This is the next in my series on deacon candidates for the Diocese of Knoxville. Today, we hear from David Anderson, deacon candidate from Holy Cross in Pigeon Forge.
Tell me about your family.
Elizabeth and I have been married for 46 years. We have one son, a daughter-in-law, and two granddaughters. So, when we’re all together, I’m surrounded by four beautiful women. Elizabeth and I met in high school. She was on the school newspaper staff and I was skipping study hall in the band room with my feet propped playing a bass guitar. She was walking through while working on the paper and we met. We knew each other about three years and had dated for two. We married in 1976.
Are you from east TN?
We’re both from Boonville, IN. in 2007 I accepted a position and was sent to east Tennessee as part of Alcoa’s Global Rolled Products engineering group. We bought a home in Townsend. We’ve been there ever since.
What work did you do?
I was the single point responsible for camera-based surface inspection equipment for seventeen of Alcoa’s plants worldwide. In that role I’ve traveled across the globe: Australia, Hungary, Russia, Spain, China, Brazil and across the USA.
What brought you to your parish?
We were looking for the opportunity to give pastoral care to a diverse ethnic and age community. If I am going to be a deacon, I wanted to serve a diverse community and Holy Cross in Pigeon Forge was a good fit.
What services have you done at the parish level?
I’ve served on parish councils, as sacristan, as maintenance. Currently, I’m working with couples on marriage prep and annulments, and participating in a weekly Bible study. Also, usher, Eucharistic minister, lector, altar server. I’ve led Stations of the Cross. I have done RCIA, but not currently.
What services have you done for the diocese?
I participated in the fund-raising project for the Cathedral and am currently representing Holy Cross in the synodal process. We also did the Farmers Field the Table food distribution at Pigeon Forge, giving away a couple thousand boxes of food and milk.
What drew you to the diaconate program?
The Holy Spirit. I am a convert from being a General Baptist. I didn’t convert until about 15 years after being married. At first, I didn’t know a convert could be a deacon. My pastor in Indiana recommended I consider being a deacon, and I laughed. Then we went to the St. Catherine of Siena discernment of charisms in Memphis. The man who was evaluating my gifts told me I have all the things required to be a deacon. I asked him why he thought so and he told me because he was a deacon at that parish. I contacted Deacon Tim two months before the class before ours started and had to wait five years to get into the discernment class. The waiting made me hungrier for it.
What has been most rewarding about the diaconate program?
The brotherhood. My sister is ten years younger than I. To end up now having 24 brothers is a great thing for someone who grew up most of his life as an only child and an only boy.
What has been most challenging about the diaconate program?
Getting back into the swing of school! I finished school between the Air Force and my degree in 1981. So, it was almost 40 years when we started the program of study. It was like starting all over again.
What are your hopes as a deacon?
I would have to say that, when I die and I get to look back at the lives I’ve affected, that the line of the positive is far longer than the negative. I want to know that I made a positive impact on the souls of the people I helped.
Please pray for David Anderson, his wife, Elizabeth, and all the deacon candidates. We are scheduled to be ordained to the permanent diaconate on June 11, 2022.
Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.