Pastor Elise Anderson

Pr. Elise grew up in Chicago IL with her older sister Colleen and her parents Pastors Mary and Frank Anderson. Being a PK (squared), as her grandpa liked to call her, was a unique and fun way to grow up. Initially Elise did not follow in her parents’ footsteps and studied athletic training and sports medicine at Florida State University (2009) and went on to earn a master’s degree in sports medicine from Georgia State University (2011). After grad school she was looking for some meaningful adventure and spent a year in South Africa with the Young Adults in Global Missions (YAGM) program. This experience reset her life and put her on a new path leading straight to ordained ministry. After four years working in the field of sports medicine and education Elise made the decision to go to seminary and attended the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. She completed her internship year at Nativity Lutheran Church in Bend, OR and graduated in 2019. She was ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament on December 13th, 2019 at St. Michael’s Lutheran in Irmo SC, a congregation that was founded by her ancestors in 1814!

Pr. Elise is passionate about outdoor ministry, having felt closest to God out in the woods she understands the importance of getting out into creation to experience God’s presence and in a camp setting! She was a lifelong camper at Lutheridge in Arden NC and worked on staff for two summers at Lutherock in Newland NC. Another cause close to her heart is that of homeless ministry and housing justice. Having worked extensively with the homelessness response systems and those experiencing homelessness in Chattanooga TN she carries the stories and experiences she had with her and hopes to continue this important work in Abingdon!

She strives to foster a welcoming and affirming environment so that all feel able to worship, explore and be in communion with God in a safe place!