Like Father, father and son

Posted Online: Nov. 01, 2013, 4:00 am
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By Leon Lagerstam,
DAVENPORT -- Many people say he sounds like his father.

So when the Rev. Mark Anderson replaces his father, Bishop McArthur Anderson, as the leader of the Pentecostal Church of God in Davenport, parishioners will continue to hear a familiar voice and know they're in good hands.

Bishop Anderson and his wife, church first lady Esther Anderson, will retire after 35 years of service to the Davenport church. A "Well Done" retirement ceremony in their honor will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at the church, at 1234 Ripley St., Davenport, followed by a 4 p.m. reception.

Rev. Mark Anderson and his wife, Saleta Anderson, will be honored the next day, Sunday, Nov. 17, at an 11:30 a.m. installation service, featuring guest speaker, Bishop Lance R. Foster of Omaha, Neb.

For information about either event, call committee chairwoman, Ashley Allen, at 563-508-3397, or email her at Anyone interested in adding video clips being collected for the retirement celebration is asked to send them to

The weekend events "feel like an enormous blessing," Esther Anderson said. "I've shared all these years with my husband, and am now seeing my son follow along."

"I get goosebumps thinking about," Rev. Mark Anderson said. "I grew up watching him, and now I'm walking in his footsteps.

"It's exciting, mainly because my father's still here, and I will be able to partner with him and be mentored by him," he said. "He said he's retiring, but we'll see."

"My next chapter will to be of any help to the new pastor and to the church," Bishop Anderson said. "As a new pastor, Mark has a good background in education, youth and community issues, as a whole. I feel confident and have no doubt he will move the church forward. To sum it up, I feel quite at peace."

Rev. Mark Anderson, a district elder, also serves as senior pastor at the Apostolic Truth Temple, at 1201 12th St., Rock Island, which is across the street from the Church of Peace. The temple was founded and previously led by his grandmother, the late Rena Dawkins.

Rev. Anderson also works as an assistant dean of student life at Augustana College, Rock Island. His wife, Saleta Anderson, works in the human resources department at Black Hawk College in Moline.

She credited her mother-in-law, Esther Anderson, for being a great example and role model of what a first lady's to do. "I know I don't have to be worried at all," she said.

"But what's a retired first lady to do," Esther Anderson said. "Whatever the good Lord wants you to do," she said, answering her own question.

Yet, she admitted she never thought the day would come when she and her husband would retire.

Slipping physical conditions led to the decision, Bishop Anderson said, without being more specific.

"We grew up here in this church," he said. "We were 8 or 9 when we first met. People here have been so wonderful and kind to me and my wife.

"What it's been like," he said. "In a word: interesting. In another word: fulfilling.

"What I want people to remember the most was that I was a friendly person," Bishop Anderson said. "I tried to be friends with whomever I ran into."

The church's $1 million building also was completed during his 35-year tenure, "but one dream I still hope will be fulfilled is the 'Grandma's House,' a place of learning and development for youth," he said.

Hopes are to eventually build the center on a vacant lot across the street from the church.

Father and son both feel "that preaching and teaching go hand-in-hand," Bishop Anderson said. "We also agree that the best way to teach and preach is by example."

"Our prime mission is to show love for the community," Rev. Mark Anderson said.

It's also a prime way they sound and act alike.

The Anderson files
Bishop McArthur Anderson
Address: Davenport.
Birth date: March 10, 1947.
Education: 1965 Davenport Central High School graduate; Scott Community College; Black Hawk College; St. Ambrose University.
Family: wife, Esther Anderson; two kids, 10 granddaughters.
Favorite Scripture: Proverbs 3: 5-6 -- "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths."
Favorite Biblical character I'd like to meet: "King David."
Hobbies: "Reading the Bible and religious books; watching Biblical films."
One thing I feel strongly about: "People practicing what they're preaching."
I wish I knew how to: "Work most modern technology."

Elder Deacon Mark Anderson
Birth date: Jan. 12, 1971
Education: bachelor's and master's degrees; Marycrest University, Davenport
Home town: Davenport
Family: wife, Saleta Anderson; six daughters
Favorite Scripture: James 2:26 -- "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."
Favorite Biblical character I'd like to meet: "Joshua."
Hobbies: "Spending time my wife and daughters."
One thing I feel strongly about: "Being living examples of Christ."
I wish I knew how to: "Play the organ."


Local events heading

  Today is Sunday, April 20, the 110th day of 2014. There are 255 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The attention of contractors is called to proposals for building a magazine. The building is to be erected on the south side of the island, above the railroad, nearly opposite Sinnit's ice houses.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Ladies patent leather tip shoes were selling for $3 at the M & K store, and men's spring overcoats were advertised at $7.50.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Fred Feuchter, of Davenport, was elected president of the Tri-City Post Office Clerks club, and Joe Goldsmith, of Rock Island, was named secretary treasurer.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Mass vaccination of more than 1,600 employed of the Rock Island Arsenal has been ordered by Col. Norman Ramsey after a 13-year-old daughter of the Arsenal manager became ill with smallpox.
1964 -- 50 years ago: The 1964 Scout-O-Rama of the Sac-Fox Council of Boy Scouts closed a two-day session last evening at the Rock Island Armory with 5,000 paid attendance.
1989 -- 25 years ago: "From the horse and buggy days ... to this" said Mercer County Sheriff Marvin Thirtyacre, waving his hand to indicate the sheriff's department facilities at the new $1.5 million Mercer County Jail in Aledo.

(More History)