do not have the same stores of energy they once did. He said, “I realize that my energy level is not what it used to be. We are looking for a senior pastor. Until then, I need to trust the Lord to use me to meet the needs of this church and continue with outreach.”
Thank you, Dr. Bruce and Marlene Anderson, for continuing to serve the Lord faithfully. We honor you today for your love for Christ, for your faithfulness in pastoral ministry, and for your unwavering commitment to proclaim the Word to the World.