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  Article by Bill Reynolds, Mart Messenger Correspondent, dated March 9, 2017

Amy Anderson was called to the pulpit at a young age. Perhaps, and most likely, while in the womb. The new Mart First United Methodist Church pastor hails from a long line of ministers— six generations, in all —and has thus embraced as second nature a keen ability to link scripture to the challenges of everyday life. And does so with energy and passion. Even in the toughest of times, like when she preached the recent funeral service for her father, him­self a longtime Methodist pastor. “We had talked about it be­forehand,” recalls Anderson, now in just the fifth month of her Mart assignment. “He didn’t want me to talk so much about his life. So I preached the message he gave me. Most of all, he wanted me tell peo­ple about ‘his Jesus’.”

Of course, there was quite a story to tell on both levels. Anderson’s dad, the late Duane Chambers, who preached into his 70s, was an accomplished civil engineer who designed buck­et elevators and auger conveyors for major industrial projects. His children, including Amy, would share that zeal for using the teachings of Christ as a blueprint for life. “God gave us such a bless­ing,” Anderson insists, “in hav­ing him for so long. He provided us with a great foundation and framework. “He left us an incredible leg­acy,” she adds. “I’m humbled to be part of such a family of faith.”

Anderson has built her own ministry in a somewhat non-tra­ditional manner. She worked in bookkeeping and accounting be­fore going into formal training for pastoral service. The delay proved a blessing in many ways as Anderson benefited from su­perb mentoring along the way. She “shadowed” one of those mentors in Frost, then later served a church in the Hillsboro area. Thus far she couldn’t be hap­pier having been called to Mart. “This is such a fantastic com­munity,” she says. “There are so many good people here. And it’s quite a self-sustaining place. Most of the things you need on a daily basis can be found within walking distance of your home.”

Including compassion. Anderson takes pride in the “open door” policy at her church. The read­er-board out front invites all to enter and come as they are. “I’m going to love who­ever walks in that door,” she stresses, “because that’s what Jesus would do. We all go through life with our own baggage. So there’s no judgment here. And,” she points out, “there’s not a Sunday when I step into the pulpit that I don’t know that I’m preach­ing to myself.”

Her high-energy preaching style has won converts. Most notably to serving the underprivi­leged. In a town known for its championships, Mart still needs champions of the un­derdog. Anderson is proud to be counted among those. “I like taking up,” An­derson says, “for those in need.” For example, Mart FUMC has recently begun a volunteer clothes closet project. Donated clothing is displayed and made avail­able to those attending the church’s free monthly com­munity dinners. Another popular Meth­odist Church outreach is the food truck, which distrib­utes to locals on the first Tuesday of each month. “My heart,” says An­derson, “is totally into the food truck. Like they say, you can’t save a hungry man’s soul. So I don’t ever mind helping. Food insecu­rity, to me, is a major issue in our country. My feeling,” she says, “is I’ll do everything I can for 50 people if it helps just one.”

By all accounts, An­derson in her short time here has helped many. She’d like to do even more. “One of my goals,” she says, “is to grow our church. And it’s not just a numbers thing. It has to do with us being able to have a positive impact on as many people in the community as possible.” Anderson is getting that word out through her sermons and as a regular Mart Messenger columnist. Her busy schedule, if anything, adds to rath­er than zaps Anderson’s strength. “I’m blessed,” she ex­plains, “to get to do this every day and call it a job. There isn’t enough time in the day for me to count all my many blessings.”