Local People: The Anderson Family – The Resident Community News Group, Inc.

The Anderson family

For the Reverend Mark Anderson, his new post as assistant dean at St. John’s Cathedral feels like coming home. Anderson grew up in Jacksonville and graduated from Bolles in 2006. While he enjoyed academic rigor and sporting challenges, he refers to his bubble experience. He was surrounded almost exclusively by friends from privileged backgrounds. The biggest exception to this bubble was his experience at a downtown church, St. John’s Cathedral, where his family worshiped. There, Anderson developed friendships and relationships with people of diverse backgrounds and experiences.

After graduating from Bolles, Anderson enrolled at Georgetown University where he studied economics and completed internships at financial and consulting firms. It appeared that his life’s trajectory was set, but he became deeply dissatisfied with the path he was on. He wanted to do something meaningful with his life, so he took a semester to reevaluate his goals. Meanwhile, Anderson contacted the new dean of St. John’s Cathedral, the Very Reverend Kate Moorehead. After meeting her, he interned at the cathedral – a completely unforeseen turn of events. At the end of this internship, Anderson returned to college with the belief that God was calling him to serve in the church.

After graduating from undergrad, Anderson married his college girlfriend, Mary. He then enrolled at Yale Divinity School while his wife Mary attended Columbia University Medical School. Next, Anderson returned to Jacksonville to serve as Vicar for Children, Youth and Families at St. Mark’s Church in Ortega. Then the Andersons moved to Boston, where Mark served as acting rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in the small town of Wrentham while earning a certificate in nonprofit management from Harvard University. Most recently, Mark and Mary lived in Dallas, Texas, where Mark served as rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and Mary completed a dermatology residency program.

The next step in their spiritual and personal journey brought Mark and Mary Anderson to Jacksonville. They are excited to see what God has in store for them. Anderson recalls, “A beautiful engraving of St. John’s Cathedral hung above my desk while I was in seminary. It was a gift from Dean Kate over ten years ago. In the years that followed, it reminded me of the foundation of my faith and served as an image of a church defined by love at heart.

Mark is delighted to serve as an under dean (the equivalent of an executive pastor) at the church where he was confirmed, where he got married and – just a few months ago – where he and Mary had their son, Philip, baptized.

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