The Rev. Jerry Anderson, Class of 1968, has published his memoir: Ordained by Angels: A Memoir of an AIDS Chaplain. The book takes a look back at how the AIDS epidemic and his struggle to be accepted as a gay priest shaped his personal and professional life. The work delves into how he fought to keep his faith in a loving God and maintain his sanity in the midst not only of friends and loved ones dying, but the pushback by conservative elements of the Church.
Ordained by Angels reflects not only upon the real life Angels who helped Anderson build his ministries, but the Spiritual forces that are always available to us, especially in times of desperation and need. This is the story of how, in the midst of one of the most significant health crises of the twentieth century, love not only survived: it thrived. In the end it was love that pulled him through, just as it sustains him in facing the challenges of today.
“His gracious and generous life intersects gender, race, orientation, and well, all of us,” Bishop Gene Robinson (Class of ’73) says of the work. “It is as much a memoir of the turbulent late 20th century as it is a memoir of his moving, personal journey.”
Anderson served as a chaplain for 23 years, recently retiring as the Director of Pastoral Care at Good Samaritan Hospital in downtown Los Angeles. After retirement he joined All-Saints-by-the-Sea in Santa Barbara, CA in an assisting role. He has served parishes in the Diocese of Chicago, Northern Michigan, Washington, D.C., and Southeast Florida, as well as Los Angeles. In 1986 he assisted in founding the non- profit The Episcopal Caring Response to AIDS in the Diocese of Washington where he was the chaplain and repeated that in 1996 in Miami with the creation of the Episcopal AIDS Ministry at Trinity Cathedral in Miami.