All three of Liberty alumnus’ children follow in his footsteps and attend Liberty
Decades ago, Pastor Danny Anderson stepped foot on the mountain where Liberty stands. Now, 26 years later, his three children — all current Liberty students — have experienced the same thing for themselves.
When Danny first began his college experience, he initially attended New York University (NYU). He became a Christian in his senior year of high school, so he spent his first year at NYU as a new believer. After experiencing life at a secular university, he chose to transfer to Liberty in 1997, where he believed he could better cultivate his faith.
“I knew I needed to be in a place where I could not only continue my education, but also grow in my faith,” Danny said.
Danny majored in communications and specialized in public speaking, but his journey as a pastor began when he started teaching Sunday school at Thomas Road Baptist Church. His classes also helped prepare him for serving in his ministry.
After he graduated in 2000, his wife’s home church, which has several campuses across Indiana, requested that he interview for a youth pastor position. He took the position at Emmanuel Church and led the ministry for high school students for five years. When the senior pastor retired, Danny was elected to lead the church and take up the role.
Despite a “rocky transition” at the start of Danny’s leadership, Emmanuel Church now has seven locations and reaches over 6,500 people every weekend. The church also offers an online service. Danny himself runs a blog that advises and coaches other pastors and church leaders.
“I was inspired to start a blog and increase our online presence because it was clear to me that those platforms were just another opportunity to add value and to help people,” Danny said. “I’m not even sure that we receive anyone new at a physical location that hasn’t first seen or heard about us online … I believe churches should invest time and resources into their online experience because that is their guests’ first touch and experience with their church.”
Like her father, Ruby Anderson knows that she wants to get involved in ministry. She was able to observe what it’s like to work in ministry from her father.
“I decided to attend Liberty because I really valued the concept of going to a Christian school,” Ruby, a freshman, said. “My faith is the foundation of my life, and I wanted to be at a place that protected that and helped it grow rather than being in a place that put(s) it in jeopardy.”
Danny’s son, Andrew Anderson, a senior, plans to go into the field of logistics, and Beau Anderson, a sophomore, seeks to build up a real estate portfolio. While some of Andrew’s favorite activities on campus are intramural sports, Beau’s favorites are to work out or play volleyball at the LaHaye Recreation and Fitness Center. However, when their father attended Liberty, the fitness center didn’t exist as they know it today. It wasn’t until 2014 that the fitness center was renovated and expanded into a closer image of what it looks like now.
In fact, when Danny attended Liberty, there was no School of Business building, softball stadium or LaHaye Ice Center. Commons I, II and III weren’t completed until 2014, 2016 and 2017 respectively. Danny described some of the dorms “in the middle of the campus” as “(one)-story, cinder-block buildings.”
Just as Liberty’s campus has evolved over the years, so will Danny’s ministry continue to grow and be taken to new heights.
Bear is the feature editor for the Liberty Champion. Follow her on X